Oregon lawmakers prepare for 2018 Short Session

Senate President Peter Courtney, a Democrat from Salem, discusses the upcoming 2018 Oregon legislative session at the Capitol on Monday, Jan. 29, 2018 while Senate Democratic Leader Ginny Burdick, left, and Senate Republican Leader Jackie Winters, center, look on. (Photo: Steve Benham/ Staff)

EUGENE, Ore. - State lawmakers are getting ready to head to Salem for the start of the 2018 Short Session.

The five-week session starts on Monday, as Senators and Representative try to tackle a long list of issues. One of the issues is the fallout from the recent federal tax cut enacted by Congress.

State Representative and Chair of the House Revenue Committee, Phil Barnhart, says that the tax cut is going to cost the state of Oregon an estimated $250 million.

"What we have to do is, how we can make changes in our tax law to conform to what the Federal Government has done and avoid that loss," said Representative Barnhart.

Losses that Barnhart says will end up cutting some state services for low income families, which included Medicaid and food stamps.

The Eugene Democrat says it will be up the the legislature to close the gaps in funding.

"Part of the thing that the state of Oregon needs to do is to be ready to help pick up some of the slack the Federal Government is likely to impose on families that temporarily need help to bridge things between one job and the next, or emergencies and other things," said Representative Barnhart.

Barnhart will also be working on a clean energy jobs bill, along with an amendment proposal to make health care a universal right.

Lawmakers will also be asked to approve more bonds to secure a new science building, the Knight Center, at the University of Oregon.

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