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Blog: Big day, big numbers
Photos and Story by Dana Haynes
Watch this space.
In a few hours, two crucial sets of numbers will be released for Oregon. The first is the unemployment figures for the second quarter of the year. The other is the proposed budget by the co-chairs of the budget-writing Ways and Means Committee.
The unemployment numbers are vital because Oregon relies so heavily on income taxes and not at all on a sales tax. Oregon’s unemployment rate went through the roof between March 2008 and March 2009, rising from 5.5 percent to 12.1 percent; the second highest in the nation following Michigan.
(Note: It’s not that that many Oregonians were laid off. Economists attribute the rise to retirees watching their 401(k) nest eggs evaporating and returning to the job market. That, plus more people moving to Oregon from other states.)
The second number to be released in a couple of hours is the co-chairs budget, which will include a 2009-11 budget for the 17 independent community colleges. The budget for 2007-09 was $500 million. The PCC Board of Directors last month OK’d a budget for the coming two years based on a likely state budget of $428 for the 17 colleges.
We’ll see how good our board’s crystal ball is. And I’ll report it right here.
For more news on PCC and the 2009 Legislature, click here.