PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Wednesday morning, the Office of Economic Analysis released and presented its December revenue forecast and overall economic outlook to Oregon legislators. The forecast indicated that inflation is decreasing and Oregon’s economy is stable enough to present more investment opportunities for the 2024 legislative session.
Lawmakers reacted to this insight, providing statements on what this means for Oregon moving forward.
Governor Tina Kotek noted how this outlook could aid in resolving key issues Oregonians face.
“Oregon’s economy is continuing to stabilize, and that is good news for working families and businesses across our state,” said Kotek. “To keep our economy moving in the right direction, we need to address core issues for Oregonians. Housing production, the addiction crisis, and access to child care are at the top of the list. I look forward to working with legislators in the upcoming 2024 session to make progress for Oregonians on these issues and more.”
Oregon Senate President Rob Wagner (D-Lake Oswego) echoed the sentiment, while emphasizing the importance of affordability in quality of life.
“Today’s forecast shows Oregon’s economy is stable and it is clear the state will be able to continue to deliver the investments made during the 2023 session,” noted Sen. Wagner. “As inflation wanes, we want to continue to reduce costs for Oregonians, make life more affordable, and grow the middle class. In the 2024 session, the Senate will focus additional investments in the state’s top priorities, including housing, homelessness, and building out more treatment capacity to address the drug crisis. We must also be good stewards of taxpayer dollars, acknowledging that we have many forecasts remaining until the next state budget.”
Oregon House Speaker Dan Rayfield (D-Corvallis) stressed that, while the figures are “promising,” the state must “remain measured in [their] commitments given that the long-term forecast anticipates that population and migration rates will level out. Oregonians are counting on us to be wise with our investments and ensure we see intended results.”
Oregon Senate Majority Leader Kate Lieber (D-Beaverton & SW Portland) agreed stating, in part, “Now, we need to make sure this data matches up to reality for Oregonians in every corner of the state. In 2024, we will be laser-focused on the issues that seriously impact quality of life in Oregon, like building more housing Oregonians can actually afford, taking on the drug crisis to keep people safe and save lives, and making it easier to work and grow a business here. We know there may still be uncertainty ahead, which is why I’m counting on all my colleagues to show up and do their job in 2024 so we can make Oregonians’ lives better now and keep our economy strong in the future.”
On the other side of the aisle, House Republican Leader Jeff Helfrich (R-Hood River) was apprehensive, citing concern for Oregon’s future economic outlook.
“Population in Oregon is stagnating as people flee – and choose not to move near – the drugs and crime Oregon is rapidly becoming known for,” said Rep. Helfrich. “This will have long-term consequences on revenues, which will further strain resources needed to address critical needs. Pretending things are fine is not a solution, and we need bipartisan buy-in to reverse this troubling trend. During the upcoming short session, the House Republican Caucus will support legislation to make our state a safer, more affordable place to live and do business.”
The next Oregon legislative session is scheduled for February 2024.