SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Sporting goods giant Nike plans to expand its operations in Oregon and hire as many as 12,000 new workers by 2020 but wants the government to promise it won't change the state tax code, prompting a special session of the Legislature.
Gov. John Kitzhaber said he'll call lawmakers together Friday in Salem to create a new law authorizing him to grant Nike's wish.
The governor did not release information about the company's expansion plans but the $440 million project would create 2,900 construction jobs with an annual economic impact of $2 billion a year.
Nike Inc. has its headquarters in Beaverton. Company officials could not immediately be reached.
The Legislature is due to meet in its regular annual session beginning Jan. 14, but Kitzhaber said Nike needed certainty sooner. The company was being wooed by other states, he said.
"Getting Oregonians back to work is my top priority," Kitzhaber said in a news conference.
Either the governor or the Legislature itself can call lawmakers into session at times other than the state Constitution specifies.
For much of the state's history, the Legislature's regular sessions have been held every other year, at the beginning of odd-numbered years. That's the kind of session the Legislature is scheduled to begin early next year.
In recent years, the Legislature has moved to meet annually, running test sessions of briefer sessions in even-numbered years. Those led to voter approval of a constitutional amendment in 2010 that called for annual sessions.
Records list 38 special sessions since Oregon's statehood, ranging from one day on eight occasions to 37 days in 1982.