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Democratic Pension Cuts On Fast Track

A Democratic plan to curb retirement benefits for government workers could reach Gov. John Kitzhaber’s desk by the end of next week.

Oregon's state capitol in Salem.

Oregon’s state capitol in Salem.

Chris Lehman/OPB

The Legislature’s budget committee is scheduled to vote Friday to advance the pension-cutting bill, setting the stage for votes in the full House and Senate. Kitzhaber’s office says the governor will sign it.

Republicans vow to oppose the effort. They say it’s too paltry to effectively deal with rising pension costs.

House Speaker Tina Kotek says she’s not willing to cut deeper. That’s setting up a showdown over the next major piece of the Democratic budget proposal — $275 million in new tax revenue.

Raising revenue would require Republican votes, but Senate Republicans say they’ll only give their support for tax increases if Democrats allow deeper pension cuts.

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