On Tuesday, Gov. Ted Kulongoski advised legislative leaders, school superintendents and agency directors that state economists expect tax collections to be down significantly more than the $577 million shortfall projected in May.
(snippet)"Unfortunately, it now appears that the ongoing effects of this recession will continue to undermine our budget," the governor wrote in a letter to his fellow Democratic leaders, Senate President Peter Courtney and House Speaker Dave Hunt.
The warning comes nine days before state economist Tom Potiowsky is scheduled to deliver an updated economic forecast to lawmakers. But Potiowsky offered a disturbing preview of that talk in a memo to the governor obtained Tuesday by The Oregonian through a public records request.
"Many indicators, including housing starts, consumer spending, bank lending, job growth and others have been weaker than expected," Potiowsky wrote on Aug. 11. "Likewise for Oregon, the indication is that the recovery is weaker than our assessment in the last quarterly forecast."