Calling Salem

Ask legislators, `what's essential'?

Want to give Legislative leaders your views on the "second in a series" Special Session on the budget, term limits, and other issues?

Here are the addresses for the people centrally involved in the protracted debate that is either democracy in action or "a mockery" of the process, as one Democratic leader put it:

Gov. John Kitzhaber: 503-378-4582; (click on "contact the governor")

Senate President Gene Derfler, R-Salem: 503-986-1600, e-mnail

House Speaker Mark Simmons, R-Elgin: 503-986-1200; e-mail

At press time, legislators were still stalled Friday in the skirmishes over how to balance the biennial budget and its $845 million shortfall.

The budget delays could put state Treasurer Randall Edwards on the hottest seat of all, as he has until March 8 to get the information he needs to arrange low-interest loans to cover $600 million in payments to schools due in May.

It's time for the Legislature to put politicking over term limits aside and think not of their own needs, as term limits essentially does, but of the needs of schools and other essential services.

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