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Oregon’s special session

The timing is notable. This evening, Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski was headed into his first debate with his two Democratic opponents in this year’s primary election.

A few hours before that, he said he was calling the Oregon legislature into special session, effective April 20.

The timing of the one couldn’t have had anything to do with the other, could it? After all, the call abruptly became the topic du jour once he did it – affecting the content and twist of the debate.

Regardless, the call had merit. People fromboth parties were calling for it. The subject matter listed in his call was certainly weighty enough:

The legislature should limit its attention to two critical issues facing the state of Oregon:

The need to rebalance the budget of the Department of Human Services, and address revenue shortfalls caused by the loss of anticipated federal dollars and higher-than-anticipated caseloads; and
The need to provide additional funding support to Oregon’s public schools.

“I want to emphasize that I am committed to an efficient and productive special session. Discussions with legislative leadership and individual members have gone well. I believe if we work together we can accomplish our task in one or two days.

Those legislators with primary contests ahead no doubt hope so too.

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