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Oregon Lawmakers Enter Final Weeks Of Session

Oregon lawmakers have less than three weeks to finish their work during the current legislative session. With the clock counting down, they have a long list of items still on their agenda.

Chief among the unfinished work at the capitol are budget bills for most of the state’s largest agencies, including the Department of Human Services, the Oregon Health Authority, and the Department of Corrections. In Oregon, each agency gets its own separate two-year budget. There's no overarching budget bill that covers all functions of state government.

Colleges and universities are also tracking the higher education budget, which could affect tuition rates for the upcoming school year. A budget subcommittee is scheduled to vote on that spending plan on Monday.

Democrats are still trying to reach agreement among their members on a massive cap-and-trade bill that would regulate carbon emissions. Other upcoming votes include a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags at retail stores, and a ban on styrofoam takeout containers at restaurants.

The legislature has to finish its business by June 30, but many lawmakers are hoping to wrap up their work early. The stalling tactics employed by minority Republicans in May have largely been put on hold.

Copyright 2019 KLCC

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December, 2018. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”