Public safety spending last major budget hurdle

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SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- Most of Oregon's budget for the next two years has been approved or is working its way smoothly through the Legislature. But lawmakers have so far been stumped on how to finalize a spending plan for public safety programs.

Filling a $21 million gap in spending on those services is the largest remaining obstacle to finishing the budget as lawmakers race to adjourn the legislative session, potentially as soon as next week. Democrats want to loosen some sentences to save money, but Republicans have refused that approach.

In addition to the public safety budget, lawmakers are working on an overhaul and extension of the Business Energy Tax Credits program and a deal that would give schools more money and overhaul education oversight while loosing barriers to new charter schools.