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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.

Oregon Legislative Budget Writers Release Spending Proposal

Gregg M. Erickson

SALEM, Ore. – The Oregon legislature's chief budget writers released their proposed two-year spending plan Monday. The two Democrats in charge of drawing up the budget outline say all of the numbers are subject to negotiation. But state Senator Richard Devlin and state Representative Peter Buckley say it will be hard to persuade them to lower the $6.75 billion they've set aside for K-12 education.

The idea is to make up for some of the cuts that have happened to schools over the past four years or so, where they've had to lay off some teachers or cut school days from the schedule. So this budget proposal would increase education spending over the last two-year budget cycle. And it also increases it to an amount that's higher than what the governor proposed in his budget proposal a few months ago.

So on the one hand, that's good news for schools. But on the other hand, some people are saying even this proposal is not enough.

Legislative budget-writers also recommended putting a cap on cost of living increases for retired public employees. But they said the final details of that proposal are open to negotiations.