Oregon Business Plan Applauds Oregon Leaders


Save the Date:  December 12, 2011.  The Ninth Oregon Leadership Summit @ the Oregon Convention Center

Last year, the Eighth Oregon Leadership Summit helped set the stage for important work in education, health care and economic development.  Join Oregon’s business, elected, education and nonprofit leaders at the Oregon Convention Center on December 12, 2011 to check in on progress and discuss next steps toward reaching the Oregon Business Plan goals of creating 25, 000 new jobs per year and raising Oregon’s per capita income above the national average by 2020.

Stay tuned for agenda and registration information.

Oregon Business Plan Progress Report, July 2011

When the Oregon Leadership Summit convened on December 13, 2010, Oregon’s unemployment rate was a full point higher than the rest of the nation.  Speakers pointed to a disturbing long-term trend of declining personal income levels compared to the rest of the nation.  The state was looking down a $3.5 billion budget hole.

Business and elected leaders laid out a set of initiatives to help Oregon create 25, 000 jobs per year through 2020 and to bring Oregon’s per capita income above the national average by 2020.  The Plan included two main focus areas:

1.  Revamping the way we budget for and deliver public services to get greater value for the dollars we spend
2.  Sparking job and income growth through targeted investments and policy changes

Is Oregon making progress?

While the economic recovery is tenuous, and the long-term challenges facing Oregon and the nation are severe, Oregon leaders made significant progress this year implementing measures that will improve the fiscal health and quality of the public services that we all depend on, as well as the ability of the private sector to create jobs.

We applaud Governor Kitzhaber, Senate President Courtney, Co-speakers Hanna and Roblan, and the entire legislative assembly for the work they did this year to help Oregon get closer to the goals aspired to in the Oregon Business Plan.

Other states that are struggling to balance their budgets (and in some cases shutting down their governments) should look to Oregon as an example of successful bi-partisan leadership.

We’d also like to thank all of the business leaders, economic development professionals, and business association representatives who worked tirelessly to help develop a positive economic agenda and who continue to work with our public leaders to implement it.

To be sure, hundreds of thousands of Oregonians are still without work.  The budget cuts that were made this year will have real consequences for individuals and families.  Many of the bills passed this year to improve education attainment and lower health care costs merely set the stage for the difficult work that must be done to implement them.  However, given the situation they were presented with, Oregon lawmakers did a remarkable job putting aside differences, solving problems and setting the stage for future job and income growth.

http://oregonbusinessplan.org. with comments about any of the items discussed below. info@oregonbusinessplan.org

Oregon Business Plan Progress Report [1]

Goals: 25, 000 new jobs per year and per capita income above the U.S. average by 2020

  • Over 16, 000 new jobs created in Oregon since January
  • Per capita income numbers will not be available until the end of the year


Revamp the public budgeting process to focus on outcomes and the long-term

  • The legislature balanced the budget on time and based on revenues available
  • SB 676 directs DAS and the Governor to submit an outcomes-based budget
  • The Governor hired a COO to improve efficiency in state government
  • The Governor launched an effort to develop a 10-year budget

Redesign the delivery of education to improve student outcomes[2]

  • SB 909 coordinates policy and investments in education from birth through graduate school
  • SB 242 gives the cash-strapped Oregon University System more flexibility to achieve its mission
  • SB 250 allows school districts to opt-out of ESDs if it is cost effective to do so

Redesign the delivery of health care to drive down costs, improve quality and access

  • SB 99 creates an exchange where consumers and businesses can shop for healthcare plans
  • HB 3650 coordinates healthcare delivery for Medicaid recipients with the aim of lowering costs

Spark job and income creation through targeted actions in 10 areas[3]

  • SB 5528 includes funding for OBDD, Oregon InC. and the Strategic Reserve Fund
  • SB 219 creates a new tool to help companies with large payrolls expand in Oregon
  • HB 3017 extends Oregon’s Enterprise Zone program
  • HB 2700 improves the permitting process for linear projects
  • SB 766 speeds up permitting for industrial projects and protects key industrial areas
  • SB 264 expedites approval of driveways providing access from businesses to roads
  • HB 3591 minimizes costs for obtaining variances for new DEQ water standards
  • HB 5036 includes $40 million investment in multi-modal transportation (Connect Oregon)
  • HB 2960 creates jobs and improves energy efficiency by retrofitting school buildings
  • Governors Kitzhaber and Gregoire made significant advancements on the Columbia River Crossing project
  • HB 3362 provides $2 million in grants to enhance career and technical education
  • SB 5508 includes a $3.5 million investment in on-the-job training
  • SB 5532 includes funding for engineering education through ETIC.
  • Over 8500 Oregonians have earned the National Career Readiness Certificate
  • SB 301 makes it easier for Oregon businesses to make capital investments
  • HB 3672 extends the R&D, Biomass, and other key tax credits

What we still need to accomplish

  • Implement the reform bills passed this year including SB 909, SB 242, SB 99, HB 3650, SB 676
  • Continue progress on simplifying Oregon’s regulatory and permitting systems
  • Build up Oregon’s “rainy day”/emergency reserve funds
  • Restructure Oregon’s tax system to rely less on income and capital gains taxes
  • Implement cost-effective corrections reforms that keep us safe and improve the state’s fiscal health
  • Review/revise public employee total compensation to ensure that it is in line with other states and the private sector
  • Improve access to capital for emerging companies, including reforms to the OGA and OIF
  • Thin the federal forests to create jobs, reduce wildfire risk and collect fuel for biomass energy
  • Allow for increased water withdrawal from the Columbia River for agriculture during high flows

[1] All items here were included in the December 13, 2010 OBP Agenda and Plan Summary and/or May 10, 2011 “Jobs Agenda

[2] Additional education legislation passed this session that has the opportunity to significantly improve student achievement.

[3] The Business Plan identified the following ten opportunities 1. Support the Oregon Innovation Plan.  2.  Improve business development/finance tools. 3. Simplify/streamline regulatory and permitting processes. 4. Make industrial land available. 5. Increase active forest management. 6. Accelerate energy efficiency efforts. 7. Advance infrastructure projects. 8. Train Oregonians for high demand jobs.  9. Authorize water withdrawal from the Columbia River during high flow conditions. 10. Make targeted tax changes to spark growth.

Oregon Business Council | 1100 SW 6th Avenue | Portland, OR 97204


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Founded in 1994 by the late Pamela Hulse Andrews, Cascade Business News (CBN) became Central Oregon’s premier business publication. CascadeBusNews.com • CBN@CascadeBusNews.com

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