Pension and Prison Cuts will be tough…
Governor John Kitzhaber says he recognizes he is asking state lawmakers to make politically risky decisions on public pensions and prisons. But, he says, tough choices are needed to boost school funding. The Democratic governor delivered his annual ‘state of the state’ speech yesterday morning in Salem to a joint session of the new House and Senate.
Kitzhaber says the cost of prisons and public-employee pensions is diverting money from higher priorities. He’s called on lawmakers to cut pension benefits for government workers and to change sentencing laws to slow the growth of prisons.
In his message yesterday, he also spoke of how everyone needs to participate… he also says he’s willing to raise taxes by rolling back certain tax deductions.
Kitzhaber says some Oregonians are enjoying the benefits of economic recovery, but rural communities, minorities and the poor are being left behind.
Concealed Weapon Permits on the Rise
Applications for concealed handgun permits in Lane County more than tripled in December for the same period a year ago, and the number of permits issued in 2012 increased by about 45-percent. 2,351 permits were issued by the Lane County Sheriff’s office last year… that’s up from 1651 new permit applications in 2011. And, says Sheriff Tom Turner, the number of permits submitted last month alone jumped from 104 in the final month of 2011 to 330 in 2012. Turner says there are strict requirements set by the state that regulate who can get a concealed carry permit.