‘Grand bargain’ breaks down on Oregon Senate floor

SALEM, Ore. — Oregon senators have rejected a bill to raise new tax revenue that was part of a proposed `grand bargain’ to end the 2013 legislative session.

The tax bill failed Tuesday when Democrats who supported it didn’t get enough backing from Republicans to win a supermajority.

As a result, a bill to cut pension benefits for retired government workers was sent back to committee, and its fate was not immediately clear.

Senate President Peter Courtney tied the two bills, saying he’d allow a vote on pension cuts only if the tax bill passed.

The combination of bills would have increased funding for schools, colleges, senior services and mental-health treatment while saving money on employee retirement for state and local government.

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