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Oregon Lawmakers Watch Wisconsin Closely


Protestors continue to gather in Madison, Wisconsin today. The standoff in Wisconsin over the benefits and rights of public employees could for the first time in decades spur changes across the country over so-called "right-to-work" laws; or laws that prohibit unions from forcing workers to join. People across the nation are watching the debate for many reasons including lawmakers in Salem. “I've never seen anything like this,” says State Representative Jason Conger. Conger is in Salem today for session. He says many of the lawmakers there are watching what's happening in Wisconsin. One issue that hits close to home for many states is unfunded pension liabilities; the other has to do with the fact that the recession has forced many private sector employees have taken pay cuts, and are paying a lot more for health care benefits and retirement savings: “I think 48 out of 50 states have serious budget problems in unfunded pension liabilities. Oregon is no different. “Everyone, regardless of their political stripe or their ideology or if they have a desire or interest in the outcome in Wisconsin are fascinated by it because many of the problems that are driving the budget crisis in Wisconsin. We’re facing the same issues here in Oregon.”  Conger was a guest this morning on KBND's Your Town.

 

 

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