Brown to lawmakers: It’s time to start passing budgets

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown talks with members of the media to preview legislation for the upcoming session at the Oregon State Capitol, in Salem, Ore., on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016. (AP Photo/Timothy J. Gonzalez)

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Gov. Kate Brown says talks of a special session are still too early, but time is running out for Oregon lawmakers to break their deadlock and balance the 2017-19 budget by July 10.

Brown said Thursday she wants to see a health care tax, government spending reforms and a long-term transportation package pass within the next four weeks, but she’s not sure there’s enough support for a controversial business tax overhaul.

Division over the business tax has been stalling progress on the budget, which faces a $1.4 billion funding gap.

The standoff has been stalling other less-controversial proposals, including the $8.2 billion transportation package, which labor unions threatened to derail without a business tax. Brown said the unions’ strategy is “like cutting off your nose to spite your face.”