Senate Panel Floats New Oregon Budget Proposal - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Senate Panel Floats New Oregon Budget Proposal

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SALEM, Ore. (AP) - An Oregon Senate committee is taking a small step toward increasing tax revenue and decreasing public-employee pension benefits, but it's unclear if it will have momentum to make it into law.
    
The Senate Finance and Revenue Committee brought forward a new proposal Thursday but did not advance it to the full Senate.
    
The latest proposal would raise about $200 million over the next two years for schools, colleges, senior services and mental health care. It would increase cigarette taxes and corporate tax rates while limiting access to tax exemptions and a tax deduction for seniors' medical expenses.
    
It would save money on public-employee pensions by reducing retirement benefits.
    
Business groups supported the proposal. Public employees and labor unions said the plan would take money that seniors are counting on.

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