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After missing 19 Fridays, lawmakers will work weekend, July 4

With the July 10 Constitutional deadline to end the session looming, the Legislature begins to cram.

Everybody's working through the weekend: sources said Thursday that both the House and Senate will convene on Saturday and on the Independence Day holiday next Tuesday.

However, there will be no floor sessions or meetings on Sunday, July 2.

The weekend cram is part of the last-minute rush to balance the state's budget by July 10, when the Legislature is constitutionally required to adjourn.

It's somewhat funny when you consider that the Legislature skipped convening for floor sessions on 19 of 21 Fridays that had occurred as of this writing.

While there were typically at least one or two committee hearings every Friday this session, the Oregon Capitol often became a pretty quiet place come Friday afternoon.

Although the legislature has managed to get through a major healthcare assessment and tax that helps close an approximately $1.4 billion gap in the budget by more than $600 million, that still leaves around $800 million to make up with new taxes and cuts.

It's not abundantly clear how that will go down. It was reported earlier this week that a Democratic attempt in the Oregon House to collect about $200 million more in taxes by restructuring small business taxes may fall flat in the Senate.