Regional Public Journalism
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
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.

Oregon Senate Changes Course, Approves Schools Budget

M.O. Stevens
Wikimedia -

A major component of the Oregon budget is on the move in the legislature again. The Oregon Senate Wednesday signed off on the spending plan for K-12 schools. It comes one week after the same budget proposal failed.

Oregon schools get the bulk of their money through the legislature. This budget would represent a sizable boost over last time. But the proposal failed on the Senate floor last week when one Democrat joined with all of the Republicans to block it.

The idea was to give lawmakers additional time to come up with a deal on higher taxes and further cuts to public pensions. That deal hasn't materialized, but some lawmakers said it's time to move ahead anyway.

Senator Jeff Kruse was one of seven Republicans who changed course and voted for the plan. He said, "I'm going to support this budget today because my schools need some certainty, because guess what, their budgets are due in a few days and they need to know what the number is. But my friends, we could have done much better than this."

The K-12 budget now goes to the House, where it could come up for a vote by the end of the week. It's expected to pass.

On the Web:

SB 5519: School funding plan - Oregon Legislature