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Kitzhaber calls Special Session for Sept. 30

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber issued a proclamation convening a Special Session of the Oregon Legislature at 8:00 a.m. Monday, Sept. 30.

In his proclamation, the Kitzhaber called on legislators to boost education funding, restore school days, turn the corner on teacher layoffs and provide tuition relief.

“We have an opportunity right now to boost education funding and turn the corner on teacher layoffs and lost school days this year,” Kitzhaber said. “Oregon is on the right track, but we have unfinished business. I urge the Legislature to come together to invest in Oregon students. We need to get it done for Oregon's children, for Oregon's economy, for Oregon's future.”

Kitzhaber and legislative leaders have agreed on a framework that combines cost savings from additional PERS reforms and new revenue to fund education, mental health and senior services, and provide targeted tax relief for small business owners and working families. It is not clear whether a majority of the Legislature supports the bills to enact the package, however.

The Association of Oregon Counties issued a statement supporting the session following Kitzhaber's announcement.

"The framework adds critical resources to public services directly provided by counties. Mental health treatment has rightly received heightened public attention as a result of recent horrendous incidents of mass violence. The additional $20 million raised by the package for the current biennium alone is of great importance to provide more opportunities for healthier communities. Similarly, with the graying of the population, it is timely to buttress senior programs. The proposed reforms to PERS help to alleviate the pressure on already overly stressed county budgets, permitting more spending on current critical public services," read the statement.

Kitzhaber is convening the special session under his authority pursuant to Article V, section 12, of the Oregon Constitution.

The proclamation can be fount at: www.oregon.gov/gov/docs/SpecialSession2013.pdf