Still, the costly proposal in Oregon faces significant headwinds this session as the state must close a $1.8 billion budget gap — a hole that’s in large part the result of the growing cost of the Oregon Health Plan for legal Oregon residents.
Senate Bill 558 and House Bill 2726 would make 17,600 noncitizens newly eligible for the Health Plan, according to early estimates.
The state would have to cover the full cost of their health insurance, a projected $55 million in the 2017-19 budget.
“We have a state that thinks it has a $1.8 billion budget gap and yet we’re considering giving more state benefits to thousands of illegal immigrants,” said Jim Ludwick of Oregonians for Immigration Reform. “It boggles the mind.”
That's putting it mildly, Jim. At time when tax revenues are double the national average, Oregon still spends $1.8 billion more than it takes in - but Democratics here want to increase that by another $55 million because it's For The Children™.
They may be here illegally, but by golly, they need more services.
I don't listen to talk radio, but I've run across a statement from one of those folks that actually sums things up quite well:
"Liberalism is a mental disorder."
These bills both contain "emergency clauses", meaning that once the Democratics pass them, they go into effect immediately and cannot be referred to the voters.
Despite progressive stances on many social issues, Oregon voters have sometimes resisted policies favoring unauthorized immigrants. In 2014, they thrashed, by a 2-to-1 ratio, a proposal to grant them short-term driving licenses.
And that's exactly why they don't want to allow a vote on their latest issue. Because these are just "unauthorized immigrants". And a bank robber just makes "unauthorized withdrawals".