The OR CHIPS Bill: How Oregon Plans to Transform Its Infrastructure

Democrats and Republicans passed the OR CHIPS Bill in the Joint Committee on Semiconductors of the Oregon Legislature (Senate Bill 4).

The bill is the first step the Oregon Legislature is taking to protect the future of the state’s semiconductor industry.

The bill is meant to make it easier for businesses in Oregon to apply for some of the $52 billion in federal money available through the CHIPS and Science Act.

The CHIPS Bill

This money is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to cement Oregon’s position as a world leader in developing and making semiconductors.

β€œThis is a crucial first step towards securing Oregon’s semiconductor future. This legislation will create good-paying, long-term jobs in every corner of our state, keep Oregon’s economy stable and competitive in the 21st Century, and protect America’s critical semiconductor supply chain,” Sen. Janeen Sollman (D-Hillsboro) said.

The bill gives $190 million to the Oregon CHIPS Fund, which will be given out in the form of grants and loans for:

  • Development and acquisition of a site for semiconductor manufacturing
  • Semiconductor research and development
  • Workforce development, including internships and apprenticeships

A new fund called the Industrial Lands Loan Fund will get an extra $10 million to help local governments prepare land for industrial development in the semiconductor industry.

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Also, $10 million will go to the University Innovation Research Fund so that public universities can use federal research grants to do more research.

β€œOregon is a world class hub for semiconductors, and with SB 4, we are making our first move to draw in federal CHIPS Dollars and solidify Oregon’s status,”Rep. Janelle Bynum (D-Clackamas) said. β€œI am so proud of the work of this committee.”

The bill says that projects that get money from OR CHIPS must promise to create full-time, permanent jobs and have a net positive effect on local and state revenues.

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Researching and making semiconductors are well-paying, stable jobs that often don’t require a four-year degree. Oregon’s new semiconductor manufacturing plant could create as many as 26,000 jobs and add billions to the state’s GDP.

β€œThis is a great first step, but phase two begins now. Oregon has work left to do to attract business and invest in our future shared prosperity,” said Rep. Kim Wallan (R-Medford) said. β€œI look forward to continuing to work with this powerhouse committee.”

β€œOR CHIPS is a game changer for Oregon,” Senate Majority Leader Kate Lieber (D-Beaverton and Southwest Portland) said.

“It will open up billions in funding for local businesses and innovators, create thousands of family-wage jobs, and put Oregon families in every corner of this state on the path to prosperity.

β€œ There is still more work to be done, but I applaud the urgency and effectiveness of this committee in passing such a consequential piece of legislation this early in session.”

The bill also sets up a fair way to use land that respects Oregon’s 50-year-old land use system while giving the state enough flexibility to attract manufacturing centers that make billions of dollars.

Under Senate Bill 4, the governor will be able to put up to eight new areas outside the urban growth boundaries already in place.

The Joint Ways and Means Committee will now think about Senate Bill 4.

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