"The temptation will be to simply rerun the tired political debate of whether we have a revenue problem or a spending problem," he told a packed ballroom during a City Club event this afternoon.
Instead, Kulongoski wants to use a report generated by a "Reset Cabinet" that he created in September 2009. The cabinet, made up of state officials from various departments like education, corrections and human services—as well as a couple lawyers—made a number of recommendations, some of which are likely to be controversial.
"The government we have is too expensive to maintain," said Kulongoski.
After the jump, a few ways that the governor and his Cabinet think we can make Oregon's economy stable.
Consolidate business and administrative functions for public schools across multiple school districts.
Force teachers' unions to engage in statewide collective bargaining rather than the hodgepodge of regional negotiations that currently eats up time and money (Portland's current contract took 19 months to negotiate, and only runs through next year).
Collaborate with individual public universities to develop an "affordability framework" for need-based financial aid. Use the "shared responsibility model," which takes money from public and private colleges to pay for financial aid across the state.
Send state prison inmates to serve their final year in county facilities, or using electronic detention or halfway house placement.
"Selectively adjust" Measure 11 sentences. This measure calls for mandatory minimum sentencing for certain crimes, for anyone over age 15. Kulongoski says reducing sentences "is certain to attract the attention of headline writers... [but] incarceration is the most expensive tool in the public safety tool box." He says this would definitely not involve reducing sentences for violent offenders.
Create a strong reserve fund to maintain fiscal stability. "We could cut the cost of government by 20 percent and still face a budget hole when the next recession hits," said Kulongoski, who will leave the governor's office in six months.
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