Legislative Panel Consider Special-Session Deal

By Jim McCoy Thu 26th September NewsGov. John KitzhaberOregon legislature
A special-session agreement between Gov. John Kitzhaber and legislative leaders gets its first public airing Thursday. A joint committee of House and Senate members will hear from experts and the general public about the proposal to scale back public-employee pensions, modify the tax code and prohibit local governments from regulating genetically modified crops. Dozens of people have already submitted written comments. Proponents say the proposal would save money for state and local governments, allowing school districts to add instructional days or hire more teachers. Some opponents are critical of the tax plan, which raises costs for certain businesses while lowering them for others. Other critics say the state shouldn't be cutting benefits for public employees, or that a bill on genetically modified crops has no place in the deal.

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