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In a surprise move, the state House of Representatives blocked approval of Oregon’s health insurance exchange Monday morning. The bill was instead referred  to the Joint Ways and Means Committee by Rep. Tim Freeman, R-Roseburg. The bill had previously sailed through committee hearings without incident. Its denial is prompting concern from both sides about passing other bills in the month-long 2012 Legislature.

The education package currently working its way through the legislature this month looks highly likely to pass. The plan would require every school district, public university and community college to sign a yearly “achievement compact” with the state with goals it aims to achieve. These goals could include specific graduation rates and other key education benchmarks. Set out in Senate Bill 1581, this would create a “chief education officer” who would have authority over education leaders and boards of schools ranging from graduate school all the way down to preschool.

LTD’s general manager Ron Kilcoyne intends to involve the public in LTD decisions. Kilcoyne has been general manager since July 18, 2011 and said the most important issue he is currently facing is the potential expansion of the EmX into west Eugene. This issue continues to be controversial, and Kilcoyne said although there is outright opposition, there is a “silent majority” who support the line.


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