Sweetener to 'grand bargain' sours deal for some

9/19/2013 1:30 PM
By Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Gov. John Kitzhaber and legislators spent months trying to agree on a grand bargain in which Republicans would agree to higher taxes and Democrats would OK cuts in retirement benefits for government employees.

Party leaders finally accepted the compromise this week, but not without a deal to also include a bill prohibiting local governments from regulating genetically modified crops.

George Kimbrell is the senior attorney for the Center for Food Safety. He calls the late inclusion "outrageous," and says the group is alerting its members to contact legislators before the Sept. 30 special session.

Meanwhile, Katie Fast of the Oregon Farm Bureau says the legislation is important to growers who don't want different regulations in different counties, and she was "pleasantly surprised" to learn it was in the deal.

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