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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.

Kitzhaber Sets Date For 'Potential' Special Session

M.O. Stevens
Wikimedia -

Oregon lawmakers could return to the capitol later this month for a Special Session to vote on public pensions and taxes. Governor John Kitzhaber made that announcement Wednesday, but it’s not a done deal.

Kitzhaber says he'll call lawmakers in on September 30 -- but only if he's confident there are enough votes to pass a deal on raising taxes and cutting public pensions. The money raised and saved would go toward public schools.

The Democrat hasn't revealed the details of his latest proposal. A tax and pension plan fell short of passing in the closing days of the legislative session in July. Since then, the governor has been meeting with education and business leaders, trying to rally support for a bargain.

Kitzhaber would need yes votes from all of the Democrats and at least two Republicans in each chamber in order to pass a tax hike. GOP leaders have warmed up to the idea of cuts to public pensions, but don’t like the idea of raising taxes.

News of a possible Special Session comes as the governor weighs a decision on whether to run for re-election in 2014.

On the Web :

Governor Kitzhaber's statement - Office of the Governor