House OKs budget for statewide services
By MITCH LIES
SALEM -- The Oregon House has passed a 2013-15 budget for the Oregon University System that will allow Oregon State University's statewide public services to continue operating at their existing service levels.
After two injections of funds -- one from the Ways and Means Committee co-chairs and a second from the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Education -- the statewides' funding increase is nearly in line with that of rest of the Oregon University System, which received a 7 percent increase in funding.
The increase is needed to cover increased costs in goods, services, salaries, health care and pension benefits, according to university administrators.
The statewide public services include the OSU Experiment Station, Extension Service and Forest Research Laboratory.
The House passed the budget, contained in House Bill 5031, by a vote of 48-12.
In floor speeches preceding the vote, several House members said they were going to vote against the budget because it fails to adequately fund the university system.
"I don't vote against it because it is too much," Rep. Mitch Greenlick, D-Portland, said.
"I vote against it because it is extraordinarily inadequate.
"We have continued our disinvestment in higher education in this state to the point where it is pitiful," Greenlick said.
The OUS budget now goes to the Senate.