Chris Dudley: Oregon needs to make three main structural changes in state government
We must fundamentally change how Oregon's government works. We will not only have to slow the growth of government, but we will also have to make sweeping changes specifically to the way Salem spends, the way we educate and how we compensate state employees.
To begin, I will be asking all government employees to pick up a percentage of their PERS contribution in order to decrease the total compensation costs. In addition, I will ask state employees to start paying a portion of their health care costs.
Finally, I will create a new standard for negotiations because we can no longer afford the one-sided negotiations of the past. I can assure Oregonians that taxpayers will finally have a voice in this discussion.
When the unions are unhappy then Oregon can succeed. Anyone who pays attention to politics here knows it's the public employees that drive everything. Every legislative session is a "budget crisis" regardless of the economic circumstances.
If Dudley will forcefully take on the unions then he is Oregon's best hope.