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Oregon Senate Republicans again thwart school funding vote


SALEM, Ore. (AP) – Oregon’s Senate Republicans have failed to turn up for a second day, keeping majority Democrats from voting on a $1 billion education tax as tens of thousands of teachers walked off the job or staged rallies and marches over the need for more school funding.

The 12 GOP senators didn’t show both Tuesday and Wednesday, denying the chamber enough members to vote on the legislation, House Bill 3427.

Republican Sen. Tim Knopp of Bend says the party is “in for the long haul” and won’t return to the Capitol until Democrats agree to renegotiate the tax plan.

The measure would raise revenue through a half a percent tax on some of Oregon’s wealthiest businesses.

More than 600 schools in 25 districts have been forced to close as teachers protest Wednesday for more classroom money

Knopp says Republicans won’t support new revenue for schools that doesn’t address the state’s spiraling public employee pension debt.

News release from Sen. Knopp:

Senator Knopp on Current Stalemate

Salem, OR – As the stalemate continues between Senate Democrats and Republicans over a two-billion-dollar hidden sales tax, Senator Tim Knopp (R-Bend) attended floor session today to express his solidarity with his fellow Senate Republicans and ask that their voices and actions be recognized.

“I respect and support my caucus members decision to deny quorum in the Senate and call for meaningful PERS reform to ensure education funding makes it to students and is not eaten up by our broken public pension system. HB 3427 has technical issues that must be fixed and needs input and vetting from all parties involved. It would be an important gesture to get a commitment to send HB 3427 to committee to hear testimony and make technical fixes” said Knopp.

“As one of the most bi-partisan members of my caucus, I have felt that it is important for me to remain in the building to continue work on multiple issues that will help resolve this stalemate and bring the session to a close. I have made commitments on several pieces of legislation that are still moving through the process and I intend to keep my commitments by seeing them through to the end.”

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