Bulletin staff report
SALEM - Oregon’s special legislative session nearly imploded before it officially started, but by Wednesday lawmakers recovered and passed a package of five bills that trim public retirees’ benefits, raise taxes and becomes known within the Capitol as the “grand bargain.”
Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek, D-Portland, and House Republican Leader Mike McLane, R-Powell Butte, praised the package.
The two issued this joint statement:
“Oregonians can be proud that the Oregon Legislature is not gridlocked. We responded to (Gov. John Kitzhaber’s) call for a special session by working together even when it was difficult. We brought additional reforms to the Public Employee Retirement System, helped seniors afford medical care, made a dedicated investment in mental health, supported Oregon small businesses and put more money into education this biennium.”
“This compromise package for education and small business included something that was difficult for every member of the Legislature. Every legislator had to wrestle with these decisions and determine the best path forward. We are grateful for all the hard work done by our colleagues.”