ClackCo Board finalizes state legislative priorities

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Courthouse, tolling, state partnership, housing, mental health and addiction services among priorities

Oregon City, ORE.—Jan. 12, 2023: The Clackamas County Board of Commissioners finalized their 2023 state legislative policy agenda Wednesday ahead of the Oregon State Legislature convening next week. 

“Our top two legislative initiatives reinforce our focus on core county services. First, we need to look at funding alternatives that reduce the burden of ODOT’s current tolling plan on local communities. Second, we need to secure an additional state match for our replacement county courthouse,” said Board Chair Tootie Smith. “Also, we encourage the state to partner with the county on reducing homelessness, expanding land opportunities for the siting of new businesses and enhancing the public safety system.”

Here are the priorities for the county’s 2023 state legislative policy agenda:

  • Courthouse replacement project
    Secure additional state bond funds to support the replacement of the 85-year old, structurally-deficient Clackamas County Courthouse to complete the state’s contribution toward the project. 
  • Interstate 205 Improvements Project and Tolling Policies
    Ensure ODOT’s timely completion and diversified funding for seismic and widening of Interstate 205. As ODOT plans to toll drivers to fund this project, the Board is imploring that the state implement tolling in a transparent manner that mitigates diversion onto local roads, ensures equity for the most burdened users and is turned on at the same time as the regional toll program.

Further priorities include:

  • Rebuild critical partnerships between the state and counties. 
  • Regionally balanced approach to land availability and readiness.
  • Advance housing and employment needs of the county including addressing the housing crisis. 
  • Sufficient and predictable revenue and state indemnification of local governments in cases where the county contracts with the state to provide services.
  • Support funding for local public safety diversion programs tied to drug addiction, such as crisis stabilization and detox centers, mental health facilities and services, and juvenile prevention programs.