SUITE 1045

800 NE OREGON, # 32




Theresa McHugh

Budget and Management Division Administrator

Department of Administrative Services

155 Cottage Street NE

Salem, Oregon 97310

October 14, 1998

Dear Ms. McHugh

On behalf of the Bureau of Labor and Industries, I would like to request a meeting to discuss the attached budget appeal. Funding for the investigation of injured workers' discrimination complaints is an important policy decision for the State of Oregon. Failure to include continuation of funding for this program in the Governor's budget would represent a serious departure from the manner in which the program has been treated historically.

Prior to 1995, funding for the investigation of these claims was included in our general fund budget. In 1995, the Governor's proposed budget shifted funding from the general fund to the worker compensation fund. In 1997, that funding shift was questioned by the Management-

Labor Advisory Committee for Worker Compensation, but was ultimately supported by them for the current biennium with the understanding that an alternative funding source be identified in the future. Even so, the funding shift was narrowly approved by the legislature.

For the coming biennium, the M-LAC recommendation is to return funding for these investigations to the general fund. We are supportive of the funding shift, provided the program remains funded. Unfortunately, our proposal to shift funding back to the general fund (Package 301) has not been included in the Governor's budget plan, even though funding for the program has been removed from the worker compensation fund.

I would like to request a meeting in order to better understand what we can expect regarding the continuation of funding for this critical program. It is particularly important to us in light of the analyst's recommendation to pursue new fund shifts in our Wage and Hour Division (Package 090), fund shifts that could likewise be undone in a subsequent biennium.

Very truly yours,






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