The AOC Transportation and Community Development Committee held an action-packed meeting on Monday, January 8th, with about 50 in attendance. Members discussed and acted on several important topics during their time in Salem.
The centerpiece of the meeting was an hour-long debate on the high-profile “Cap and Invest” proposal being considered by the Oregon Legislature. Chief sponsors (and respective chairs of the House and Senate Environment committees) Sen. Michael Dembrow (D-Portland) and Rep. Ken Helm (D-Beaverton) walked through the results of the various workgroups that met throughout the fall and discussed the changes made to the bill in response. Rep. David Brock Smith (R-Port Orford), along with representatives from PGE and Oregon Forest Industries Council (OFIC) provided counterpoints and information about the impacts to their sectors.
Other important topics considered by the committee included the proposed increase in the document recording fee for affordable housing. The committee balanced the need for additional resources for affordable housing and the potential for additional money going to counties for technical assistance with the very large increase in the fee and the lack of five percent of the fee going to county clerks to maintain their recording systems. The committee also voted on updated principles and heard about legislation likely to be introduced during the upcoming February session, including an AOC priority (sponsored by Rep. John Lively (D-Springfield) on restoring certainty in video lottery receipts to counties.
Contributed by: Mike Eliason | AOC Legislative Director