Solution: The Opportunity Initiative

The Opportunity Initiative creates a Constitutionally- dedicated permanent fund that will be invested to generate income. Income from the investment returns will both increase student assistance in the short-term, and also put Oregon on a path toward a lasting solution.

The fund could be created in various ways, such as direct deposits over time, bond proceeds, or periodic appropriations.

The fund itself isn’t spent, but rather invested - with the earnings dedicated to student assistance programs. The benefits are proportional to the size of the fund, but are expected to continue to grow over time.

To maximize the impact of the grants, program administrators would be asked to design incentives for:

• Critical degree programs in STEM fields.

• Vocational training and other workforce development programs.

• On-time graduation (measured by credits), to reduce infrastructure needs as well as student debt.

EXAMPLE: $100 million deposit

There are a number of ways to grow the fund. As one example, bonding for $100 million over 30 years could mean total debt service costs (with interest) of $181 million. Over that period of time, the Opportunity Initiative would produce $188 million in new student assistance in addition to creating a permanent and growing fund of $162 million, for a financial benefit to the State of over $350 million.

Various other long-term financing plans show what it would look like to continue to actively support the growth of the fund over 30 years. Some of these plans involve direct deposits, while others involve additional bonds in smaller increments. Each plan provides a net benefit to the State.


The Opportunity Initiative will be presented to the 2013 Legislature in the form of two measures, Senate Joint Resolution 1 to head to the ballot and a statutory measure (Senate Bill 11) implementing the program.

Read about the Legislation >

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