WASHINGTON- Oregon\\\’s Legislative Emergency Board meets today and tomorrow to discuss the most recent quarterly economic forecast released Friday, August 31. Projections for Oregon\\\’s 2001-2003 fiscal period have fallen $212 million since the last forecast.

A spending shortfall of $212 million should force the Emergency Board to prioritize approvals for increased spending. A panel of 17 legislators comprises the Emergency Board, who meet regularly throughout the 18-month recess between full Legislative sessions to approve spending proposals. The Emergency Board members are: Sen. Gene Derfler (R), co-chair; Rep. Mark Simmons (R), co-chair; Sen. Roger Beyer (R), Sen. Margaret Carter (D), Sen. Bev Clarno (R), Sen. Lenn Hannon (R), Sen. Ken Messerle (R), Sen. Rick Metsger (D), Sen. Mae Yih (D), Rep. Tom Butler (R), Rep. Dan Doyle (R) or Rep. Betsy Johnson (D), Rep. Jim Hill (R), Rep. Karen Minnis (R) or Rep. Carl Wilson (R), Rep. Susan Morgan (R), Rep. Kurt Schrader (D), Rep. Ben Westlund (R), and Rep. Jackie Winters (R).

Two of the most significant spending increases to come before the Emergency Board are:

· Oregon Secretary of State Bill Bradbury requested $2 million to reform the state\\\’s voter registration system
· Oregon Military Department requested $540,000 for road construction and training facility enhancements

Both expenditures were approved by the Legislature during the 2001 session, but legislators recommended that the Secretary of State and Oregon Military Department offices obtain final approval by the Emergency Board for funding allocations.

"With the forecast, I think you\\\’re going to see the Emergency Board become very prudent and very cautious in what they approve," said Senate Majority Leader David Nelson (R-Pendleton).

"Lawmakers on the Emergency Board have a responsibility to Oregon taxpayers to cut spending proposals, just like an Oregon family would do if faced with less future income than previously anticipated. I commend Senate Majority Leader David Nelson for his responsibly phrased comments regarding the spending shortfall estimates released last Friday, and I hope that he will continue to support the interests of taxpayers," commented Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform.