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BEHIND THE SCENES: Tough choices, closed door deals result in Oregon Senate’s big vote

SALEM — Four Oregon senators leading the charge to inject new lifeblood into the state’s troubled education system said in their combined 88 years in the Legislature, the passage of the Student Success Act was the pinnacle of their career.

But passing the bill took some backroom horse trading with Republicans, and two deeply controversial bills were the casualties. One would have tightened the state’s gun laws and the other would remove non-medical exemptions for vaccines for school children.

Bits and pieces of how the deal came together emerged in interviews Monday, though Senate leadership remains tight-lipped on the details.

Sen. Ginny Burdick, D-Portland, was a sponsor of the gun bill.

On Saturday, she went to work to kill it.

“It was terribly hard,” Burdick said. “I won’t deny that. People are . . .