Oregon lawmakers got a first look Thursday at the newest attempt to strike a deal on higher taxes and additional cuts to public pensions.
A Senate panel unveiled the plan Thursday afternoon. It features roughly $200 million in higher taxes on some businesses and upper income earners. Cigarette smokers would face an increase of ten cents per pack. The deal would also cut retirement benefits for public employees.
Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber says the proposal will save money not just this year, but in years to come. "With this package we can not only create a historic education budget, one that is not propped up by one time resources, but we can also sustain and build on that investment going forward."
The proposal also won praise from business groups. But public employee unions renewed their threat to challenge any public pension changes in court.
Lawmakers did not immediately act on the plan.