The 79th session of the Oregon legislature kicks off Wednesday with a flurry of activity. It's the first day of a session that's expected to last through early July.
Talk of how to bridge a budget gap of roughly $1.8 billion will dominate this year's session. The answer to that question likely won't be known for months. Lawmakers are kicking off the discussion on the first day with a meeting on the state's public employee pension system. Any cost-cutting proposal would have to pass both constitutional muster and gain enough lawmaker votes.
The first day will also feature talks on a possible large-scale transportation funding package. Supporters of a measure to increase the age limit for tobacco sales to 21 will hold a press conference. And a rally in support of immigrants and refugees is planned for the front steps of the capitol all afternoon.
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