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Kitzhaber plans veto of bill that loosens Native American mascot ban

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Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber speaks during a meeting with Oregon newspaper publishers and editors Jan. 15 in Salem. With his health care reforms starting to roll out in much of Oregon, Kitzhaber is turning his attention beyond the borders with a pitch to other governors in a private session in Washington this weekend. Kitzhaber said he’s hoping to get three or four governors from each party on board with his push to change the way doctors are paid and patients are treated.

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Gov. John Kitzhaber has provided the required five-day notice that he might veto a bill that loosens a ban on the use of Native American mascots by Oregon schools.

The Board of Education voted last year to cut state funding to schools that do not retire such mascots by July 2017.

The Legislature responded by voting to allow schools with nicknames such as the Indians to keep their names and mascots if they get permission from the nearest tribe.

The governor says that's too broad. He prefers an approach in which schools could use the specific name of a tribe with permission, such as the Florida State Seminoles.

The bill's sponsor, state Sen. Jeff Kruse, says he doesn't think there will be enough votes to override a veto.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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