Oregon House approves tax on business to fund schools

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon lawmakers in the House have approved an extra $2 billion in funding for the state’s struggling school system.

The chamber voted 37-21 Wednesday following hours of floor debate. Democrats championed the package saying it’s a necessary investment in Oregon’s public schools which struggle with the lowest graduation rates in the nation.

The vote comes a week before teachers across the state are planning a day of action in protest of decades of disinvestment in the public education system.

But Republicans took issue with the proposed business tax to fund the measure, saying it would be passed onto consumers through higher prices.

The tax package now moves to the Senate where it needs a two-thirds vote. Even if it passes through the legislative process opponents may move to put it to the ballot.