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The budget conflict

Up to this (late) point in the Oregon legislative session, the legislature’s majority and Governor Ted Kulongoski seem to have been on the same page on almost everything. But now that the last of the budget decisions are coming in, that’s changing.

The school budget will either larger – because a rainy-day fund was heavily raided – or smaller – because it was only lightly raided – at the end of this. Right now, indications are that Oregon’s legislators are in favor of a heavy raid, while Kulongoski is flatly opposed, to the point of veto. The full scale of the conflict is likely to showdown next week.

Who prevails? No certainty, but legislators are likely, for now, to reflect the difficulty of making the more conceptual case for a low raid. It’s a good case. But harder to get through to people on a gut level, at a tough time, just after a string of tax increases already have been approved . . .

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