Keys on long-term infrastructure projects, workforce development, and jumpstarting job recovery
House Republican Leader Christine Drazan (R-Canby) released the following statement outlining the House Republican recommendation for spending Oregon’s portion of the federal American Rescue Plan Act funds.
“After a difficult year for Oregon, it’s time to help every corner of the state recover and rebuild. While specific issues related to COVID-19 have their own source of relief funding, the Legislature should use these federal dollars for restoring Oregon’s natural environments, job recovery, infrastructure projects, and returning Oregon to long-term economic stability. These investments will bring all Oregonians lasting benefits across the state.
We must resist creating short-term spending obligations that will not help us rebuild our state, and that Oregon taxpayers will not be able to sustain once the money is gone.
The following projects are how Oregon can start rebuilding for long-term recovery.
- Invest in Oregon’s natural environment
- Restart the reforestation tax credits to regrow Oregon forests that burned during the historic 2020 wildfires
- Manage overgrown forests with Oregon’s “Good Neighbor” authority to prevent future fires and smoke pollution
- Upgrade Oregon’s wildland firefighting equipment
- Continue to transition away from older, outdated diesel engines
- Promote workforce development education opportunities
K-12 education has the benefit of specifically allocated federal dollars to address learning gaps that kids experienced during the pandemic. ARPA funds can help higher education and workforce development opportunities recover in turn with the following investments:
- Local career academies
- Workforce development programs at community colleges
- STEM higher education career training programs
- Jumpstart job recovery
- Regional economic development grants
- Restaurant and hospitality industry assistance
- Downtown districts assistance
- Invest in critical infrastructure projects
The future of the current Administration’s infrastructure package is uncertain. These are some Oregon projects that can launch with ARPA funds to start the recovery now:
- Bypass bridges to reduce congestion
- Critical highway repair and improvements
- Utility infrastructure connections
- Water and sewer systems
- Dam restorations
- Rail and transit systems
- Broadband access for more Oregon communities
- Save for the future
These federal funds are an opportunity to build up our flexible reserves so we can prepare for future expenses. This will ensure the state continues to rebuild while the economy slowly recovers, and we can shift the burden off Oregon taxpayers.
This relief from the federal government is an opportunity to make a lasting difference for our state. It’s time to rebuild Oregon.”
Public hearings to discuss the federal dollars for Oregon will be held by the Joint Ways and Means Committee the weeks of April 12 and April 19.
|Post Date: 2021-04-06 14:06:18||Last Update: 2021-04-06 14:17:31|