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"Rally for a Better Way" Draws Crowds to Salem

May 20, 2011

SALEM, Ore. - Hundreds will be on the Capitol steps today for the "Rally for a Better Way." Publicly funded workers, families and Oregonians who depend on state services will be speaking about state budget approaches other than "cuts only."

Karen Miller, a committee co-chair for SEIU Local 503, one of more than 60 organizations sponsoring the event, says they'll be highlighting a recent report that could help guide lawmakers to efficiencies and revenue.

"We have, as state employees, identified suggestions to our department heads, to our legislators and to the governor, that have identified nearly $1 billion in revenue that Oregon has been missing."

Some of the report's recommendations have been incorporated in the latest version of the state budget, Miller says, adding that more must be addressed in order to make sure the budget is not balanced in a way that creates a burden on those least able to afford it.

Home0care worker Rebecca Sandoval is bringing one of her clients to the rally, and says they both will speak to the need for fairness in the state budget.

"There is a better way to do this than taking it out of the hides of the people who need it the most, and the people who can least afford to pay for this crisis."

Oregonians are being bused in for the rally from all around the state, including Pendleton, Newport and Bend. The rally is to begin at 11:30 a.m.

The "Better Way" report is online here.

Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - OR