Monday, March 6, 2023
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News & Notes: Happy St Patrick's Day!
"Oregon Chips Act", moves to Ways and Means

Passing out of committee with a 12-2 vote Senate Bill 4, dubbed the "Oregon Chips Act", moved out of the Joint Committee on Semiconductors last night. The bill calls for investments of $190 million for grant or loan incentives tied to state and local revenue for jobs development, plus $10 million for a local government industrial land development fund and $10 million to support universities seeking research grants. However, the heart of the bill is its' effort to bypass Oregon's land use system, allowing the Governor the authority to bring land into the urban growth boundary (UGB).

One land use attorney who provided testimony referred to the Oregon land use system as "sticky", stating that once the decisions get pulled into the appeals process, it could take years to get through to a decision. The goal of the Semiconductor Task Force is to have land ready for development in 18-24 months. If the Governor were given the authority to bring land into the UGB, the land would still need to be annexed, rezoned, infrastructure and transportation would need to be planned, all of which can take 12-18 months on a compressed timeline leaving little time for a potentially lengthy UGB appeals process.

In a letter to lawmakers Duncan Wyse of the Oregon Business Council wrote, "These provisions create a significant risk of protracted litigation, sending Oregon down the road of years of process and appeals while other states are (putting) dollars, shovels and advanced lithography machines to work.” He continued, "This timeline (of 18-24 months) is for good reason — the entirety of the CHIPS Act has a time-limited, five-year window, and chip firms are making investment decisions now. Unfortunately, we do not believe SB4 will accomplish this goal in its current form."

While the bill moves forward in the process, it seems few of the legislators are happy with it in its current form. However, there seems to be general agreement that this is a starting point and that the work will continue through the rest of session. Next up are conversations about research and development, new or expanded tax credit, as well as continued conversation about the UGB process.

WEA members are invited to join us on Monday March 27 for a special meeting with the Semi-Conductor committee co-Chairs Senator Sollman and Representative Bynum. See more information below. Contact [email protected] to sign up.

Congresswoman Salinas sits down the WEA

WEA had the honor of being the first business group to meet with Congresswoman Andrea Salinas, a freshman member of Congress from Oregon's newly drawn 6th Congressional District.

Her priority legislation, which is still being crafted, will tackle the workforce shortage in the behavioral health profession. Other priorities include the Reauthorization of the Farm Bill which will include funding of the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP). With a one third mix of suburban, urban and rural constituents, her involvement on the Agriculture Committee will give Oregon a bigger voice for working Americans.

Salinas also sits on the Science, Space and Technology Committee, with Representative Suzanne Bonamici, from Oregon's 1st Congressional District. Salinas believes Oregon business is poised to grow with a pipeline of non-defense contractors and innovation. She also mentioned opportunities for innovation around pharmaceuticals, expanding research and development, and the growing area of artificial intelligence.

We appreciate her collegiality and effort to work across the aisle in her short time will continue to stay connected to the Representative and her staff and look forward future partnerships. You can follow her work on her official government website:
WEA Board member appointed Co-Chair of Governor's Housing Production Advisory Council
On her first full day in office, Governor Tina Kotek signed an executive order that set an ambitious housing production goal of 36,000 homes per year and established a council of leaders charged with developing an action plan to meet the new construction targets.
Less than two months after that announcement, Governor Kotek rolled out her appointments to the Housing Production Advisory Council (HPAC).

Westside Economic Alliance Board Member Damien Hall was tapped to co-Chair this critical committee along with J.D. Tovey. Damien is a partner with Dunn Carney and is widely recognized as an expert on land use law and affordable and market housing development.

“I know too many Oregonians are struggling to find stable housing or on the verge of losing it,” Governor Kotek said. “Employers, particularly in rural and suburban areas, are struggling to hire and keep staff because there is nowhere for them to live or they are commuting from hours away. This is not sustainable. We must build more housing.”

The HPAC will bring robust experience in a broad set of disciplines and represent Oregon’s diverse demographics and geography.

The Governor's order established an annual housing production goal of 36,000 additional housing units at all levels of affordability across the state to address Oregon’s current housing shortage and keep pace with projected population growth. That’s an ambitious target – about an 80 percent increase over current construction trends – and would set Oregon on a path to build 360,000 additional homes over the next decade. This goal was accompanied by the establishment of the HPAC to help get the job done.

The other members include a range of housing leaders, local government representatives, bipartisan legislators, a Tribal member, and relevant state agency directors.
Clackamas County breaks ground on new Courthouse
Members of the Oregon Supreme Court, Clackamas County Circuit Court, Oregon State Legislature, Clackamas County Commission, and Clackamas Progress Partners celebrated the groundbreaking of a replacement courthouse in Clackamas County this morning. 
The original courthouse in downtown Oregon City, built in 1936 when the county only had 50,000 residents, is functionally obsolete and can no longer serve the needs of the county’s 420,000+ residents.
Construction of the replacement courthouse is scheduled for completion in 2025.
“This effort started more than 30 years ago,” said Clackamas County Chair Tootie Smith. “With the help of our state partners and the good fiscal management at the county, we are able to do this project without requiring any new taxes.”
Many bipartisan members of the Oregon State Legislature support the county’s efforts to complete the project. 
The replacement courthouse’s location on the county’s Red Soils Campus in Oregon City will provide courthouse users with easy access to county resources including Social Services, Behavioral Health, Public Health, Juvenile, Veterans Services, and A Safe Place Family Justice Center. 
Special Forum: Sign Up Today
Welcome to our New Directors
Evan Bernstein, Pacific NW Properties

Evan is a principal at Pacific NW Properties, a Beaverton-based commercial real estate development, investment and property management firm where he oversees all acquisitions, dispositions, leasing, development site selection, and marketing, amongst other focus areas.
Marshall McGrady, IBEW Local 48

Marshall became Political Director of IBEW Local 48 in July of 2021. Prior to that he worked in the field for 14 years as a General Foreman and was an instructor at the Training Center for seven years full time, and nine years part-time. Marshall represents IBEW 48's approximately 4,000 members.
More dates announced...
Want to find out more about what's happening on the Westside? What are cities and counties planning? Meet your elected officials?

What better way than to attend your local 'State of..." event. Click here or on the graphic to get more details on these events.

Did you miss this week's Beaverton State of the City with Mayor Lacey Beaty? Click here to watch.

We've done our best to find all local events for this listing, but is your event missing? If so, please send it to [email protected].
Committee & Board Meetings
Want to Join the Golf Committee?

The Westside Scramble is Thursday, July 27th at the Reserve Vineyard & Golf Club with a shotgun start at 12:30. The Committee, chaired by Diego Arguea, meets the second Friday of the month at WEA.

Reach out to Dani if you would like to join the team!
Looking to get more involved with WEA?

There are lots of opportunities to engage. In addition to our regular Forums, members can join a committee. Come to every meeting, or just pop in for the topics of interest. Reach out to Dani to get connected with Transportation, Government Relations or Land Use & Housing committees.
Want to get your organization out front?

All of our Forums and Events rely on our generous corporate sponsors. Contact Dani, WEA's Director of Membership and Events to learn more about WEA's sponsorship program.