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 are stalling on the governor’s top health care and education initiatives.

Kitzhaber has called a news conference to discuss his priorities Thursday morning, an hour before lawmakers are scheduled to take action on Kitzhaber’s proposal to redesign the way Oregon Health Plan patients get health care.

Republicans have used procedural maneuvers to stall several Kitzhaber-backed measures, demanding support for GOP bills before allowing Kitzhaber’s measures to advance.

Republicans say their bills would create jobs and argue that’s the top priority. Democrats say the GOP initiatives have nothing to do with health care and education and the ideas should all get votes on their own merits.