Governor and legislative leaders meet of tax-pension deal

SALEM — Gov. John Kitzhaber is meeting with House and Senate leaders today in an attempt to reach an agreement on tax increases and public-employee pension cuts.

The meeting at Mahonia Hall, the governor's official residence, is aimed at finding middle ground that could lead to a special session on Sept. 30.

Months of negotiations have failed to produce a settlement that both sides could support. Many Democrats oppose steeper cuts to pension benefits for retired government workers, and tax increases are a tough sell to Republicans. But proponents say a deal would give schools badly needed funds.

The governor is meeting with House Speaker Tina Kotek and Senate President Peter Courtney, both Democrats, along with Rep. Mike McLane and Sen. Ted Ferrioli, the top Republicans in the House and Senate.

— Associated Press

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