Oregon Senate panel advances bill cutting pensions

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SALEM, Ore. — An Oregon Senate committee has advanced a Democratic plan to cut pension benefits for retired government workers.

In a 3-2 party-line vote, the Senate Rules Committee sent the measure to the budget committee. Republicans have pushed for even steeper cuts in pension benefits and opposed the Democratic measure.

Lawmakers say the cuts will be painful for retirees but they're necessary to restore the pension system's financial health. Dozens of workers and retirees packed committee hearings Wednesday, urging lawmakers to raise taxes on the rich instead of cutting pensions.

Democrats have proposed limiting annual inflation adjustments in retirement checks, especially for retirees with higher incomes.