BEND, OR -- Oregon State Legislators are back in their home districts, this week. They managed to pass a budget before adjourning the session, but Bend Republican State Senator Tim Knopp believes most Oregonians don't like how it was done. "Unfortunately, it involved raising some taxes, which I think were not necessary. But generally, I think there were some key things that happened that I think were bipartisan in nature, and were ultimately, the highlights of the session."
Lawmakers approved an "Equal Pay for Equal Work" bill that gained bipartisan support, and Knopp says, "It's one of the most comprehensive in the country. And we want to make sure that we are, as a state, setting policies that provide equity." But, he believes more could've been done in the session. "I wish we'd been able to do PERS reform and structural spending reform, but the Democrats are not willing to take on the unions in any substantial way at this point. The unfortunate part of it is that we're running substantial deficits into the future. I think these were the lost opportunities of the session and I hope the public doesn't have to pay dearly for that mistake."
Knopp says this session proved that Democrats and Republicans can work together to accomplish things for Oregon. The next session gets underway in Salem in February.