The Legislature coasted to a close today, after months of futile shadow-boxing over whether to add to early session cuts to the Public Employee Retirement System and to partially offset such cuts with a tax increase.
That ultimately did not happen, to Gov. John Kitzhaber's dismay.
The governor made his displeasure clear in a statement following the announcement of sine die, the Latin term for adjournment that lawmakers cherish.
Here's Kitzhaber's take:
âLegislators have done meaningful work this year, but we have one very important piece of unfinished business,â said Kitzhaber in a statement. âCombining PERS savings and new revenue will prime the pump for sustained reinvestment in education from early learning to college and career training.âThe Governor continues to support a PERS and revenue package that ends teacher layoffs and lost school days, reduces tuition increases for state universities and community colleges, and follows through on his goal to reduce the unfunded liability in the public retirement system by a total of $5 billion â a 30 percent reduction.
Growing Jobs and Strengthening the EconomyÂ· Positioning Oregon to make critical investments in the I-5 Bridge Replacement project.Â· Leveraging nearly $1 billion worth of bonding capacity to put thousands of Oregonians to work on construction projects in every part of the state. Â· Investing in critical infrastructure and jobs programs including ConnectOregon, industrial lands readiness, and Small Business Development Centers. Â· Supporting jobs in agriculture by strengthening the Farm to School program and bolstering growing industries with support for fermentation sciences.