Oregon lawmakers return to Salem today for a special session tackling pensions, taxes, and regulations over genetically modified crops.
Governor John Kitzhaber called the session earlier this month, nearly a year after he first proposed a budget that included cuts in pension benefits for retired government workers.
He has negotiated a deal with legislative leaders that would include pension cuts along with tax increases and tax cuts. He added a ban on local governments regulating genetically modified crops as part of the session requirements.
The governor and his allies have promised relief for long-struggling schools-more cash in the short term, and lower pension costs in the long term. The Governor says all the measures must come to his desk for a signature or he will veto them.
The plan has a line of politically connected critics, and opponents of GMOs, urging lawmakers to vote no. The session's success is not a foregone conclusion.