Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has signed a tax on hospitals meant to preserve health insurance and balance the state budget.
Supporters say the tax is needed to cover the rising costs of insuring hundreds of thousands of mainly low-income Oregonians.
The law is expected to raise more than $670 million in the upcoming two-year budget cycle. It's a big part of Democratic efforts to fill what was once a $1.8 billion dollar budget hole.
Critics say it's a sales tax on health care. Republican state Rep. Julie Parrish intends to start collecting signatures so voters can decide the tax's fate.
"Nobody is saying don't fund Medicaid," said Parrish. "There was another alternative bill – there were actually several different ways to create enough health care savings and share the resources we have."
If it makes it to the ballot, Parrish's referendum effort could hold up collection of the tax until after the vote.
Legislators are also considering a bill that would speed up when that election would happen.
Parrish says holding a special election for the tax is itself a waste of tax money.