Gov. Kitzhaber’s “Grand Bargain” passes

John Kitzhaber_thb

by NW Spotlight

All five bills of the “Grand Bargain” package were passed by the Oregon House and the Oregon Senate today.

The Oregonian noted the Governor’s success: “For Kitzhaber, the session’s success came as one more in a string of policy triumphs in his third term. Two years ago, the governor won sweeping changes in the state’s education and health care systems. Against a backdrop of gridlock in Congress, Kitzhaber can boast that Oregon stands as a national model of bipartisan cooperation.”

The Associated Press also recognized Gov. Kitzhaber’s victory “The decision delivered a hard-fought victory to Democratic Gov. John Kitzhaber, who has been working for a year to convince lawmakers to stem the growing costs of public-employee pensions.” The AP noted “Kitzhaber, business leaders, education advocates and other supporters say the rising cost of pensions is contributing to large class sizes and shortened school years and making it difficult for local governments to reinvest in services they cut during the Great Recession.”

The Oregonian’s Christian Gaston wrote this after the special session:

“The Public Employees Retirement System is off the table for this governor,” Kitzhaber said shortly after the Legislature adjourned. “We are done. We are going to move on to other things that are important to Oregonians.”

UPDATE (10/14/2013): Gov. Kitzhaber has received national attention, from the Washington Post, for the “successful special session to cut down the cost of government pensions”