Legislators focus on jobless

Extending jobless benefits is the first item on the Legislature’s special-session agenda.

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To kick off this week’s special session, legislators are working to extend jobless benefits to 18,600 Oregonians who have run out of their benefits or will soon.

Democratic leaders say the session is focusing on issues that can’t wait to be addressed in the January 2011 session.

Because voters approved two controversial tax increases last week, the Legislature won’t have to overhaul the state’s 2009-11 budget. But lawmakers will patch a few holes created by lower than expected lottery and tax receipts. That work will begin in earnest next week, after an updated state revenue forecast Monday.

The only opening day speech came from House Speaker Dave Hunt, D-Gladstone, who noted that “emotions are running high” following January’s campaigns on Measures 66 and 67, which raised business and individual income taxes on high-earners.

Read the full story at OregonLive.com.

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