Tina Kotek

Oregon lawmakers have adjourned their 2013 legislative session. The final gavel fell just before 3 p.m. Monday.

House Speaker Tina Kotek carefully calibrated the final gavel to time it just right with her Senate colleague on the other side of the capitol rotunda. She then said to cheers, "The 77th legislative assembly is hereby adjourned Sine Die."

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.

SALEM, Ore. – Democrats in the Oregon House are backing away from a key aspect of their budget-balancing tax measure. They’re no longer proposing to end the deduction for charitable donations for some high-income earners. The move Monday comes in the face of withering criticism from nonprofits.

The original plan would have applied only to households earning more than $250,000. Majority Democrats said it would have affected less than 3 percent of Oregon taxpayers. But nonprofits complained that those taxpayers are the ones with the ability to make bigger donations.

Jessica Paterson / Flickr

Democrats in the Oregon legislature are bracing themselves for a backlash against a public pension cost cutting proposal they released Monday. The plan would create a sliding scale to cap cost of living increases for retired public workers. Budget-writers hope to apply the savings to education funding.

Shaundd / Wikimedia Commons

The Oregon House convened Monday morning and quickly made history. Members elected Portland Democrat Tina Kotek to be their speaker.

SALEM, Ore. – Oregon lawmakers are poised to make history Monday by electing the first ever openly lesbian Speaker of the House. Not just in Oregon, but in the country. Portland Democrat Tina Kotek will lead the chamber as lawmakers tackle the state budget, pension reform, and other issues. One issue not on her agenda: Same-sex marriage.

Kotek won't be the first openly gay person to lead a legislative chamber in the U.S. There have been at least four others. But she'll be the first woman. She calls that “humbling.”

Oregon House Control Likely To Return To Democrats

Nov 8, 2012
Photo Credit: Oregon State Legislature

Democrats are optimistic they have won the majority in the Oregon House. The chamber has been evenly divided for the last two years, and both parties campaigned furiously to break the log jam.

Oregon Legislature

Republicans in the Oregon House will be in the minority after this week’s election. A historic 30-30 split in the chamber has ended with Democratic wins Tuesday night in key districts. But Republicans say they hope the recent bipartisanship will carry over into the next legislative session.

Oregon Legislature

Democrats and Republicans in Oregon are locked in a fierce battle for control of the Oregon House. It's currently split right down the middle. Some of the biggest legislative money-raisers this year are two candidates who don't have serious opposition on the ballot.