SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- The Oregon Senate has approved a multibillion dollar education tax designed to boost student performance and decrease class sizes.
The chamber passed House Bill 3427 18 to 11 Monday afternoon after minority Republicans ended a nearly week-long walkout to protest the levy. The measure previously passed the House and now heads to Gov. Kate Brown for her signature.
It would raise $1 billion per year through a half a percent tax on Oregon's wealthiest businesses.
"This starts to reverse decades of cheating our children of the education they deserve," Rep. Marty Wilde said in a statement.
The package calls for a .057 percent tax on gross receipts for businesses with $1 million or more in sales, which make up less than 10 percent of all businesses in the state.
A state lawmaker said Senate Democrats dropped the controversial vaccine proposal to coax Republicans back to the Oregon capitol and vote on the bill.
The funding bill passed less than a week after thousands of teachers across Oregon walked out on the Day of Action, demanding fully-funded schools.
DAY OF ACTION: Teachers rallying for education funding
"Together we are making history," said John Larson, a high school English teacher and president of the Oregon Education Association. "Educators and public school families can start to breathe a sigh of relief tonight knowing that instead of worrying about budget cuts, we can instead focus on the educational needs of our students and our future."
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