Homeless shelter Salem Oregon (File/Salem Reporter)
On Thursday, the Oregon Senate signed off the the rebalance of the state budget. Normally, a hum-drum legislative affair, this time, lawmakers have set aside additional money for some of the Salem area's most pressing problems.
THE ISSUE: Communities across the state are still struggling with the aftermath of last year’s wildfires as well as the ongoing effects of the Covid pandemic and the state’s housing crisis.
THE BILL: House Bill 5042
WHAT IT DOES: The bill includes additional funding aimed at addressing these ongoing challenges, with money set aside specifically for the Salem area. It dedicates an additional $1.1 million to help communities in the Santiam Canyon rebuild from the wildfires.
The bill includes $5 million to help Salem build its long-sought-after navigation center, a low-barrier shelter that’s been part of the city’s plan to address homelessness.
Additionally, the bill spends $250 million for the Summer Learning and Child Care Package, which will fund summer school, early learning, wraparound child care services and other programs.
WHY IT WAS PROPOSED: The Oregon Legislature needs to rebalance its two-year state budget. It’s usually a routine act that makes technical adjustments and changes spending levels.
HOW THE MARION/POLK DELEGATION VOTED:
Sen. Brian Boquist, I-Dallas: No
Sen. Peter Courtney, D-Salem: Yes
Sen. Fred Girod, R-Lyons: Yes
Sen. Deb Patterson, D-Salem: Yes
Sen. Kim Thatcher, R-Keizer: Excused
The bill passed the House on April 1 on a 55-0 vote.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT: It goes to Gov. Kate Brown for her signature.