Oregon Governor Kotek Opposes a $1 Billion Interstate 5 Bridge Bond

RegardingΒ replacing the Interstate 5 bridge between Oregon and Washington, Governor Tina Kotek needs to beΒ on board with legislative proposals to contribute $1 billion in state-issued bonds.

This week, the Joint Transportation Committee previewed legislation that would authorize issuingΒ $1 billion in general obligation bonds to fund the bridge restoration. Bond buyers would front the state up-front cash to repair the bridge, and the government would pay them back with interest throughoutΒ the following four biennia.

During a tour of Polk County on Friday, April 14, Kotek told reporters that she supports replacing the aging bridge and agrees that transportation officials are headed in the right direction with their current design, which includes three lanes of traffic in each direction, light rail, and separate lanes for buses, bicycles, and pedestrians.

However, she objected to the planned funding mechanism. Kotek has proposed allocating $770m in bonds for low-income housing and another $130mΒ for supportive housing for the chronically homeless.

Oregon Governor Kotek Opposes a $1 Billion Interstate 5 Bridge Bond

β€œI am uncomfortable with the current conversation of a billion dollars over the next four biennia in obligation bonding,” she said. β€œI think there needs to be some general obligation bonding this session to move forward on our commitment on the bridge.” 

According to a study from Oregon’s state Treasury in January, the state might issue $7.76 billion in bonds over the next four budget years, or an average of $970 million yearly. If the state were to borrow too much money, it would harm its credit rating and have to pay more to issue bonds in the future.

Kotek said she would lobby legislators to use existing bridge funding since the state should spend lessΒ of its bonding capacity on the project.

β€œRight now, I’m asking for a billion dollars in bonding for housing,” she said. β€œIf we tie up a lot of money in the bridge over the next four biennia, that limits our ability to do other things. So we really have to think that through.”

Representative Susan McLain, the primary advocate of bridge legislation, waited to respond to a phone or text message on Friday afternoon. The Joint Ways and Means Committee drafted the state budget and was slated to have a hearing in Newport on Friday at 5 o’clock.

The freshest information on events at Oregon State is as follows:

The Interstate Bridge Replacement Program’s spokesperson, Kelliann Amico, declined to comment on pending legislation.

Current estimates put the bridge’s price between $5 billion and $7.5 billion, with Oregon and Washington contributing $1 billion, highway tolls contributing up to $1.6 billion, and the federal government providing between $1.7 billion and $2.7 billion.

( Source Link )

Neon Martin

Neon Martin is a talented content writer with a passion for crafting engaging, informative articles on a wide range of topics. With a keen eye for detail and a love of language, Neon has honed their writing skills over several years of experience in the field.Neon's work can be found on Focushillsboro.com, where they contribute insightful articles that explore the many facets of life in Hillsboro and the surrounding areas. Whether delving into local events, highlighting community leaders, or sharing tips on living a healthy and fulfilling life, Neon's writing always captivates and informs.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top