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Government and Politics
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 Lawmakers Hear From Supporters, Opponents Of Special Session Measures

Oregon lawmakers are getting grief from public sector retirees and other opponents of a package of bills up for a vote next week.

People who support the measures also testified Thursday. Another hearing is scheduled Friday in advance of Monday’s special session.

Everice Moro says she never earned more than $15 per hour in 30 years of working as an educational assistant. So she told a legislative panel that they dare not lay their hands on her retirement benefits.

"Some of you seem willing to trade my future that I planned for, sacrificed for, and dedicated my adult working life for," Moro said. "I paid for my pension. I earned my pension. I was promised my pension."

Moro is one of a group of public retirees who have sued to block a separate pension cut passed earlier this year. The current version cut cost of living increases for some pensioners even further.

It's part of a package agreed to by Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber and top legislative leaders. They say the cuts as well as some targeted tax hikes are necessary to boost school funding.

It's still not clear whether the measures have enough yes votes to pass the full legislature.