PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Hours after the Oregon House sent the Senate a $9 billion two-year school budget, the Oregon Senate passed it and sent it to Gov. Kate Brown for her signature.
The chamber passed the bill 18 to 11 Monday afternoon after minority Republicans ended a nearly week-long walkout to protest the levy. The measure previously passed the House and now heads to Gov. Kate Brown for her signature. The $9 billion budget is $100 million more than what Gov. Kate Brown recommended in her budget proposal
It would raise $1 billion per year through a half a percent tax on Oregon’s wealthiest businesses.
The package calls for a .057% tax on gross receipts for businesses with $1 million or more in sales, which make up less than 10% of all businesses in the state.
But Republicans voted no on the bill because they said it doesn’t address the PERS issue and they believe this to be a hidden sales tax.
Gov. Brown said she looks forward to signing the bill.
But legislative analysts say that’s still not enough. The Quality Education Commission recommends the state invest at least $10.7 billion to meet educational needs.
Oregon pays far less per student compared to other states despite the fact that school funding takes up the largest portion of the state budget.
At least $200 million of the state’s school budget is dependent on a proposed tax on business that’s consumed the legislature in the past week.
Oregon Senate officials search for Republicans for quorum
(AP) – The sergeant at arms of the Oregon Senate has a new regular duty these days besides assuring protocol and decorum are followed by staffers and visitors: Searching the state Capitol for Republican senators who have been staying away and have brought the legislative body’s business to a halt.
The tactic by the minority Republicans is rare in Oregon, but has been used throughout history, sometimes creating comical scenes. Abraham Lincoln once leapt out of a window in an attempt to deny a quorum when he was a lawmaker in Illinois. In Washington three decades ago, U.S. Sen. Bob Packwood (R-Oregon) was carried feet first into the Senate chamber after Democrats ordered the arrest of Republican senators who were denying a quorum.
The Oregon standoff entered its fifth day Monday, caused by GOP senators’ anger at a bill that raises taxes on some businesses to fund education.
— ANDREW SELSKY, Associated Press