Successes from the 2011 Oregon State Legislative Session
PRESERVE food services that help end hunger.
- General Fund Food Program (emergency food): $350,000 added to allow for current service levels for Oregon's Regional Food Bank Network.
- WIC and Senior Farm Direct Nutrition Programs: $264,099 restored to maintain service levels.
PRESERVE basic services that stabilize families.
- Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF): $25.73 million restored to continue 60-month time-limit, continue to serve existing students under Parents as Scholars program, restore most of the Family Support and Connections, restore one year of Post-TANF and fund more Tier 2 JOBS Services.
- Employment-Related Day Care (ERDC): While set at 9,000 families for 2011, funds were allocated to expand to 10,000 families by the end of the budget cycle.
- Headstart: $16.5 million added to restore and increase slots starting in September.
STRENGTHEN services that help Oregonians meet their basic needs.
- Senior Farm Direct Nutrition Programs: $5,000 added to access $60,000 in one-time federal dollars, serving an additional 1,900 seniors with vouchers for fruits and vegetables at farmers markets and farm stands.
- Afterschool Meal and Snack Program: $180,000 provided for start-up grants to assist in program expansion.
- Farm to School and School Garden Programs: $200,000 secured for a pilot program to purchase Oregon grown products for school meals and fund new school gardens.
More can be done to help Oregonians at risk of hunger.
These very basic services help prevent families from falling into homelessness and children from entering the foster care system.
Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF)
We remain deeply concerned with the depth of overall cuts in TANF and the associate JOBS programs, and urge restoration of:
- 1 year Post TANF ($1.4 million)
- Pre-SSI/SSDI ($2.3 million)
- Tier 2/3/4 JOBS services: A and D/mental health ($3 million), home visits and parent mentoring ($2 million), childcare/transportation ($2 million), array of services and slots for JOBS programs ($12 million minimum restoration - still would be cut significantly after this restoration)
Expand the TANF grant and eligibility levels
- Bring up to 75% of poverty (phase in over time to mitigate cost).
Increase Emergency Housing Account (EHA)
- Provide additional assistance to the growing number of homeless families ($1.8 million).
Expand the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
- Raise the state EITC to 18% of the federal EITC, lifting most low-income working families above poverty before paying state taxes (phase in).
Fund additional vouchers through WIC/Senior Farm Direct
- Current funding levels provide vouchers for only 28% of eligible women and children and only 53% of eligible seniors ($2.5 million)
In order to meet these important legislative priorities, the legislature needs to consider new revenue streams, as well as examining tax expenditures, kicker reform, and tax credit reform.
2011 Legislative Wrap Up Report (PDF, 175KB)
Interim Concerns (PDF, 106KB)