State economist offers peek of 2013-15 budget

On November 20, the state economist released the quarterly Economic and Revenue Forecast to a joint meeting of the Oregon Senate Finance and Revenue Committee and House Revenue Committee. 

Projected state revenues are up another $30.4 million for the 2011-13 biennium since the last forecast in September but down $64.2 million from the close of session. The total forecast for 2011-2013 general fund revenues is now $13.9 billion. State Economist Mark McMullen said the recovery continues to be slow but that forecasters expect the economy to pick up steam next year.

According to the forecast, General Fund revenues will total $15.5 billion 2013-15, an increase of 11.1% percent from the prior biennium, and $62 million (0.4%) above the September forecast.  This forecast will become the baseline for Governor John Kitzhaber's proposed 2013-15 budget, which is expected to be released Nov. 30.  Kitzhaber’s budget is also expected to reflect efforts to reform public employee benefits and the retirement system to find cost savings.  Possible cost- saving strategies reported in news accounts include annual inflation adjustments, limiting the employer pickup of employee retirement contributions, and closing a benefit advantage  for out-of-state retirees who don't pay Oregon taxes. The Oregonian recently did a series of articles on the PERS reform debate.

The State Economist’s presentation for the December forecast:

December forecast summary:

Oregonian coverage of the forecast:

The office of Government and Community Relations tracks state revenues and the state budget process and is happy to answer any questions.