Area Oregonians will have a chance to attend a public meeting on the state's 2017-19 budget at the Performing Arts Center on Saturday, Feb. 18.

Oregonians in central and eastern regions of the state will get the chance this week to voice their opinion on the state's next two-year budget as the Legislature's Joint Ways and Means Committee hosts a pair of town hall-style public hearings in Madras and Hermiston.

The committee will welcome the public to the Main Commons at Hermiston High School from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday night, Feb. 17, and then travel to Madras for a hearing at the Performing Arts Center from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18.

The events are the third and fourth in a series of seven scheduled hearings across the state as the committee seeks input from Oregonians on the 2017-19 state budget. The committee's co-chairmen released an "Existing Resources Budget Framework" in January, explaining the state's $1.8 billion budget shortfall and outlining potential cuts to programs.

The committee, which is co-chaired by Sen. Richard Devlin and Rep. Nancy Nathanson, oversees funding for capital construction, education, general government, human services, natural resources, public safety and transportation and economic development.

The public is encouraged to attend.

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