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Rs move to 'recall' education funding vote

GOP says a robust increase in tax revenue makes the $1 billion increase unnecessary.

Sen. Brian BoquistAfter much ado, the Oregon Senate voted Monday to pass House Bill 3427, a bill raising about $1 billion per year in new taxes to pay for improvements to Oregon K-12 schools.

The bill would also cut personal income taxes for most taxpayers.

On Wednesday, in a maneuver seldom seen, but permitted by Senate Rules, Sen. Brian Boquist, R-Dallas, moved to "recall" the bill.

The effort failed, with 10 senators voting for it and 17 against.

Boquist and his fellow Republicans pointed to Wednesday's revenue forecast, which showed that the state has brought in much more revenue than economists expected two years ago.

"Senate Republicans attempted to recall this bill today because the majority party continues to make taxpayers suffer when the state budget has an incredible amount of money at its disposal," said Senator Herman Baertschiger, Jr., R-Grants Pass, in a prepared statement. "Oregonians have been too generous with their wallets."

About $1.4 billion in revenue will be sent back to taxpayers in the form of the "kicker" rebate next year.

Senate Democrats were not amused. A spokesman for that caucus called the move a "parliamentary trick" in a Wednesday press release. Senate Rule 10.10 allows legislation that hasn't been signed by the governor to get recalled.

"On Monday we passed the Student Success Act, a landmark bill that will transform our schools, and then today we stood up for Oregon's students again by repelling the Republicans' attack on school funding," said Senate Majority Leader Ginny Burdick, D-Portland, in a statement. "In the same motion, they also attempted to repeal a tax cut for everyday Oregonians. We will continue fighting for better educational opportunities for our state's students and a fairer tax structure for all Oregonians."