Kitzhaber stepping up pressure on GOP lawmakers

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SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- Gov. John Kitzhaber is stepping up pressure on Republicans in the Oregon House, who have stalled on some of his top health care and education initiatives.

Republicans have said they support some of the governor's measures but first want action on their own bills that they believe will create jobs.

Surrounded by business leaders who support his initiatives, Kitzhaber said in a news conference Thursday that his ideas would improve Oregon's business environment and create jobs. The governor wants to redesign the health care and education systems to improve coordination and reduce waste.

GOP lawmakers want to increase logging in state forests and withdraw water from the Columbia River to support agriculture. Kitzhaber opposes the forest bill but says there may be an acceptable compromise on the water measure.