Oregon budget talks pick up steam this week

salem capitol building


SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Discussions about funding for schools, safety-net programs and all the other functions of state government will take a big step forward this week.

Economists are scheduled to tell the Oregon Legislature on Thursday how much money they expect the state to collect over the next two years. Armed with those numbers, lawmakers will accelerate the tough balancing act of divvying up the money.

The discussions are likely to revive the contentious debate over tax increases and public-employee pensions.

Lawmakers say they expect this week’s forecast to be slightly higher than the last one, released in February.

The additional revenue could be a significant boost to budget talks and relieve some of the pressure for $275 million in tax increases that Democrats have demanded.