Appeal tribune. (Silverton, Or.) 1999-current, February 16, 2022, Page 2, Image 2

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Lawmakers have $979M
more to spend this session
Connor Radnovich
Salem Statesman Journal
Oregon lawmakers have $979 million
more to put into various state budgets
over the next few weeks compared to
three months ago after state economists
released the latest revenue forecast and
economic outlook.
When compared to the end of the
2021 legislative session, the state has a
forecasted $2.7 billion more in net re-
sources. Lawmakers must balance the
state’s budget — including committing a
portion of those funds toward reserves
— by the end of the 2022 legislative ses-
sion on March 7.
Higher wages and salaries and busi-
ness activity contributed to greater rev-
enues, but at least part of the growth
came from inflation, state economists
told lawmakers.
While inflation doesn’t impact reve-
nues negatively and, therefore, the im-
pact isn’t fully reflected in the forecast,
the drawbacks of inflation could harm
the state’s businesses and workers.
“Even though it helps revenues, infla-
tion is clearly not costless,” state econo-
mist Mark McMullen said. “It destroys
demand in terms of higher prices, which
means less spending ... and, maybe
even more fundamentally, we see de-
clines in real wage growth.”
The state’s projected revenue in the
February quarterly outlook is a critical
number because it finalizes what legis-
lative leaders have available for new
spending and to make budget adjust-
One-time spending is a top priority
for legislative leaders and Gov. Kate
Brown as Oregon continues to manage
and recover from the impacts of the cor-
onavirus pandemic.
“Our latest state revenue projections
present an opportunity to make invest-
ments that spur a strong economic re-
covery and support working families,
especially those who have been hardest
hit ... in the last two years,” Brown said
in a statement.
The governor’s biggest proposal is a
$200 million workforce development
plan dubbed Future Ready Oregon
2022, which focuses on boosting skilled
labor in health care, tech and manufac-
turing and construction.
She also asked legislators to support
a $100 million investment into child care
and $400 million toward affordable
Legislative Democrats
called for investments in
schools, homelessness,
small businesses, work-
ers and the state’s most
vulnerable communities.
“Right now we have
the means and the vision to help Orego-
nians and tackle some of our state’s big-
gest challenges,” House Democratic
Leader Julie Fahey, D-Eugene, said in a
statement. “I stand committed to a ro-
bust, equitable recovery that reaches
every corner of the state.”
Meanwhile, Senate Republicans
called for appropriating $60 million to
Oregon State Police for assisting local
law enforcement and combating illegal
marijuana grows, as well as $50 million
for forest thinning operations.
“We must also be responsible with
this money,” Senate Republican Leader
Tim Knopp, R-Bend, said in a state-
ment. “We need to reserve more funds
for the next downturn. We also need to
look seriously at giving Oregonians a tax
break. The government has buckets of
money, but inflation is pinching the
pockets of working Oregonians.”
Address: P.O. Box 13009, Salem, OR 97309
Phone: 503-399-6773
Fax: 503-399-6706
Web site:
News Director
Don Currie
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Inflation an increasing concern
State economists warned in the pre-
vious economic outlook and revenue
forecast in November that while Ore-
gon’s economy was stronger than ex-
pected, inflation was going to counter-
act wage growth, particularly among
low-income Oregonians.
Inflation rose 7% last year, as mea-
sured by the Consumer Price Index.
State economists’ concerns were re-
peated Wednesday, with the additional
concern that the inflation Americans
are seeing now is potentially longer-
term inflation beyond supply chain im-
Current supply chain shortages are
limiting supply of products, but as busi-
nesses are able to catch up to consumer
demand, prices will naturally fall. How-
ever, McMullen said many national
economists are predicting inflation will
continue through the end of the year,
potentially opening up the nation to a
boom-bust inflation cycle.
“Inflationary booms traditionally
don’t end well,” McMullen said.
One of the biggest impacts from in-
flation is that it cuts into the real wage
growth; Oregonians might be seeing
Blue skies light up
the Capitol's Gold
Man and Oregon
flag on Jan. 22,
2017. Oregon is the
only state to
display different
pictures on each
side of the flag,
with the reverse
showing an image
of a beaver.
more money coming into their bank ac-
counts, but with increased prices there
is no noticeable change in their stan-
dard of living.
This despite that wages and salaries
are up 11% compared to pre-pandemic
levels, even though employment re-
mains 3% below.
Oregon being an income-tax depen-
dent state, these higher wages are pro-
jected to trip Oregon’s unique “kicker”
law next year; the tax kicker is triggered
when the state’s actual revenues exceed
start-of-biennium forecasts by 2%.
The personal income tax kicker is
projected at $964 million and the corpo-
rate tax kicker is projected at $633 mil-
lion (dedicated to K-12 education).
Reporter Connor Radnovich covers
the Oregon Legislature and state gov-
at or
503-399-6864, or follow him on Twitter
at @CDRadnovich.
Woodburn barista makes wishes come true
Virginia Barreda
Salem Statesman Journal | USA TODAY NETWORK
This is part of a weekly series intro-
ducing readers to individuals who are
passionate about our Mid-Valley com-
A teddy bear can heal the heart.
While enduring one of his many che-
motherapy sessions at Doernbecher
Children’s Hospital in 2018, Henry Her-
nandez’s nurse handed him a small,
plush teddy bear.
It changed his whole attitude. From
them on, Hernandez, of Woodburn,
knew he wanted to pass the gift for-
Now 20, cancer-free and working as
a Starbucks barista, he teamed up with
the coffee chain to execute the first
statewide toy drive to benefit the chil-
dren of Make-A-Wish Foundation and
OHSU’s Doernbecher.
Last October, Henry’s Gift Toy Drive
procured more than 1,400 toys from
about 100 participating Starbucks
stores in Oregon.
Wish granted: Henry gives back
Hernandez was 16 and had just com-
pleted his sophomore year at North
Marion High School in Aurora when
doctors found a cancerous tumor in his
“It hurt my family more than it hurt
me,” Hernandez said of his diagnosis.
He asked his mother, father and two
older sisters to stay strong with him.
Hernandez began chemotherapy
over that summer, spending a week at a
time in the hospital.
“The faster the rounds, the faster you
can get cancer out of your body,” he said.
Hernandez said he feels fortunate to
have moved through chemo quickly, but
the cancer ward was a stressful envi-
ronment. He was among the oldest pa-
tients in the program. During chemo, he
said, he suffered anxiety, memory loss
and, for a short time, developed a stut-
Hope came in the form of the teddy
bear from his nurse.
“My body was so drained,” he said.
“When she came up to me with a toy, I
looked at it and I looked at her and I
grabbed it. It brought me so much joy
and peace and warmth to my heart. It
made my whole chemo round a lot bet-
After that, he was on a mission.
He and his sister went to the Disney
Store and spent $200 on toys for chil-
Henry Hernandez works at Starbucks
in Woodburn and helped organize a toy
drive for Make-A-Wish and
Doernbecher Children’s Hospital.
Henry Hernandez, who “just wants to give back to the world” poses for a photo
at Starbucks in Woodburn, Ore. on Jan. 7. PHOTOS BY BRIAN HAYES/STATESMAN JOURNAL
dren at the hospital with money he re-
ceived from family for his 17th birthday.
And when Make-A-Wish foundation
wish-granters asked Hernandez what
he wanted, he requested a toy drive for
the children at Doernbecher. By then,
Hernandez was finishing up chemo and
was in the first semester of his junior
The wish-granters were taken aback.
“They were like, ‘OK, but like, what
do you want?’ And I’m like, ‘That’d be
the best thing you could give me,’” he
Hernandez, his family and wish-
granters bought bags filled with stuffed
characters from the Disney Store: An as-
sortment of Mickey Mouse, Minnie, Plu-
to, Nemo, Winnie-the-Pooh, Dumbo,
Toy Story’s Forky, Moana’s Pua and
Stitch stuffed characters were assem-
bled in a room at the hospital. Children
were invited to pick out their favorite.
“It’s the best feeling ever. You can just
see them get so happy,” Hernandez said.
“It gave my heart a whole bunch of joy
and warmth. The goal was to give them
that feeling, too, so hopefully we were
able to do that.”
But it didn’t stop there.
Growing the dream
Hernandez began working at Star-
bucks on Highway 99E in Woodburn in
late 2019, during his senior year, thanks
to a love for caffeine forged by frequent
morning coffee runs with his mom.
“I remember during my first chemo
round, my main concern to my nurse
was can I still drink coffee?” he laughed.
Word spread about Hernandez’s time
as a patient at Doernbecher and his toy
While sharing his story with Star-
bucks Oregon regional director Michelle
Borke, he went out on a limb: “We
should have a toy drive with Starbucks,”
he told her.
To his surprise, his wish was granted
in 2021, when Starbucks leadership es-
tablished Henry’s Toy Drive across all
Starbucks shops in Oregon.
Throughout October, the stores post-
ed flyers advertising the toy drive with
QR codes to children’s Amazon Wish-
lists and Starbucks made posts adver-
tising the drive on social media.
Boxes stationed in the lobby of each
shop were soon flooded with toy dona-
tions. Starbucks leadership often had to
drop them off at the end of each week,
Henry said. He and his family made the
last round of deliveries to Make-A-Wish
and Doernbecher themselves.
Donors across the state gifted more
than 1,400 toys. Now, it’s an annual
event and Hernandez is already itching
to plan this year’s drive.
“This really opened up my eyes, be-
cause all I had to do was ask,” he said.
“You can’t be afraid of opening the door.”
Henry Hernandez, 20, of Woodburn,
teamed up with Starbucks leadership
to create Henry's Gift Toy Drive, a
statewide drive to benefit
Make-A-Wish and Doernbecher
Children's Hospital kids. MAKE-A-WISH
Henry said this is just the start. Giv-
ing is infectious, and there’s more to be
“I want to somehow give back to not
just Oregon, but the whole world,” he
said. “If I could, I would. If I can, I will. I
feel like this is a calling.”
If you have an idea for someone we
should profile for this series, please
email Statesman Journal senior news
editor Alia Beard Rau at arau@gan-
Virginia Barreda is the breaking
news and public safety reporter for the
Statesman Journal. She can be reached
at 503-399-6657 or at vbarreda@states- Follow her on Twitter
at @vbarreda2.