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2017 Legislative Report on the 79th Oregon Legislative Assembly

by Nellie de Vries
 (Monday, July 24. 2017)

The 79

th Oregon State Legislature ended as it began: divided.1 In February, the 2017 Legislative Session began in the shadow of a $1.8 billion deficit. Democrats, who controlled the House, Senate and Governor’s office, pined over the loss of Measure 97 last November, which was estimated to raise $3 billion annually through a corporate gross receipts tax. Republicans on the other hand saw things differently. Oregon’s economy is booming; the state received more revenue through taxes than ever before actually resulting in a surplus of revenue. The dichotomy arose because the $1.8 billion deficit is based on standard biennial increases, which meant Oregon was in a shortfall. As budget discussions began, it became clear that compromise between the two conflicting perspectives was unlikely. Republicans pushed for reigned in spending to balance the budget, while the Democrats pushed for increased spending by passing new taxes.

 

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