SALEM, Ore. - Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski directed state agencies Wednesday to seek ways to protect vital services after voters rejected an $800 million tax increase, but said painful spending cuts are inevitable.
"There will be loss of essential programs," including lopping about 50,000 low-income people from the state health plan, he said.
"There will be drastic consequences to some citizens," the Democrat said.
The proposed tax hike failed 59 percent to 41 percent. Rejection automatically triggers $544 million in spending cuts on May 1.