Ore. special session: 1st bill on floor hits snag

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SALEM, Ore. — The first bill of Oregon's special session has hit a snag in the House.

In a Wednesday morning vote, a measure raising taxes for some and lowering them for others came up three votes short of the three-fifths supermajority it needed to pass.

Gov. John Kitzhaber has been trying to build support for lowering public-employee pension costs. To make that palatable in the Legislature, the pension cuts were packaged with tax changes and a measure prohibiting cities and counties from banning genetically modified crops.

Lawmakers were barred from leaving the House floor Wednesday morning while proponents tried to round up votes.

Legislative leaders and Gov. John Kitzhaber have agreed that the bills will live or die together, so the failure of the tax bill would derail the entire five-bill package.