The frenzied pace continues in Salem as legislators and lobbyists alike race to schedule bills for a work session before the April 10 deadline. While several controversial issues were raised this week, including gain share and paid sick leave, the biggest debate surrounded the K-12 budget on the House floor.
House Minority Leader Mike McLane (R-Powell Butte) ended the long debate, stating that the K-12 budget was all about stealing the kicker from Oregonians while simultaneously raising taxes. He went on to note that this vote will impact every decision throughout the remainder of session and into 2016. “Oregonians, take note,” he warned, “it’s just begun.”
The budget, set at $7.255 billion, is a $600 million increase from the last biennium. House Democrats acknowledged that while this increased budget was a start, they’d still like to do more. “We have been fighting to get our schools back on track for years, and today’s investment is another step in the right direction,” said Rep. Peter Buckley (D-Ashland).
The debate will continue next week in the Senate. We expect the bill to be signed by Gov. Kate Brown within the week.