As the saying goes, it may be best not to see either laws or sausages being made. But that is hard to avoid when contemplating a legislative special session.
Governor Kitzhaber has hosted Oregon legislative leaders at Mahonia Hall this week to barter a deal to make deeper cuts in public employee retirement spending and raise taxes on large corporations and wealthier Oregonians to pump more money into K-12 education, higher education and mental health care.
The so-called grand bargain Kitzhaber seeks isn't new. It was debated in the regular legislative session but never quite got enough political traction.
Gaining political traction often requires introducing new components into the policy machinery. Senate Republicans, for example, want to include a tax cut for businesses that file as S corporations. The idea goes in the opposite direction of raising money, but at least it involves taxation.
Now, The Oregonian is reporting a more tangential topic has entered the picture — a proposal to ban local communities, except Jackson County, from placing a limit on genetically modified plants. Jackson County is exempted because it already has a ballot measure on the subject slated for a vote next year.