People of Northwest Public Radio
Mon June 10, 2013
Still No Agreement On Revenue, Pensions In Oregon Legislature
Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 3:54 pm
Oregon lawmakers could vote as soon as Tuesday on money for K-12 education. But final approval of the spending plan likely won't happen until later this month.
On the table right now is $6.75 billion for Oregon schools. That's a sizable jump over the current spending plan. But some of the state's largest districts say even with that increase, they'd still need to cut teachers or school days.
Both parties want to bump the number up. They just have different ideas on how to do that. Republicans want deeper cuts to public pensions because they say the system is costing schools too much money. Democrats including House Speaker Tina Kotek say they'll agree to that only if the GOP goes along with higher taxes on upper-income people and businesses.
"If we're really going to turn the corner on the post-recession and move towards much stronger investments in schools, we're going to need additional revenue to do that," says Kotek.
Democratic Governor John Kitzhaber has been meeting with lawmakers in both chambers to try to break lose the political logjam. The legislature is scheduled to adjourn on June 28, but that deadline could be pushed back if no agreement is reached.