Kitzhaber Progress toward Oregon special session but no deal

first_imgAs Oregon lawmakers prepare for a possible special session on Sept. 30, the Columbia River Crossing could also land on the agenda.State leaders have publicly said little about the proposed Interstate 5 Bridge replacement in recent days. But at least two agencies have scrambled to vet the feasibility of a revised plan with Oregon at the helm. The Oregon Department of Transportation and Oregon Department of Justice last week sent detailed memos and reports to lawmakers characterizing the $2.7 billion plan as feasible, but with significant hurdles and risks for Oregon.Washington largely pulled out of the CRC when its Legislature authorized no money for the project this year. For Oregon to keep its earlier financial commitment to the CRC in place, lawmakers in Salem must act by Sept. 30 to reauthorize it. The money would otherwise expire due to a trigger written into the original bill requiring Washington to put up money of its own.The revised Oregon-sponsored CRC would remove any freeway work north of state Highway 14 in Washington, but still include a light-rail extension to Clark College and tolls on the I-5 Bridge.— Eric Florip, Columbian staff writerSALEM, Ore. — Gov. John Kitzhaber said Tuesday that he and legislative leaders have agreed to a broad outline for a deal on taxes and public employee pensions, but details remained a sticking point as the group returned to the governor’s mansion for a second day of talks.Kitzhaber hopes he can find middle ground with House and Senate leaders from both parties in time to call the Legislature into special session on Sept. 30.last_img

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