February 16, 2017 Kristin Hosfelt
Salem, Ore. — A ballot measure aimed at generating additional funding for Oregon veterans passed overwhelmingly in November. The measure sets aside 1.5% of Oregon lottery funds for veterans services; funding that’s expected to bring in $18-million over the next 2 years.
But the governor’s proposed budget for Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs’ seems to rely heavily on the lottery funding, while cutting back significantly on general funds, and that’s not sitting well with some vets.
“Felt like a slap in the face on the part of the governor and disrespect because it goes against the will of the people,” veteran Terry Haines says.
The legislative argument in support of measure 96 explicitly outlined an effort to provide critical support for veterans in addition to current funding. But based on Governor Kate Brown’s proposed budget, veteran Terry Haines says that’s not happening.
“They’re taking money away from what the will of the people voted and using it for purposes other than supporting vets,” Haines says.
The previous budget allocated $10-million dollars for ODVA, plus a $3-million dollar bond for a veterans home. If that funding was maintained this budget cycle and the lottery funds totaled $18-million as projected, that would equal about $31-million dollars for veterans services.
But the governor’s budget outlines a total of just $19.8 million, nearly 18 of that being the lottery funds, with $2-million coming from the general fund. A $10-million dollar difference from what the state put up last budget.,....