Oregon Congressional Delegation Stacks Millions of “Landmarks” | Local and State

Most of the Oregon congressional delegation is asking US House budgets for nearly $ 50 million to fund statewide projects as part of the 2022 federal budget process, but it’s not “targets”. Kind of.

U.S. Representatives Suzanne Bonamici, Kurt Schrader, Earl Blumenauer and Peter DeFazio presented a stack of proposals in late March for dozens of projects and programs. U.S. Representative Cliff Bentz from Ontario, the state’s only Republican in Congress, made no proposal. Bentz staff were contacted for comment, but did not provide any.

Officially, these are not “trademarks”. Under new House rules adopted at the end of February, the proposals are “community project funding applications.” Oregon’s proposals were selected from hundreds of people sought after by local governments, school districts, counties and agencies.

Two months ago, House Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., Opened up the 2022 budget process to specific funding requests from representatives for projects and programs. This process, commonly known as “benchmarks”, was interrupted almost ten years ago. The leadership of the Democratic House brought him back for the new budget. Among the rules for new “assignments” was the requirement that all proposals be posted on members of Congress’ websites.

DeLauro staff said the credit subcommittees would start scoring proposals in June. The process could take months. The federal budget year begins on October 1. It is likely that many of Oregon’s proposals will not survive the rigorous and often controversial process.

Extension of the clinic and quiet area

Bonamici has proposed nearly $ 10 million in projects in the 1st Congressional District. She sought funds for landslide mitigation in Astoria, money for the Hillsboro Water System Project, funds to renovate the Japanese Institute building in Portland, money for a non-profit incubator development project in Beaverton, funds to purchase a defibrillator for the Banks Fire District, and money to pay. a small business center in St. Helens.

In Beaverton, Bonamici’s proposal would fund part of the Oregon Tech Mall’s plan to develop an incubator to help people start nonprofits. The center on SW Millikan Way was created by the Town of Beaverton.

In Newberg, funds from Bonamici’s proposal would help the Virginia Garcia Clinic grow to provide dental, pharmaceutical and primary care to patients living in Yamhill County.

Blumenauer has offered around $ 10.4 million for his 3rd Congressional District. Projects included requests for money for the Cascade AIDS project, funds to develop a sports complex in Gresham Park, funds for seismic improvements to a PDX track, and funds for the Portland Community’s artificial intelligence program. Middle School.

In Gresham, Blumenauer’s proposal would help fund the second phase of the Tier Community Sports Park on NW Eastman Parkway. The work would increase the capacity and basic infrastructure of the Gradin community sports park.

Blumenauer is also seeking funds to replace deteriorated wooden structural members on three trestles and the railroad track to help keep the Willamette Shore Line Railway safe on its journey from downtown Lake Oswego to the front. South Portland Sea.

In addition, Blumenauer has requested $ 200,000 to fund the Street Level Outreach Program of the City of Portland’s Violence Prevention Office, which focuses on the root causes of conflict in neighborhoods rather than the police. .

Schrader offered $ 16.3 million, the bulk of the delegation, for the 5th Congressional District. His proposals included funding for improvements to Marion County Public Safety Radio, money for research into reducing the risk of entanglement for whales, money to improve locks on the Willamette River. near West Linn and funds to create a railway quiet zone in Oregon City.

A large portion of Schrader’s funding proposals would be spent repairing the locks and canal from Willamette Falls to West Linn. The work would protect the locks from an earthquake and “move the locks closer to the return of the Willamette River to a single waterway,” according to Schrader’s proposal.

In Oregon City, Schrader wants funds to create a quiet rail zone throughout much of downtown. The work would bring several safety improvements to level crossings in the city center.

DeFazio, which represents Southern Oregon’s 4th Congressional District, has sought $ 12 million in projects. These included funds to improve Coos County’s emergency radio system, money for parks in Springfield and funds to expand a rural health clinic in Cottage Grove.

Important needs

Blumenauer said the project proposals were only a small part of the federal budget, but were badly needed in parts of the state.

“What I’ve tried to prioritize are the requests that address some of our community’s most pressing needs, from mental health and public safety to access to health care for LGBTQ + and Native Americans, ”Blumenauer said. “As far as what’s going on, it’s a new process that everyone is going through for the first time, so it’s hard to make predictions. What I can say is that we are going to fight very hard to ensure that the Federal Government is a strong partner with Oregon and local leaders on projects critical to the health and safety of our people. “

Bonamici said his office had received more than 70 applications for funding from Oregon projects and programs in the 1st Congressional District, “demonstrating that communities have significant infrastructure and other needs that would benefit from a targeted federal investment. “

“I have looked for projects that would support job creation and our economic recovery from the pandemic, and I am confident in the merits and eligibility of the projects I am pushing forward,” she said.

Schrader said his proposals were “targeted to meet these important demands in a wide range of areas, including health, education, housing, transport and the environment.”

“While I am not sure which of the significant projects will receive funding, I believe the financial support would help each of them move forward, especially in our small towns, which could not afford to undertake. only necessary improvements, “he said. .

Funding proposals include:

• Pre-Astoria Landslide Storm Drainage Project, $ 902,500.

• Beaverton Non-Profit Incubator Development Project, $ 500,000.

• Behavioral Health Resource Center Plaza in Multnomah County, $ 1.35 million (same request as Blumenauer).

• Banks Fire District 13 Cardiac Monitor / Defibrillator Project, $ 170,000.

• Columbia County Small Business Resource Center, Columbia County Economics Team, $ 175,000.

• Expansion of construction trades, WorkSystems Inc., $ 1 million

• Newberg Clinic Expansion, Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center, $ 2.12 million.

• Japan Institute building renovation project, Portland Japanese Garden, $ 1.75 million.

• Improve and expand the coastal margin observation and forecasting program, $ 760,000.

• Construction of a water supply system, Town of Hillsboro, $ 1 million.

• Cascade AIDs Project: Expanding the Prism, $ 847,337.

• Phase II development of the Gradin community sports park, Gresham, $ 2 million.

• Environmental dredging and restoration of the Lower Willamette ecosystem

• Portland Office of Violence Prevention Street Level Awareness Program, $ 200,000.

• Friends of Children Mental Health Capacity Building Project, $ 750,000.

• Multnomah County Behavioral Health Resource Center, $ 1.35 million (same request as Bonamici).

• North West Native American Center of Excellence Flight Program, $ 800,405.

• Development at the port of Portland of an earthquake-resistant runway at PDX, $ 1 million.

• Portland Community College Artificial Intelligence Program, $ 793,000.

• Repair of rails and trestles on the Willamette Shore line, $ 2 million.

• Removal of pinnipeds from the Columbia River, $ 892,000.

• Upgrading and Repairing the Marion County Public Safety Radio System, $ 1.2 million.

• Research on reducing the risk of entanglement for whales, $ 100,000.

• Willamette Falls Locks and Canal Upgrades, $ 6.6 million.

• Providence Milwaukie House, $ 800,000.

• Tillamook Bay Community College Nursing Program, $ 418,100.

• Excavation and resiliency of the Detroit Lakes marinas, $ 2.5 million.

• North Fork Road Improvement Project in Marion County, $ 1.44 million.

• Oregon City Quiet Zone, $ 2 million.

• SafeSleep United women’s shelter in Salem, $ 425,000.

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