Revenue forecast down; Governor announces date for special session to consider PERS, revenue enhancements

On August 28, during a joint meeting of the Oregon Senate Finance and Revenue Committee and House Revenue Committee, state economist Mark McMullen released the quarterly Economic and Revenue Forecast. The revenue forecast shows a slight decline of $37 million in total resources for the 2013-15 biennium, leaving some $16.7 billion in projected general and lottery funds. The decline is due to a weak end to the 2011-13 biennium that affected the starting balance for 2013-15 biennium. According to McMullen, the economy is progressing about as expected with steady if slow growth.

The presentation and summary of the revenue forecast are available on the State Economist’s website. The Oregonian also covered the forecast presentation.

On September 4, after the revenue forecast, Governor John Kitzhaber issued a statement on a potential September 30 special session to consider additional reforms to the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) and revenue enhancements. Kitzhaber’s release said that he was working on a plan with legislative leaders that would reduce the unfunded liabilities in the PERS system by a total of $5 billion and increase revenue by $200 million.