SALEM -- Gov. John Kitzhaber says state budget talks have reached an impasse, and time is running out for Oregon lawmakers to decide whether they'll raise new tax revenue and cut deeper into public employee pensions.
The governor said Wednesday that legislative leaders have until the end of the day Thursday to tell him whether they'll search for a compromise on pensions and taxes. Otherwise, he says, he'll press to pass a budget based on existing state resources, which he says would mean teacher layoffs and higher college tuition.
Democrats have a majority in the House and Senate, but they need Republican votes to enact a tax-increase plan they've pushed. Republicans have refused to allow tax increases unless Democrats agree to cut public-employee pensions more than they did last month.