Measure 30 foe’s budgeting claim rebuted

Gov. Ted Kulongoski is looking into ways to “soften the blow” if Measure 30 is defeated.

But the governor has not found $500 million in the 2003-05 budget to save state programs, as a leading opponent of the measure has claimed, Kulongoski’s spokeswoman Mary Ellen Glynn said.

Russ Walker, Oregon director of Citizens for a Sound Economy, made the claim in an interview with KXL (750 am) radio.

Walker said a source in the Legislature gave him the information, but that he has no hard evidence to back it up.

“It was probably not a good idea for me to repeat rumors,” he later told The Oregonian.

Nevertheless, Walker said he has no doubt the governor is working on some kind of a Plan B to present to lawmakers if the $800 million tax measure is defeated.

“There may be some administrative things we can tap into,” Glynn said, but she stressed that Kulongoski has no intention of calling lawmakers into a special session to revise the budget.

For example, it may be possible to shift money in the Human Services Department budget to avoid the most severe cuts to the health plan, and the improving economy may pump more revenue than expected into state coffers during the remaining 18 months of the biennium. —