Oregon Senate Approves Funding Package, Ends Special Session

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber is expected to sign a package of five bills aimed at providing more money for education, senior programs, and other state services after the state Senate gave its approval Wednesday to the legislation.

Passage of the bills, which also create a new tax bracket for small and family-owned businesses, ended a three-day Special Legislative Session and garnered high praise from both sides of the aisle.

“This is a momentous day for all of Oregon,” said Sen. Rod Monroe (D-Portland). “Today, we directed another $100 million to K-12 schools, which will add more days to the academic year and shrink classroom sizes.”

Sen. Bruce Starr (R-Hillsboro) said the new tax bracket for small businesses “is a groundbreaking policy that I believe will help Oregon small businesses grow and add new jobs, and therefore help working families succeed.”

School districts across Oregon say they expect to use the additional revenue to add more teachers and provide more instruction days during the school year. In addition, the package will provide an additional $40 million for universities and community colleges to keep tuition increases to a minimum.

The five bills approved on Wednesday include:

  • SB 861, which makes further cuts to the cost-of-living adjustments received by PERS retirees;
  • SB 862, which reforms certain policies related to PERS;
  • SB 863, which forbids counties from adopting local ordinances relating to agriculture;
  • HB 3601, which increases the corporate tax rate, modifies the personal exemption credit, reforms the senior medical deduction, and increases the cigarette tax while introducing lower tax rates for small and family-owned businesses;
  • HB 5101, which appropriates about $200 million to critical state services in the current budget cycle.

The bills now move to the governor’s desk, and Kitzhaber has said he will sign each of them.

 

Questions? Contact Gary Stein: 503.350.2216, gstein@nwcua.org.

Posted in Advocacy News.