HomeOregon NewsGovernor Kotek considers line-item vetoes for Oregon housing and infrastructure projects

Governor Kotek considers line-item vetoes for Oregon housing and infrastructure projects

Oregon – Governor Tina Kotek of Oregon has recently indicated that she might exercise her veto powers for specific budget allocations from the 2024 legislative session. This action underlines a rigorous scrutiny process aimed at ensuring taxpayer funds are effectively used, particularly in projects aimed at boosting housing production and infrastructure development.

Scrutiny and Transparency in Funding

Governor Kotek’s office is reviewing a series of one-time funding allocations outlined in Section 9 of Senate Bill 1530. The review is part of a broader effort to ensure that these funds contribute directly to shovel-ready projects that will significantly increase new housing availability, a critical issue in Oregon. The Governor emphasized the importance of confirming the details of each project, stating, “After the legislative session, my office began a review of each of the projects to confirm project scope, cost, timeline, feasibility, and the nexus to housing production and affordability.”

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To further this objective, Governor Kotek has given cities and districts the chance to provide additional information to demonstrate how these allocations will directly result in new housing developments within an acceptable timeframe. This request reflects her commitment to “transparency, accountability, and outcomes with public funds,” ensuring that financial resources are channeled where they are most needed and effective.

Potential Vetoes on the Horizon

The Governor’s office has pinpointed seven projects that require further justification to establish a clear connection to specific housing developments. These projects are currently under threat of line-item vetoes and involve significant sums earmarked for essential infrastructure upgrades across various localities:

  • $3 million for wastewater treatment facility upgrades at Oak Lodge Water Services Authority.
  • $3 million for wastewater treatment plant upgrades in the City of Siletz.
  • $3 million for upgrades to the pump station on SW 189th Avenue in Beaverton for the Tualatin Valley Water District.
  • $1.5 million each for wastewater treatment enhancements in Butte Falls and Shady Cove.
  • $1 million each for critical wastewater and water treatment upgrades in Creswell and Gold Hill.

These allocations, which total $14 million, are being scrutinized for their direct impact on housing projects, without which they may not receive funding.

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Additional Veto Considerations

Governor Kotek is also considering a veto for Section 499 of Senate Bill 5701, which allocates $2 million to the Old Town Community Association for the Made in Old Town development project. While she acknowledges the project’s potential to revitalize Downtown Portland’s Old Town neighborhood, she has reservations about the financial viability of the entire project. Her decision will hinge on the additional details provided by the development group concerning their financing plans.

Decision Timeline

The governor has set a deadline of April 17 to announce her final decisions regarding these potential vetoes. This deadline allows adequate time for the affected parties to submit the required information and for her office to evaluate their submissions thoroughly.

As Oregon continues to tackle housing and infrastructure challenges, the outcomes of these decisions will significantly impact the state’s ability to meet its housing needs efficiently and transparently. Governor Kotek’s proactive stance on reviewing these allocations ensures that state resources are managed wisely, benefiting communities across Oregon.

Orion Hargrove


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