Kitzhaber calls special session on PERS, school funding

John Kitzhaber
FILE - In this June 28, 2012, file photo, Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber gestures during a news conference at the Capitol in Salem, Ore. Oregon lawmakers who want to lower the costs of pension benefits for government employees face a difficult dance to craft changes that produce meaningful savings without reneging on iron-clad promises made to workers in years past. Gov. Kitzhaber also has said he'd like to see changes. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, file)

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Gov. John Kitzhaber says he’ll call Oregon lawmakers into special session to vote on measures affecting taxes, public-employee pensions and the regulation of genetically modified crops.

Kitzhaber said Wednesday he’ll call lawmakers to Salem on Sept. 30. The announcement caps months of negotiations with House and Senate leaders from both parties.

Officials say the deal includes further cuts in retirement benefits for government employees, saving millions for state and local governments, including school districts. It also would raise new revenue, and certain small businesses would see a tax cut.

To sweeten the pot for Republicans, who are reluctant to vote for higher taxes, the deal also would allow a vote on a bill prohibiting local governments from regulating genetically modified crops.

House and Senate leaders say they’re not sure yet whether the agreement has enough support to pass.

— The Associated Press

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