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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.

Advocates Push For Deeper Pension Cuts As Talks Stall

Some education and business groups are pushing Oregon lawmakers for deeper cuts to the state’s public pension system. Talks between Governor John Kitzhaber and four legislative leaders stalled this week without an agreement.

Advocates for additional pension cuts made their case at a press conference on the front steps of the state capitol Thursday. Betty Reynolds serves on the West Linn-Wilsonville School Board. She says the current system is too costly.

"We're hoping that the governor and legislators can reach a truly bipartisan deal that helps school children statewide while ensuring a fair, sustainable, well-funded pension system."

Many Oregon legislative Republicans attended the press conference but did not speak. Democrats say they've already approved some public pension cuts, and that their proposed school funding package includes $1 billion more than the last budget cycle.

Public employee unions have threatened to sue to try to block any changes to public pensions.