The House Committee on Transportation and Economic Development today voted six to four to move a bill that would keep the Oregon-only version of the Columbia River Crossing project alive. The vote came after six hours of public testimony over two days, and went through on a party line basis.
House Bill 4113 now moves to the budget-writing Joint Ways and Means Committee, where members who have previously raised concerns—including Sen. Betsy Johnson (D-Scappose) and House Minority Leader Mike McClane (R-Powell)—are likely to give the concept of Oregon shouldering the $2.8 billion project on its own a more skeptical reception.
"Oregon House Republicans join our colleagues, business leaders and transportation advocates in agreeing the current I-5 Bridge needs to be replaced," McLane said today in a statement. "An Oregon-only approach, however, places considerable financial risk on Oregon taxpayers generally, and the ability of our city and county governments to fund their infrastructure."