Kate Brown
Some wildly inaccurate budget information has been attributed to the Secretary of State's office in recent days and I need to set the record straight. The Comprehensive Annual Financial Report issued by my office last week does not identify $3.3 billion in unrestricted funds available to the Legislature, as some recent statements have claimed. This information has been taken out of context and fails to reflect the actual status of these funds. Make no mistake about it: these dollars are subject to federal restrictions as well as statutory and constitutional spending constraints. These include transportation funds that cannot, under the law, be spent for general fund purposes, such as schools and prisons. Expenditures from these funds can be made only for specific purposes and only under strict guidelines. At this critical point in the election process, with ballots now in the hands of voters, it is more important than ever for voters to have accurate information. Anyone providing information about state spending to help voters has an obligation to provide an honest and fair representation. Oregonians deserve nothing less. Here is a link to the report: http://www.sos.state.or.us/audits/reports/full/2009/2009-34.pdf