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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 Legislature Enters Final Two-Week Stretch

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Oregon DOT

Oregon lawmakers have two weeks left to finish work in this year's legislative session. Major issues still remain on their agenda.

On Tuesday, the House takes a key vote on a funding plan for kindergarten through grade-12 schools. Democrats delayed that vote for a week to allow more time to come up with a compromise on raising more revenue through a corporate tax hike. Those efforts fell apart, and it appears that lawmakers will go ahead and approve an $8.2 billion K-12 budget.

Another piece of unfinished business is a massive transportation spending package, which would increase the gas tax and vehicle registration fees, as well as levy new taxes on the sale of bicycles and cars.

The money would be spent on a variety of transportation projects including new freeway lanes, expanded public transit, and more bike paths. The fate of the bill remains uncertain as some interest groups have threatened to refer the measure to the ballot.

Lawmakers have to finish up their work by July 10.