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From guns to wildfires, legislators heading to Salem soon to push changes

SALEM — Legislators will roll up their sleeves for some speedy politicking in February, tackling some of Oregon’s thorniest problems.

When they gather for the month-long legislative session, legislators want to improve the state’s care for people with mental illness and its ability to fight increasingly destructive wildfires.

They want to protect the state’s air quality by decreasing the state’s greenhouse gas emissions. Also high on the “to do” list is moving thousands of Oregon’s homeless people off the street and into housing.

Lawmakers expect to cooperate across party lines in the Democrat-controlled Legislature to progress on run-of-the-mill issues and budget fixes.

But the greenhouse gas proposal poses the risk of a political blowout. Last year, Senate Republicans fled the state to avoid taking a vote on a similar proposal . . .