We’re two months into the 2021 Oregon legislative session, and our state economic outlook has improved significantly since the pandemic struck a year ago. In May of 2020, state economists predicted that General Fund revenues for the current biennium (2019-2021) would decline by nearly $2 billion. In the most recent forecast, economists revealed that revenues have not only returned to pre-pandemic levels, but actually increased by over $800 million. And with the passage of President Biden’s American Rescue Plan on March 10th, Oregon is set to receive billions of dollars in one-time federal assistance. This means that the 2021-2023 budget conversation should turn from cuts to investments. However, the budget battle and fight for funding fair contracts for our members is far from over, so please stay tuned.
Essential Worker Pay
Some of the additional funding should go to compensate the heroes who have been on the frontlines of the pandemic and Oregon wildfires. SEIU 503 is leading a coalition to fight for Essential Worker Pay – one time checks of $1,000-$2,000 to workers who masked up, did their jobs, and kept Oregon working through the pandemic. Visit payessentialworkers.org to get involved.
Long-Term Care Reform
Long-term care facilities are responsible for 53% of Oregon’s COVID deaths. Our union is advocating for a slate of bills that will bring long-overdue, common sense reforms to the industry, including two pieces of legislation that will have hearings next week. Contact your legislator today and help protect facility residents and workers.