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The Effect of Oregon’s Potential Budget Cuts on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People and Their Children


On January 26th, 2010, Oregon voters will vote on two legislative tax initiatives. Measure 66 would increase the marginal tax rate on personal income above $250,000 for couples, and Measure 67 would increase the $10 minimum corporate tax and increase marginal tax rates for businesses earning in excess of $250,000. Together, these measures will help Oregon confront its budget shortfalls by increasing revenues by as much as $730 million, over 5% of the currently approved general fund budget.1 If voters reject these measures, the legislature may substantially decrease spending on social services and programs.2 Such cuts would negatively affect many individuals and families in Oregon’s LGBT community, particularly those who are poor, families with children, the elderly, youth in institutionalized settings, the disabled, and those living with HIV/AIDS.

In this brief, we use data from the 2006-2008 American Community Survey (ACS) to estimate the number of Oregonians in same-sex couples who utilize social services and programs. Since that survey predates the recent recession, the current number of affected LGBT recipients is likely to be even higher than the figures presented here. Although the ACS does not include the entire LGBT population, only those individuals that identify as being in a same-sex relationship, or all of the many services and programs offered by the State that are being considered for cuts, the ACS provides a snapshot of same-sex couples in Oregon who may encounter decreased or eliminated services and programs if Measures 66 and 67 fail to pass.

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