Oregon budget

The Joint Committee on Tax Reform hosted a public hearing in Salem Tuesday morning on a plan that aims to help address the state’s $1.4 billion budget gap.

As Oregon lawmakers continue to debate whether to change the way the state taxes businesses, some public employee unions are threatening to take the question to voters.

It's part of a battle at the State Capitol over how to bridge a $1.4 billion budget gap.

Oregonians could be getting a kicker when they file their taxes next year. State economists said Tuesday that revenues for the current budget cycle are on track to exceed projections by a wide enough margin to trigger Oregon's unique kicker law.

In a year when Oregon lawmakers are grappling with a $1.6 billion budget shortfall, even some legislative leaders are having trouble gaining traction for their priorities.

Oregon House Democrats pitched a plan to overhaul the way the state taxes businesses Thursday. The proposal is part of an effort to bridge a $1.6 billion shortfall in the upcoming budget.

One of the largest state workers unions rallied in front of the Oregon Capitol Friday. Members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees said budget-balancing discussions by Oregon lawmakers unfairly target public employees.

A bipartisan group of Oregon lawmakers unveiled a proposal on Friday to reel in state spending during the upcoming budget cycle. The plan calls for a two-year hiring freeze on "non-essential positions."

Oregonians will have their chance to weigh in on the state's spending plan during a series of public hearings around the state. The Joint Committee On Ways and Means, the legislature's budget-writing committee, is seeking input on ways to bridge a roughly $1.8 billion shortfall in the upcoming budget cycle.

M.O. STEVENS / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

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.

The chief budget-writers for the Oregon Legislature have released a spending proposal that includes cuts to state programs. The proposal issued Thursday outlines how lawmakers might bridge an expected budget gap.

Oregon lawmakers are returning to the State Capitol Monday for a final round of prep work before the new legislative session begins. The list of meetings gives a glimpse into what lawmakers will discuss during 2017.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown rolled out a two-year spending plan Thursday at the State Capitol. The proposal tackles a $1.7 billion budget shortfall with a mix of program cuts and tax hikes.

Oregon lawmakers didn't get much by way of good news Wednesday with the release of the latest revenue projections. Those show a $52 million drop in anticipated revenue during the upcoming budget cycle.

That means lawmakers will have to patch up an even bigger budget shortfall, which is already expected to exceed $1.5 billion.

According to a new report from a state task force, the ratio of students to school nurses has more than doubled in the past five years in Oregon.

Steady job growth means Oregon's economy will continue to do well in the short term. But storm clouds are on the horizon. That was the prediction Wednesday from state economists.

The costs associated with the 41-day armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge are still being tallied up. They include police overtime, lodging, meals and fuel. Initial estimates show the total will easily top $1 million.

Oregon drivers could pay an additional four cents per gallon in state taxes. That's part of a massive transportation package unveiled Wednesday by Oregon lawmakers.

Cigar smokers in Oregon could soon have to pay more in taxes.