Governor’s Priorities Mirror Business Concerns, CFM Research Shows

Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski’s legislative priorities for the 2009 closely match those of Oregon business leaders, according to a survey conducted by CFM for Oregon Business magazine. The survey of the magazine’s readership indicates the governor’s fingers are pretty close to the business pulse.

In his January 12, 2009 State of the State speech, Kulongoski highlighted four priorities for the state – education, health care, climate change and transportation. By comparison, business leaders’ priorities are transportation infrastructure and health care. However, climate change legislation is the lowest rated priority among Oregon’s business decision makers.

CFM conducted an online survey of 613 Oregon Business leaders as part of a regular quarterly outreach by the magazine of its readership. In order of priority, the business community’s top concerns (see PDF) were:

1. Economic development, 60 percent;

2. K-12 education, 57 percent;

3. Energy programs, 56 percent;

4. Transportation infrastructure, 55 percent;

5. Health care, 54 percent;

6. Revenue restructuring, 40 percent;

7. Funding for higher education, 36 percent;

8. Water resource issues, 27 percent;

9. Land use, 25 percent;

10. Workforce training, 21 percent;

11. Agriculture, 20 percent; and

12. Climate change, 16 percent.

The challenge for the state house and lawmakers is low expectations, according to the survey. Fewer than one in four of Oregon Business survey respondents are confident the legislature will successfully address important issues facing the state.