Budget Adjustments on Legislative “To Do” list

Coast Radio News
Local News

28 January 2014

Budget adjustment on the list of things “to do”

An expensive wildfire season and a slight decrease in anticipated revenue will force Oregon lawmakers to rework parts of the state budget.

Representative Peter Buckley of Ashland, one of the Legislature’s chief budget writers, says the impact to the general public will be minimal.  But, he says, some agencies may have to delay hiring new workers or put off the start of a new program.

State agencies are in the process of reporting budget options to lawmakers, who will have to make a decision once they begin a five-week legislative session next Monday.

Several massive wildfires this summer quickly “burned” through the money set aside for firefighting, leaving the state with a $40-million tab.

Some agencies also have to contend with last year’s “across-the-board” federal budget cuts.

Lawmakers have already been in committee meetings and hearings over the past few weeks in preparation for the start of the annual session.

Gas Prices Hold Steady in the New Year

Up a penny, down a penny… the average cash price for a gallon of regular gasoline in Florence has remained steady in the first few weeks of the new year.  This week’s average is $3.15, based on a survey of the five retail outlets inside the city.

That compares to a statewide average, as measured by Triple-A, of $3.29 a gallon… and a national average price of $3.27.

Designated Drivers Important

Super Bowl Sunday has become one of the most dangerous days on the highway.  That’s according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration which says 48-percent of traffic fatalities on Super Bowl Sunday involve a driver or motorcycle operator under the influence of alcohol.

Last year on the big day there were two traffic fatalities in Oregon… one of those was alcohol involved.

Captain Ted Phillips, director of the Oregon State Police Patrol Services Division, says one of the safest ways to get home after the game is by choosing a “designated driver” before the party starts.

Oregon State Police are promoting a plan of “Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk”.  That includes a list of tips to increase your game-day safety by “handing off” your keys before the party starts; pacing yourself… don’t drink too much too fast; call a cab or a friend for a ride home; and always buckle up.

Weather On the Way

The central and north coast could get as much as one to two inches of rain over the next few days as a strong frontal system makes its way onshore.

The National Weather Service says rain will increase this evening as a moist warm front moves into the northwest.  The front will become cold tomorrow and move on through the area, continuing the precipitation.

Snow levels are expected to drop to pass elevations in the Cascades by late tomorrow, delivering anywhere from six to 12 inches of snow in the mountains.

Forecasters say residents may have become used to the extended dry period… but caution residents to get ready for a return to more typical weather.