What will the 2024 presidential ballot look like?
Donald Trump vs. Joe Biden
Donald Trump vs. some Democrat other than Joe Biden
Some Republican other than Donald Trump vs. Joe Biden
Some Republican other than Donald Trump vs. some Democrat other than Joe Biden
Northwest Observer
Subscribe for Free Email Updates
Name:
Email:
Search Articles
       






On this day, June 16, 1873, President Grant signed an executive order that permitted Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce to live in the Wallowa Valley, Oregon, to perpetuity.

Also on this day, June 16, 1877, The Nez Perce War began in the northwestern US. The First Squadron of the First Regiment, the oldest cavalry unit in the US, fought the Apaches and the Nez Perces.




Post an Event


Juneteenth
Wednesday, June 19, 2024 at 12:00 am
Juneteenth
Celebrated on the anniversary of June 19, 1865, when in the wake of the American Civil War, Major General Gordon Granger ordered the final enforcement of the Emancipation Proclamation in Texas.



Lincoln County Fair
Thursday, July 4, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.thelincolncountyfair.com
July 4-6
Lincoln County Fairgrounds



Independence Day
Thursday, July 4, 2024 at 11:59 pm
Independence Day
USA



Marion County Fair
Thursday, July 11, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.co.marion.or.us/CS/Fair
July 11-14
Oregon State Fair & Expo Center



Jackson County Fair
Tuesday, July 16, 2024 at 8:00 am
TheExpo.com
July 16-21
Jackson County Fairgrounds - The Expo



Columbia County Fair
Wednesday, July 17, 2024 at 8:00 am
columbiacountyfairgrounds.com
July 17-21
Columbia County Fairgrounds



Linn County Fair
Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.linncountyfair.com/
July 18-20
Linn County Expo Center



Washington County Fair
Friday, July 19, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.bigfairfun.com/
July 19-28
Washington County Fairgrounds - Westside Commons



Coos County Fair
Tuesday, July 23, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.cooscountyfair.com
July 23-27
Coos County Fairgrounds



Curry County Fair
Wednesday, July 24, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.eventcenteronthebeach.com
July 24-27
Curry County Fairgrounds - Event Center on the Beach



Hood River County Fair
Wednesday, July 24, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.hoodriverfairgrounds.com
July 24-27
Hood River County Fairgrounds



Jefferson County Fair
Wednesday, July 24, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.jcfair.fun
July 24-27
Jefferson County Fair Complex



Lane County Fair
Wednesday, July 24, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.atthefair.com
July 24-28
Lane Events Center



Clatsop County Fair
Tuesday, July 30, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://clatsopcofair.com/
July 30 - August 3
Clatsop County Fair & Expo



Malheur County Fair
Tuesday, July 30, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.malheurcountyfair.com
July 30 - August 3
Malheur County Fairgrounds - Desert Sage Event Center



Benton County Fair & Rodeo
Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
bceventcentercorvallis.net
July 31 - August 3, 2024
Benton County Event Center & Fairgrounds



Deschutes County Fair
Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://expo.deschutes.org/
July 31 - August 4
Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center



Union County Fair
Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.unioncountyfair.org
July 31 - August 3
Union County Fairgrounds



Yamhill County Fair
Wednesday, July 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.co.yamhill.or.us/fair
July 31 - August 3
Yamhill County Fairgrounds



Klamath County Fair
Thursday, August 1, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.klamathcountyfair.com/
August 1-4
Klamath County Fair



Wallowa County Fair
Friday, August 2, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://co.wallowa.or.us/community-services/county-fair/
August 2-10
Wallowa County Fairgrounds



Baker County Fair
Sunday, August 4, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.bakerfair.com
August 4-9
Baker County Fairgrounds



Harney County Fair
Sunday, August 4, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.harneyfairgrounds.com
August 4-9
Harney County Fairgrounds



Sherman County Fair
Sunday, August 4, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.shermancountyfairfun.com
August 19-24
Sherman County Fairgrounds



Crook County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.crookcountyfairgrounds.com
August 7-10
Crook County Fairgrounds



Douglas County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.douglasfairgrounds.com
August 7-10
Douglas County Fairgrounds Complex



Grant County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.grantcountyoregon.net
August 7-10
Grant County Fairgrounds



Josephine County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.josephinecountyfairgrounds.com/
August 7-11
Josephine County Fairgrounds & Events Center



Polk County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.co.polk.or.us/fair
August 7-10
Polk County Fairgrounds



Tillamook County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.tillamookfair.com
August 7-10
Tillamook County Fairgrounds



Umatilla County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.umatillacountyfair.net
August 7-10
Umatilla County Fairgrounds



Wheeler County Fair
Wednesday, August 7, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.wheelercountyoregon.com/fair-board
August 7-10
Wheeler County Fairgrounds



Clackamas County Fair
Tuesday, August 13, 2024 at 8:00 am
clackamascountyfair.com
August 13-17
Clackamas County Event Center



Morrow County Fair
Wednesday, August 14, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.co.morrow.or.us/fair
August 14-17
Morrow County Fairgrounds



Wasco County Fair
Thursday, August 15, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.wascocountyfair.com
August 15-17
Wasco County Fairgrounds



Gilliam County Fair
Thursday, August 29, 2024 at 8:00 am
http://www.co.gilliam.or.us/government/fairgrounds
August 29-31
Gilliam County Fairgrounds



Lake County Fair
Thursday, August 29, 2024 at 8:00 am
https://www.lakecountyor.org/government/fair_grounds.php
August 29 - September 1
Lake County Fairgrounds



Oregon State Fair
Saturday, August 31, 2024 at 8:00 am
www.oregonstateexpo.org
August 31 - September 9
Oregon State Fair & Exposition Center



Linn Laughs LIVE with Adam Corolla
Saturday, September 7, 2024 at 5:00 pm
Linn Laughs LIVE with Adam Corolla 5pm-9pm
Albany, OR


View All Calendar Events


House Democrats Vote to Raid Kicker
Many Oregonians are still dealing with wildfire and COVID fallout

House Democrats expedited the passage of a bill that reduces the anticipated ‘kicker’ that Oregonians are due when state revenues exceed projections by more than two percent.

In 2020, this threshold was triggered. As a result, the state’s budget was fully balanced with money left over, which under law is due to be returned to the people of Oregon. Instead, SB 846 retroactively readjusts budget actions taken in the second special session in order to pocket even more cash for the state, rather than put it in people’s wallets.

“This is the worst time to be padding the state’s coffers which are overflowing with federal support. Oregonians are still recovering from a really tough year,” said House Republican Leader Christine Drazan (R-Canby). “The pandemic, government-mandated business shutdowns, and natural disasters were especially challenging for people who could really use this extra financial support. We shouldn’t be taking this money that people are owed.”

SB 846 passed on the House floor on a straight party-line vote.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-04-17 11:57:03



Its All About the Kids
Until it’s not

For almost two hours on the floor of the Oregon House, the House Democrats and Republicans debated changing a single number in a bill: 3-vs-4. No other changes to the bill were proposed, and in fact it was not a new conversation. It was a change that had been discussed in the House Education committee but voted down on a party line vote. The House Education Committee is chaired by Representative Teresa Alonso-Leon (D-Woodburn) who, according to the Secretary of State, has received over $78K towards her campaigns since 2016 from the Oregon Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers.

HB 2954 proposed to allow public charter schools to continue the non-discriminatory practice of admitting students, but added a weighted lottery system that would favor historically underserved students which would be based on race, sex, sexual orientation, ethnicity, etc. The House Education Committee agreed that this was a good change, but the Republicans on the committee felt that prioritizing admissions would also be improved if made available to more students. If the cap were raised from 3 to 4% more students could seek education opportunities outside of the traditional brick-and-mortar public school buildings.

The conversation about how many students should attend public virtual charter schools has been acerbated by COVID-19 and Governor Brown shutting down schools to in person learning last Spring. With her executive order, she instantly turned every brick-and-mortar school into a virtual school. As parents, teachers and students struggled with the unknown world of virtual learning, many of them made the choice to move to established virtual public schools. According to information provided by the Oregon Department of Education, as of October 1, 2020, brick-and-mortar school enrollment was down by 3%, and virtual charter school enrollment was up 54% from the same time the year prior.

However, the true debate in committee and on the floor was all about money, not about equity or access. Laurie Wimmer, with OEA submitted testimony to the committee that stated “This particular amendment would cost the school districts of Oregon $118 million. Representative Courtney Neron (D-Wilsonville), agreed saying “It is going to have a huge price tag. I want to caution everyone to not only think about the education impacts of this change, but that it would be nearly a $120M change”. However, Representative Mark Owens (R-Crane) reminded her that “it is not a loss in funding it is a shift in funding. It still goes to the educational opportunities for children”. Representative Janeen Sollman (D-Hillsboro) continued the money argument on the floor of the House yesterday saying “197 school boards and districts would agree, this is not the time to take money away from them. Small districts especially are impacted by these by large charters who increase their grasps on those smaller districts”. According to an ODE report, districts currently at their 3% cap range in total enrollments from 420 to 18,400 kids and represent a wide variety of district sizes and geographic locations.

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

Representative Owens shared during debate that “As of October 1, 2020, there were 560,917 students enrolled in K-12 schools in Oregon with 21,705 of those students enrolled in virtual charter schools; right around 3.9%”. The amendment of 4% would preserve those students’ rights to continue learning where they area. Currently school districts may go over the 3% cap, but the decision is up to the individual district not the student’s family. Since last Spring, approximately 25% of the school districts in Oregon have reached or exceeded their 3% cap and are now denying student transfers. Denied students have an appeals process, but, according to ODE, Since June 2020, the Department had received 832 appeals, 388 were denied and 31 are pending. 46% of all appeals are denied giving parents little to no choice. They can return to the distance learning or limited in person learning now being offered by most school districts, homeschool their children themselves, or pay for private education.

As public school in Oregon are still not fully open for in person learning and the start of the 2021-22 school year is only 5 months away, many families are concerned that full-time in person learning may not return and they may also be shut out of the public virtual charter school option. In a recent survey conducted by the Oregon Values and Beliefs Center, it showed that 58% of Oregonians expect remote learning for K-12 students to continue for a few years.

Representative Suzanne Weber (R-Tillamook), a retired public school teacher of 30 years, told the House members

“This body has rightly spent this session addressing equity; making sure that ALL Oregonians have equitable access to the services to which they have a right. That is exactly what the cap adjustment does. It insists that every child in Oregon has a right to a public education. Equity in education means that we meet our students where they are, not insist they fit into a model of public education that comes to us from a time when only white, wealthy men ran public institutions, and insisted that everyone conform to the way THEY think things should be. That’s not equity. Let’s not just pick and choose what we believe equity to be based on pressure from political special interests. Let’s do what’s best for students, especially those who have been marginalized for so long”.

House Democrats used their supermajority powers, ignored the request, and voted to protect the OEA and brick-and-mortar funding over doing what was best for Oregon families and Oregon students. The bill is headed to the Senate and will most likely be assigned to the Senate Education committee.


--Terese Humboldt

Post Date: 2021-04-17 11:11:37Last Update: 2021-04-17 12:00:45



Rep. Witt Accused of Misconduct
May have harassed fellow legislator

Representative Brad Witt (D-Clatskanie) is under investigation for a potential violation of Legislative Branch Personnel Rule 27, which provides for a harassment-free workplace. The complaint was received by the Legislative Equity Office.

Fellow Democrats seemed to argue for disregarding safety measures when the House Committee On Conduct met on Friday, April 16th.

House Republican Leader Christine Drazan (R-Canby) released the following statement regarding the action announced by the House Committee on Conduct:

“Co-chair Fahey’s rejection of the independent investigator’s recommendation to temporarily remove Chair Witt from his committee shows a shameful disregard for the pressing need for interim safety measures to protect the victim. This is a sham process if the committee rejects the recommendations of the independent investigator with no basis for that rejection. This is not, in fact, a “tricky situation” as co-chair Fahey indicated. It is traumatizing a victim and protecting those in power—and it is completely unacceptable. The responsibility now falls to the Speaker to ensure that Chair Witt is removed, to ensure the safety of the victim.

Allowing the accused to choose the actions they will voluntarily take to protect their victim is not how this process should work.”


--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2021-04-16 21:53:17Last Update: 2021-04-16 22:21:07



Housing Supply Increase Supported
“The best way to bring down the cost of housing is to increase the stock”

Senator Tim Knopp (R-Bend) has carried SB 458 on the Senate floor. Co-sponsored with Sen. Lew Fredrick (D-Portland), the legislation would expand homeownership opportunities for Oregonians.

In 2019, to increase the stock of housing to make it more affordable, the legislature passed HB 2001 which expanded middle housing construction in single-family neighborhoods. HB 2001 did not address regulatory barriers to selling those new units. Local ordinances currently create a patchwork of regulations on the sale of middle housing. SB 458 will create a statewide standard for the sale of middle housing in the communities implementing HB 2001.

Senator Tim Knopp released the following statement:

“The best way to bring down the cost of housing is to increase the stock of housing built at affordable cost. This bill adds to the work we did in 2019. We know that one of the best ways to build intergenerational wealth is through homeownership. This legislation will ensure more people have access to buy homes, especially first-time homebuyers.”

The bill passed the Senate on a 25-4 vote and will now head to the House of Representatives for further consideration.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-04-16 12:50:09



Unemployment Fixes Moves in Oregon House
Keeps costs down for employers

A Republican-sponsored bill that was approved by the House with unanimous support seeks to introduce a number of fixes to Oregon’s unemployment benefits system.

Chief among them is allowing businesses to reset their unemployment insurance taxes owed to pre-pandemic rates.

Throughout the past year, government-mandated closures forced businesses with significantly less revenue to lay off staff in unprecedented numbers. This had unforeseen ramifications for the assessment of unemployment insurance taxes owed, leading to a dramatic rise in tax obligations at a time when business revenue was lowest.

HB 3389, backed by Republican sponsors, would allow businesses that saw this tax increase to defer some payments and even forgive a percentage of the deferred taxes. This bill also ensures that tax rates don’t rise further because of impacts from the pandemic.

Representative Daniel Bonham (R-The Dalles) is a chief sponsor on the bill and was responsible for negotiating the measures outlined by the proposal.

“This pandemic-related relief is exactly why we’re here right now,” added Rep. Bonham. “85 percent of all Oregon businesses saw their unemployment tax rates increase in 2021. That could have a significant impact on the recovery of jobs in Oregon, and is why we needed this fix.”

“Oregon’s unemployment benefits system was put through tremendous strain during this past year, and that exposed serious flaws that needed to be addressed,” said House Republican Leader Christine Drazan (R-Canby,) one of the bill’s sponsors. “At the start of this session, we said that business relief would be a top priority so that we can recover lost jobs. Fixing the errors in our state’s unemployment benefits system is one way that we can provide relief to Oregonians.”

HB 3389 was passed with unanimous support on the House floor.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-04-16 11:48:25Last Update: 2021-04-15 20:30:58



Need for Commission Exposed by Negotiations
“Allowing politicians to draw their own maps is like putting a fox in charge of the hen house”

“The promise of fair representation should not be a political negotiating tactic between partisan legislators behind closed doors,” said Norman Turrill, Chair of People Not Politicians. “This maneuvering between House Leadership exactly underscores why we need reform and fair redistricting so Oregon voters choose politicians, instead of politicians choosing voters.”

Oregonians support creating an independent citizens redistricting commission. In late 2019, People Not Politicians enlisted Lake Research Partners to run a statewide poll. Results showed an average 76% of Democrats, 67% of Independents, and 60% of Republicans favor an independent citizens’ commission.

“Giving equal representation to Democrats and Republicans on the Redistricting Committee is a positive step forward. The real opportunity for reform will come when the legislature opens up HJR 7 to accept public comments on who draws lines going forward.”
---Dave Dillon, Oregon Farm Bureau Executive Vice President

“Allowing politicians to draw their own maps is like putting a fox in charge of the hen house—an inherent conflict of interest. The possibility for bipartisan gerrymandering is knocking at the door. Meanwhile, third parties and historically underrepresented communities are left out of the process.”
--Kate Titus, Executive Director, Common Cause Oregon

“The legislature should do what an overwhelming majority of Oregonians have asked for—create an Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission to draw these maps. It’s imperative to the health of our democracy that redistricting be done in the most fair and transparent manner possible. We need to take politics out of the equation.”
--Norman Turrill, Chair, People Not Politicians


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-04-16 09:41:57Last Update: 2021-04-15 19:48:25



Public School Re-Opening
Polls show that people want to send their kids back

Facing mounting pressure to re-open public schools, in the face of equally strong pressure from teachers' unions to keep them at least partly locked down, on March 12, Governor Brown issued an executive order requiring that schools "shall be in operation to deliver educational services through either a hybrid instructional model or an on-site instructional model." This mark was required to be achieved by March 29.

A recent poll asked, "Do you agree or disagree with Governor Brown’s order to require public elementary schools to offer hybrid or full-time in-person instruction by March 29?"

Strongly agree26%
Somewhat agree39%
Somewhat disagree13%
Strongly disagree13%
Don’t know9%


That's a whopping 65% of respondents who agree, with some level of intensity, to open schools by March 29. Another question asked by the same poll was, "Who do think should have the final say about when and how public schools in your community return to in-person learning?

The locally elected school district board67%
The governor of Oregon16%
Don’t know17%


So, how are schools doing? The Oregon Health Authority has a graphic scoreboard on school re-opening, which appears to show that schools are not hitting the mark.




--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-04-16 08:55:55Last Update: 2021-04-15 12:50:09



Stan Pulliam Announces Gubernatorial Run
“Our current governor has ruled with a cold smugness”

Mayor of Sandy, Stan Pulliam, has announced the formation of an exploratory committee to consider his candidacy for the Republican nomination for Governor of Oregon in 2022.

Earlier in the day, Pulliam delivered the City of Sandy’s State of the City Address, where he touted accomplishments including securing funding for a local bypass study, stabilizing police funding, and saving millions on a needed wastewater treatment facility.

At 2:30 p.m., Pulliam walked to a podium at Meinig Memorial Park and made the announcement.

“Our current governor has ruled with a cold smugness inside a bubble of the ruling elite and special interests that continue to craft backroom deals, ignore scientific evidence of lockdown effectiveness, and prioritize the wish lists of her campaign contributors,” said Pulliam. “Maybe it’s time for a different approach. Maybe Oregon needs a mayor for Governor.”

Pulliam has drawn praise and national media attention for urging small businesses to defy Governor Kate Brown’s punitive lockdown rules and arbitrary metrics, opening safely under “high risk” guidelines when placed into “extreme risk” shutdown.

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

“We’ve all lost friends and family over the past year who have escaped to states with more realistic COVID lockdown metrics. Businesses that had no choice but to open as a matter of survival are now being crucified by state agency fines and administrative punishment.” Pulliam continued, “Our students are drowning in isolation and underachievement, while parents are forced to juggle homeschooling with their own careers – all while teachers unions and extremist activists have controlled school boards to push for longer timelines in reopening classrooms.”

Pulliam has also been critical of the City of Portland’s decline into a landscape of boarded-up businesses, open drug use, and skyrocketing violence.

“I look at Sandy and am still able to recognize my home state of Oregon: It’s pioneer spirit and it’s collaborative and supportive network of families, small businesses, faith communities, and local government,” Pulliam said. “Being mayor of such a place is a huge honor. It makes me wonder how our elected ruling elite continue to disappoint us with such an intrepid population of Oregonians behind them.”

Pulliam plans on a listening tour of the state over the next few weeks, joining other mayors in their communities to form an inclusive vision that unifies Oregon and moves us into the future.

Pulliam concluded by saying, “In the coming weeks I’ll be asking for your feedback and support on how we can heal Oregon together and bring it back to its rugged, pioneer glory of innovation, fortitude, and freedom.”

Sandy Mayor Stan Pulliam was joined for the announcement by his wife MacKensey and their daughters Lucy and Olivia.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-04-15 17:15:16Last Update: 2021-04-15 17:41:57



School Bullying Bill Passes Oregon House
“Families offer the mental and emotional support students need”

Republican bill would take on school bullying by involving parents and guardians The Oregon House of Representatives unanimously passed a Republican bill that would ensure schools have policies in place to notify parents about instances of bullying.

Provisions are included to allow students to override this requirement in situations where it is warranted.

Bullying is pervasive in schools and requires support and engagement from not only school professionals, but families who can offer the mental and emotional support students need to recover from their trauma. Taking on bullying, harassment, intimidation, and cyberbullying are keys to achieving the goal of better mental health outcomes for students.

“So many of our kids are hurting, and those closest to them deserve to know,” said House Republican Leader Christine Drazan (R-Canby,) carrier of the bill. “This ensures that parents and guardians are notified if their child is a victim of bullying in school, giving them the opportunity to be part of a solution.”

HB 2631 was unanimously passed on the House floor.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-04-15 15:55:47Last Update: 2021-04-15 17:15:16



Enviros Block Salvage Logging
It is horrible for the canyon and the people of the canyon.

Environmentalist groups including Cascadia Wildlands, the Center for Biological Diversity, Willamette Riverkeeper, Audubon Society of Corvallis, Audubon Society of Salem, Oregon Wild, and the Benton Forest Coalition have filed a suit challenging the ongoing post-fire salvage logging in the Santiam State forest east of Salem.

Environmental groups are upset as the Oregon Department of Forestry’s logging operations are impacting areas beloved by mountain bikers, horseback riders, and hikers including the Monument Peak horse camp and the Niagara area.

Post-fire logging typically removes most of the remaining trees and involves intense road building and maintenance.

Marion County Commissioner Colm Willis sais, "This is outrageous. It is horrible for the canyon and the people of the canyon. Out of county political groups need to stay the hell away from our recovery efforts!"

The Santiam watersheds drain some 1,800 square miles from the Cascade range, providing an abundance of clear, cold water that is beneficial to the Willamette River.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-04-15 15:34:27Last Update: 2021-04-15 15:55:47



Mink Wars
Are you being paid for your testimony?

From the "who would've thought that" department comes the fact that minks and other animals can be asymptomatic transmitters of the COVID-19 virus. Oregon is the home to many mink farms and because of this, regulations regarding testing of persons working on mink farms was proposed in HB 832 proposed by Senator Floyd Prozanski (D-Eugene).

Animal rights activists have long had their sights set on mink farming in Oregon, and, it seems, COVID-19 has given them a chance to place pressure on the industry.

During a recent hearing, a veterinarian who works with minks was giving testimony and, as his testimony concluded, he was asked by Senator Prozanski how often he does this kind testimony and if he was being paid to testify.

Watch the video below to see his answers to these questions and the reaction of Senator Dallas Heard (R-Roseburg).




--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-04-15 15:14:01Last Update: 2021-04-15 15:33:20



Clackamas County Speaks on Transportation
“Most everyone is against tolling”

The Clackamas County Board of Commissioners adopted values related to funding interstate projects in the region at their recent meeting.

Chair Tootie Smith said it was important to be a leader in this discussion. “Regional conversations are happening about how our transportation system will be funded that will significantly affect the residents of Clackamas County,” said Chair Smith. “We need to be a leader at the table and ensure the needs of our residents and businesses are represented.”

Depleted transportation funding at the state and federal level -- due to declining gas tax revenue as vehicles become fuel-efficient—are leading to funding gaps in building projects on the interstate system to reduce congestion and improve seismic resiliency. In response to the declining transportation revenues and growing congestion, the Oregon Legislature directed the Oregon Department of Transportation to study and implement tolling for managing congestion through House Bill 2017.

ODOT is planning tolling projects within Clackamas County along Interstate 205 near the Abernethy Bridge – an area that has little transportation options other than driving.

Given ODOT has the existing authority to implement tolling and continues advancing the concept of congestion pricing tolls to manage congestion on interstates, a values-based approach, rather than a traditional support or oppose position, allows Clackamas County to be proactive and nimble as discussions continue.

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

The transportation funding values adopted by the BCC prioritize equity, safety, a vibrant economy, health and active communities, climate action, disaster resilience, and the reliable movement of people and goods.

Vice-Chair Paul Savas said, “Most everyone is against tolling. No one wants to pay for something they believe they are already paying for just to go to work or take their kids to school. However, if the legislature insists on tolling or congestion pricing, Clackamas needs to be in a leadership position to assure our residents receive benefit for the toll they pay. These values should get us there.” ODOT is nearing completion on the designs for the I-205 Widening and Seismic Improvement Project within Clackamas County, which will add a new lane in each direction of I-205 between Stafford Road and Highway 213, as well as upgrading the Abernethy Bridge over the Willamette River to withstand an earthquake. The Oregon Legislature is currently considering ways to finance project construction to begin early next year. As part of this effort, ODOT is pursuing tolling the project as a means of raising revenue, as well as using congestion pricing to curb traditional travel behaviors.
--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-04-15 15:10:14Last Update: 2021-04-15 15:34:27



Read More Articles