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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.

'Grand Bargain' Approved By Oregon Legislature In Special Session

Matt Howry

The so-called "Grand Bargain" has passed in Salem. Oregon lawmakers have approved all five of the bills on their special session agenda.

The package includes targeted tax hikes and tax breaks, as well as cuts to pensions for some retired public employees. Many of the bills passed with very narrow margins.

And some lawmakers who voted for the measures said they were doing so against their better judgment.

"This is a bill that I'm going to hold my nose and probably support it, unless someone in this chamber gives me a very good reason not to," said Republican Representative Sal Esquivel.

The package also included a bill that prevents local governments in Oregon from banning genetically modified organisms. The special session sputtered along for two days before legislative leaders rounded up enough "yes" votes for the measures to pass.

On the Web:

Information about the special session - Oregon Legislature