Kitzhaber's budget targets PERS, education

Credit: Gene Cotton, KGW News

Kitzhaber's budget targets PERS, education

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by Rich Kurz

kgw.com

Posted on November 29, 2012 at 11:46 PM

Updated Saturday, Dec 1 at 12:59 PM

The budget Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber unveiled Friday morning aims to increase investment in education and core infrastructure projects, in part by targeting cost savings in PERS compensation, health care and public safety.

A budget message released by the Governor's office Thursday night reveals a proposed $8 billion dollars for education in the 2013-15 budget biennium.

That includes reinvestment in K-12 education, and further efforts to more fully integrate early learning, K-12, and post-secondary education and career training.

It will also seek to fund more than $1 billion dollars in core infrastructure projects, such as transportation improvements, seismic upgrades and funding the Interstate 5 bridge replacement.

Governor Kitzhaber said his recommended budget is guided by one premise - "that all Oregonians deserve their shot at the American dream."

To make those improvements happen, the governor said his budget will find $865 million in PERS savings by adjusting out-of-state benefits and capping cost-of-living increases.

Additionally, Gov. Kitzhaber said health care reforms will save the state $11 billion over the next decade, while public safety reform proposals will save $600 million.

Governor Kitzhaber held a press conference Friday morning at 10am releasing his full budget.

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