While the Oregon State Police expect to drastically cut funding for crime labs and some local schools may have to cut staff or school days next year, Al Frost of Hermiston said it's time the state started living within its means.
"What do you do at your house?" he asked.
Cuts prompted by the defeat Tuesday of the Measure 30 tax package proposed by the Legislature will become obvious by spring, local officials said.
That's just fine according to Frost and, apparently, about six out of 10 voters who rejected Measure 30. About 60 percent of those who cast votes in Umatilla and Morrow counties voted no Tuesday, although Pendleton passed the measure by a slight margin, Umatilla County Election Manager Patti Chapman said.
Hermiston City Council Member Harmon Springer said he wasn't surprised by the outcome. The large voter turnout said something about the mood of voters, he noted.
"I think there was some wishful thinking going on here," he said.
Mandy Sherwood of Umatilla said she was disappointed in the result.
"Education, health care, it's all going downhill," she said. "I'm not sure what the state should do next."
The Hermiston School District expects to lose about $2.8 million in state funding next school year, Superintendent Jerry Wilson said.
"Chiefly right now we appreciate the efforts of those who worked to support education and Measure 30. We'll be working on our next step in the next couple of weeks," he said.
Administrators have said in the past the two choices the district faces to reduce costs are reducing the number of school days or reducing personnel.
Jan Nichols, library media specialist at Armand Larive Middle School in Hermiston, said the vote was a blow to teachers.
"I don't think we expected it (to pass), but we hoped for it. We take the rejection kind of personally," she said.
Lorrie Wade, president of the Hermiston Association of Teachers, said teachers are at a point where they can't give any more. "Everyone is stressed out because we're so stretched," she said.
The Oregon State Police plan to cut crime lab funding May 1 by $3.9 million, which will mean cutting 56 percent of staff.
Brian Schmierbach, director of the Forensic Services Division of OSP's crime labs, said the labs will have to lay off 60 of 107 staff members. Included in these layoffs will be 54 percent of the DNA staff, 67 percent of the breath testing unit and 80 percent of firearms staff.
Before Measure 28, another tax proposal, was defeated in 2003, the crime labs had a staff of 135.
"We'll get hurt real bad," Schmierbach said.
As of now, Schmierbach said there are no plans to close the lab in Pendleton, "but that could change in the course of the next few days." Other labs are in Ontario, Portland, Salem, Bend, Springfield and Medford.
The measure's failure also will increase the time it takes for DNA and forensic lab work to be completed.
"A lot of case work just won't get done," Schmierbach said.
Since the crime labs have about 14 months left in this biennium, Schmierbach said there is a little more than one year left to try to absorb the cuts before the full effect of the losses will be felt.
One entity that won't be facing cuts is Blue Mountain Community College.
"I think the failure of Measure 30 is very unfortunate for Oregon," said Travis Kirkland, Blue Mountain Community College president, but he added that it shouldn't directly impact BMCC.
"Our budget planning is going to hold us harmless at this point," he said. "What it means to us is that the state still hasn't hit the point that it goes under our planning. We planned a very conservative budget."
Anna Price, BMCC director of finance, said the college budgeted to receive $5.13 million from the state this year. Even with the failure of Measure 30, she said BMCC expects to receive nearly $5.15 million, assuming state revenues don't falter.
"We're not going to end up in too bad a shape, thankfully," she said, adding that BMCC expects to receive next year at least the same amount as it received this year.
Spending cuts totaling $544.6 million are to take effect on May 1 as a result of voter rejection of a tax increase.
That gives the governor and legislators some time to try to rejigger the cuts to soften their impact on law enforcement and social services.
But leaders say only relatively small adjustments would be in sight - by using contingency funds or by shifts of money among an agency's programs.
"I don't want to hold out any kind of hope that we're going to restore many services," said Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem.
He said some cuts might be eased by the Legislative Emergency Board, which could dole out close to $40 million in emergency funds.
The panel that handles budget matters between sessions has some power to transfer money between programs inside an agency.
"At most, I think we'd look at the most needy and public safety," Courtney said.
Gov. Ted Kulongoski has said he would generally let the cuts happen and he has no plans to call lawmakers back to Salem.
Top legislative leaders had the same sentiment.
Senate President Peter Courtney, a Democrat, and House Speaker Karen Minnis, a Republican, said a session to redo the budget isn't likely.
"All a session would do is further divide us," said Courtney, who leads a chamber with a 15-15 partisan tie.
"We're not going to do borrowing or that kind of thing. I don't see that many options out there," Courtney said.
Republicans said the problem ends up in Kulongoski's lap.
"The ball is in the governor's court," Minnis said. "He has the ability to manage much of this, and I believe it's manageable without a special session," she said.
"He has lots of options to shift those cuts around," said House Majority Leader Wayne Scott, R-Canby.
Measure 30 vote
Umatilla County: 10,213 no (59 percent); 6,956 yes (41 percent). Voter turnout: 58 percent.
Morrow County: 1,699 no (61 percent); 1,095 yes (39 percent). Voter turnout: 59 percent.
Statewide: (With 953 of 1,002 precincts reporting statewide, or 95 percent) 632,628 no (59 percent); 433,665 yes (41 percent).