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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Threatened 'No' Vote Puts Oregon Education Budget In Limbo

Oregon Legislature

The Democratic-controlled Oregon Senate is scheduled to act Monday on the largest single portion of the state spending plan: Money for K-12 schools. But there's a chance the vote will be delayed. That's because a single Democrat has come out against the proposal, throwing a monkey wrench into the process.

This would be the second time the schools budget is held over to another day. With less than two weeks left before the scheduled adjournment, Democratic state Senator Chris Edwards continues to hold out for more money for schools.

Why is his vote key? It's because without it, Democrats don't have the majority needed to pass bills. Edwards says the current proposal isn't good enough because it would mean layoffs or fewer school days in his Eugene district.

"There are a lot of folks in the capitol and stakeholders in this process that would like me to vote yes so that everybody can go home," Edwards says. "But they don't have the same problems with their schools that I'm having in Eugene."

Republicans in the Oregon Senate have also locked up against the proposed education spending plan. They want additional cuts to the state's public pension system. Doing so would lower operating costs for school districts