–The Legislature has hit the halfway mark and several important deadlines have come and gone. Notably, the April 4th deadline for bills to pass through their first Chamber committee of reference (or be referred to Rules or Revenue Committees). Roughly half of the bills introduced are still alive in the House and/or Senate. Two notable bills have been signed into law:
- HB 2001 is the policy framework for the Governor’s Affordable Housing and Emergency Homelessness Response Package
- SB 4: CHIPS Act dedicates $190 million to develop a grant and loan program to support semiconductor businesses looking to expand in Oregon
Now the Legislature will turn its attention to the 2023–25 biennial budget as work has begun in earnest with a proposal from Governor Kotek, as well as budget framework from the Chairs of the Ways and Means committee. Over the course of the next month, lawmakers will debate the $32 Billion proposal and finalize the state’s spending plan for the next two-year cycle.
Work has begun in earnest on the State’s biennial budget with a proposal from Governor Kotek, as well as budget framework from the Chairs of Ways and Means. Both call for approximately $32 Billion in spending to maintain current service levels with inflation adjustments, and invest in strategic priorities such as housing, K-12 education, mental health/substance use treatment and economic development.
In addition to spending for existing state-funded programs, the 2023-25 budget also appropriates funds towards new policies or legislative concepts currently under discussion. Among other policy concepts, the Chamber is advocating for $10 Million state investment in our infrastructure, specifically the Hawthorne Bridge. This visionary, beloved and vital community project is central to Bend’s livable future, and a central component of the Bend Central District plan. Learn more about the Hawthorne Bridge proposal here.
Next steps in the budget setting process include a four-stop roadshow, a series of meetings outside of Salem for budget writers to engage with the public about the proposal. Figure setting and final decisions will begin after the May 17th revenue forecast, and the budget must be approved prior to session ending in mid-June.