For the state legislative session that ended last month, Clackamas County achieved a 72% success rate on outcomes from bills where the county took an active position.
Clackamas County advocated on over 70 issues that align with the county’s five Performance Clackamas strategic priorities:
- Grow a Vibrant Economy
- Build a Strong Infrastructure
- Ensure Safe, Healthy, and Secure Communities
- Honor, Utilize, Promote, and Invest in Our Natural Resources
- Build Public Trust Through Good Government
A total of 2,768 bills were introduced in the legislative session. Clackamas County tracked 1,869 related to local government.
Clackamas County’s success on key legislative issues was a result of effective state and regional partnerships, countless hours of staff activity tracking and reviewing bills, and support from the 17-member Clackamas Caucus – a bipartisan and bicameral group of state legislators representing various areas throughout Clackamas County.
The legislative successes were detailed to Clackamas County Commissioners in a Policy Session held yesterday.
The county’s top two state legislative priorities were to achieve a second phase of funding for the County Courthouse Replacement Project, and to fund the full project cost to widen I-205 to three lanes in both directions from Stafford Road to OR 99E in Oregon City, including the Abernethy Bridge.
The courthouse project received $31.5 million in matching funds that will support the design and engineering phase of the project.
While I-205 did not receive funding this session, two bills were advanced to promote funding, including one from House Speaker Tina Kotek. The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) expects to complete project design and engineering in 2020, but presently no money is allotted for construction. Clackamas County and the region still experience daily congestion on I-205 caused by the bottleneck in this corridor.
The county helped to successfully advocate for passed bills which supported:
- New policies and $5 million statewide to incentivize the cleanup of contaminated “brownfield” properties, which are traditionally so cost-burdened by contamination cleanup requirements that developers often don’t consider them as usable sites.
- Roughly $300 million for acquisition, preservation, and construction of affordable housing, low-income renter assistance, homeless assistance, and permanent supportive housing. New tenant protections also will eliminate no cause evictions and put caps on annual rent increases.
- The creation of a statewide drug take back program that will establish drop boxes in select locations to safely and properly dispose of unused over-the-counter and prescription medications.
- New regulations in the Metro area to crack down on older, heavily polluting diesel engines that produce emissions which greatly exceed Oregon’s health benchmark.