“Legislators have done meaningful work this year, but we have one very important piece of unfinished business,” said Kitzhaber in a statement. “Combining PERS savings and new revenue will prime the pump for sustained reinvestment in education from early learning to college and career training.”Meanwhile, House Speaker Tina Kotek (D-Portland), who way back in February rammed a $450 million funding bill for the Columbia River Crossing project through the House, made funding the CRC the first item on her list of the ways in which she helped boost Oregon's job climate this session.
The Governor continues to support a PERS and revenue package that ends teacher layoffs and lost school days, reduces tuition increases for state universities and community colleges, and follows through on his goal to reduce the unfunded liability in the public retirement system by a total of $5 billion – a 30 percent reduction.
Growing Jobs and Strengthening the EconomyIn February, passing the CRC bill was an impressive accomplishment, serving notice that the new speaker could bend the House to her will on a politically difficult issue.
· Positioning Oregon to make critical investments in the I-5 Bridge Replacement project.
· Leveraging nearly $1 billion worth of bonding capacity to put thousands of Oregonians to work on construction projects in every part of the state.
· Investing in critical infrastructure and jobs programs including ConnectOregon, industrial lands readiness, and Small Business Development Centers.
· Supporting jobs in agriculture by strengthening the Farm to School program and bolstering growing industries with support for fermentation sciences.