State budget hearings start. Here's how to participate
Oregon residents can testify about the state's upcoming two-year budget during online hearings that begin Wednesday, April 14.
The Legislature's Joint Ways & Means Committee will take virtual and written testimony for the state's revenue and spending plans for 2021-22 that must be finalized by June 28.
The committee of House and Senate members will take testimony, then vote on the budget in committee work sessions still to be scheduled. The state budget is usually among the last set of bills passed during the odd-numbered year session.
The budget-writing committee will hold regional hearings, with congressional districts used to group testimony. The first hearing is at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday for the 1st Congressional District.
Other hearings are:
• Saturday, April 17 at 1:30 p.m.
Bend, Pendleton and most of Oregon east of the Cascades, plus parts of southwestern Oregon.
• Wednesday, April 21 at 5:30 p.m.
Portland and suburbs.
• Thursday, April 22 at 5:30 p.m.
Eugene, Corvallis, south and central coastal areas.
• Saturday, April 24 at 1 p.m.
Salem, north central coast, most of Tillamook County plus some Portland suburbs.
How do I find my congressional district: Go to https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/findyourlegislator/leg-districts.html or call your county clerk's office.
What's in the budget: The hearing covers the 2021-22 state budget, which would go into effect July 1. The budget will be in Senate Bill 5555, which currently is a mostly blank framework.
An overview of the committee's plans are at https://bit.ly/ORbudget.
Senate Bill 5555 as it now looks: https://bit.ly/SB5555
How to watch: The hearings will be streamed live, and available for later viewing, at https://bit.ly/ORbudgetlive.
How to testify: Written testimony can be submitted at any time, but for specific regional issues, will be taken up to 24 hours before a hearing.
To submit testimony electronically, go to: https://bit.ly/ORbudgettestimony.
To submit testimony by mail, send to: Joint Ways and Means Committee, 900 State Street N.E., Room H-178, Salem 97301
Registration is required to testify by phone or video link. Registration closes at the time the meeting is scheduled to begin.
Those who sign-up to speak online to the committee will be limited to two minutes each. The hearings are scheduled to last for two hours and all who sign up may not be able to speak.
To register, go to: https://bit.ly/ORbudgettestify
For assistance, call 833-698-1371.
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