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Ochoco Irrigation District due $4.87 million in federal funds for canal piping projects; much more detailed

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(Update: Adding new rounds of funding announcements)

Tumalo Irrigation District, Warm Springs Commissary also to benefit, 2 new vehicles for Council on Aging

WASHINGTON (KTVZ) -- Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., announced Thursday a number of crucial wins for Oregon in the Senate agricultural spending bill, which they said will invest in agriculture, rural housing, food assistance, and rural business priorities that will benefit farms and families in every corner of the state, including Central Oregon irrigation canal-piping projects.

These wins have been included in Congress’s final funding package for fiscal year 2022, the omnibus spending bill, which is expected to pass both chambers of Congress and be signed into law by President Biden this week.

“As I travel rural Oregon, I hear about numerous farming and ranching challenges and the need for rural housing and broadband,” said Merkley, the former lead Democrat of the subcommittee. “The ag spending bill invests in all that and more and I’m really proud to support it.”

“I’ve kept my promise to hold town halls each year in each of our state’s 36 counties in large part so I can hear directly and consistently from rural Oregonians about their needs when it comes to agriculture, wildfires, housing, broadband and much more,” Wyden said. “After more than 1,000 town halls statewide and counting, I’m gratified this legislation provides such a robust response to the economic and quality-of-life concerns I’ve heard at those town halls and other settings in rural Oregon.”

Merkley is the only Oregon member of Congress from either chamber since Senator Mark Hatfield to serve on the Appropriations Committee, considered to be one of the most powerful on Capitol Hill. He joined the committee in 2013 so that Oregon would have a strong voice in decisions about the investments our nation should be making.

Key elements to benefit Oregonians that included in Thursday’s bill are:

Wine Grape Smoke Exposure Research: The unprecedented wildfire seasons of recent years have blanketed much of the state of Oregon with dense, hazardous smoke, which has significantly impacted Oregon’s wine grape harvest. To better understand the challenges facing Oregon’s wine growers, the bill includes $3 million for research into smoke-impacted grapes at Oregon State University (OSU) and other West Coast universities, a $1.5 million increase.

Rural Housing: The bill includes $1.45 billion for rental assistance and $45 million for Rural Housing Service Vouchers, which will help address the urgent housing crisis facing Oregon’s rural communities.

Rural Energy Saving Program: The bill increases the authority available for the energy efficiency upgrades to $208 million. The program, which provides funding to rural utilities and other companies to increase energy efficiency, was created by Senator Merkley when he was the top Democrat on the subcommittee. 

Water Conservation and Habitat Restoration: The bill includes $100 million for the Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations, in addition to the $500 million included in the IIJA for the program. This funding used to replace open irrigation ditches with pipes is critical to irrigation districts that need to improve water efficiency and conservation or otherwise improve fish and wildlife habitat. This program is providing critical funding for the collaborative processes underway across the state working to conserve water and keep Oregon’s family farms in business while improving the habitats of endangered species. Construction has begun on several key projects to address water resource interests in Central Oregon, including in the Tumalo Irrigation District and Central Oregon Irrigation District, and funding announced Thursday will allow further expansion.

Pacific Shellfish: The bill includes $2.5 million of federal funding for cutting-edge research to improve the productivity, sustainability, and resiliency of the Pacific shellfish agricultural system. This research is critical to efforts to mitigate the impacts of climate chaos on the health and economies of Oregon’s coastal communities.

Western Rangeland Livestock: The bill includes $3 million for the establishment of a Western Rangeland Precision Livestock center to develop precision-based nutrition strategies for rangeland-based livestock, as well as technology-based rangeland and livestock management strategies to optimize the health and productivity of Western rangeland-based livestock and the rangeland ecosystem. This funding will be split among land grant universities in Oregon, Montana, and Wisconsin.

Sudden Oak Death and other Agricultural Research: The Agricultural Research Service received an increase of $180 million in funding for cutting-edge research to improve the productivity, sustainability, and health of the nation’s agricultural systems. In addition, Merkley was able to secure funding for key Oregon agriculture research programs, including funding for research on the Sudden Oak Death pathogen plaguing the south coast. Other research funding victories include research for alfalfa, barley, tree fruits, pear, wheat, hops, hemp, apple, shellfish, small fruits, seaweed, floriculture, nurseries, and rangeland ecology.

Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT):  The bill continues funding the Summer EBT program at $45 million.  This program has provided much-needed nutrition for Oregon families during the summer months when schools are not in session.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): SNAP is funded at $140.4 billion, a 23 percent increase or $26 billion over fiscal year 2021. This increase will ensure Oregonians receive increased benefits.

Summer Food Service Program (SFSP): $581 million for a federally-funded, state-administered program that reimburses program operators who serve free healthy meals and snacks to children and teens in low-income areas. Maintaining level funding for this program is important for children to receive access to healthy and nutritious meals while on summer break.

Food Corps: The bill provides an increase of $500,000 for Food and Agriculture Service Learning.  This program helps improve education resources for healthy eating especially among children.

Hemp: The bill provides $4 million for Agricultural Research Services (ARS). ARS funding will allow for critical hemp genetic research and breeding with new techniques.  Hemp has already quickly become one of Oregon’s leading cash crops, and many feel it has the potential to bring in more than $1 billion in sales to Oregon in the coming years with a fair and reasonable regulatory framework.

In addition to the funding allotments above, Merkley and Wyden secured federal funding for nine projects throughout Oregon. Those funds and projects include:

  • $4,875,000 headed to the Ochoco Irrigation District, to implement two phases of its irrigation modernization project. Once completed, the project will return 12 cfs of water to the Crooked River that will improve habitat for fish and wildlife and also provide agricultural benefits for farmers and ranchers. The federal funds will be boosted by matching funds from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and grants from the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board.
  • $2,500,000 secured for the East Fork Irrigation District of Hood River County, to complete the final phase of their system modernization project—the piping of the Eastside Lateral Canal.
  • $2,000,000 secured for the Wallowa Lake Dam Rehabilitation project, which will include necessary fish passage facilities and further the efforts to restore imperiled species that inhabit Wallowa Lake and the Wallowa River.
  • $750,000 secured for the McKay Creek Irrigation Efficiency Project, which is organized by the Deschutes River Conservancy, and will work with 15 landowners along the creek to implement projects that improve irrigation practices and increase crop production. The efforts will help restore flows to the middle section of McKay Creek, an important cold-water tributary of the Crooked River.
  • $500,000 headed to the Detroit Lake Foundation, to support the construction of a new Community Center in Detroit after the previous one was destroyed in the 2020 Labor Day fires. The Center will serve as an emergency shelter, daycare, and early education facility.
  • $450,000 headed for the Warm Springs Commissary Project, which the Warm Springs Community Action Team is undertaking to restore the 125-year-old commissary building on the Warm Springs Reservation. The renovated building will be an economic hub for the community.
  • $150,000 headed to the Oregon Food Bank and the Community Connection of Northeast Oregon to upgrade rural food banks and food distribution centers.
  • $50,000 secured to support broadband solar internet trailers in Sherman County—trailers that are parked in rural areas and beam wireless high-speed internet to homes in valleys.
  • $50,000 headed to the Friends of the Fossil Library to help secure a new facility for the Fossil Public Library.

"This year’s drought has shown how badly we need to modernize agricultural infrastructure,” said Julie O’Shea, Executive Director of the Farmers Conservation Alliance. “East Fork Irrigation District’s watershed plan alone will save the equivalent amount of water as the cities of Eugene, Salem and Hood River consume for drinking water each year. In total, irrigation modernization projects in Oregon will support over 1700 jobs, reduce the cost for Oregon’s farmers and protects water instream for fish. Senator Merkley’s and Senator Wyden's leadership on securing investments that increase agricultural resilience and maximize environmental benefits has been critical.”

“The economic sustainability of wheat production in the Pacific Northwest requires healthy research facilities. Senator Merkley and Senator Wyden have been dedicated to sustaining the Ag Research stations Oregon producers depend upon for long term viability of farming operations,” said Amanda Hoey, CEO of the Oregon Wheat Growers League.

“The recent Western US drought and chaotic climate events underscore the importance of redoubled efforts to protect and enhance resilience of dry land farming in Oregon and the PNW. Senator Merkley’s and Senator Wyden’s prescient investments in new scientists and research to cope with our mounting challenges could not have come at a more critical time for the survival of dry land farm families and rural economies. I am grateful for their insight into local needs and the vital support provided by their teams.” said Greg Goad, ARS/OSU Liaison member, Pendleton Station.

“The Ochoco Irrigation District is thrilled that Senator Merkley successfully included our irrigation modernization project in this spending bill," said Bruce Scanlon, manager of Ochoco Irrigation District. "This project is part of OID’s mission to effectively and efficiently serve irrigation needs of our patrons: Not only will it reduce the operations and maintenance costs for farmers in the district, it will also save water—returning it to the Crooked River and benefitting fish species. And project construction will employ dozens of people in our community. We thank Senator Merkley for his leadership, and urge Congress to include this funding in the final bill.”

"Senator Merkley's efforts to secure funding for Sherman County's Solar Broadband Trailer Project in the Agriculture Appropriation Committee mark-up is greatly appreciated," said Joe Dabulskis, Sherman County Judge. "Fast, reliable internet access can be life changing and is key to our residents' ability to access medical care, education and job opportunities.  We are fortunate to be able to partner our efforts with Senator Merkley's to add more solar trailers to provide service to our citizens."

“We truly appreciate Senator Merkley’s and Senator Wyden’s leadership and advocacy on behalf of the Northeast Oregon Regional Food Bank and Community Connection.  We’ve been the region’s food bank since 1985, and our new food distribution center is about eight times larger than our previous facility. Senator Wyden’s and Senator Merkley’s support for the much improved center ensures that residents of Northeast Oregon will have access to healthy food for decades to come,” said Margaret Davidson, Executive Director, Community Connection of Northeast Oregon, Inc.

 "This is a very exciting day for East Fork Irrigation District," said Steve Pappas, District Manager of East Fork Irrigation District. "We have been working hard for over 30 years to modernize our system. With this investment, we will be able to continue modernizing the Eastside Service Area. The project will conserve water, reduce energy use, improve irrigation water reliability, and enhance fish and wildlife habitat in the Hood River watershed. We appreciate Senator Merkley’s leadership in helping us increase the resilience of our communities and farming in the Hood River Basin for the next 100 years."

“We are grateful for this continued investment, which will benefit the lands, waters and wildlife of Oregon. It allows stakeholders in the sagebrush of Eastern Oregon to team with the ARS to advance collaborative science-based conservation and demonstrate the importance of science in addressing complex ecosystem problems such as increased wildfire activity and invasive annual grasses,” said Garth Fuller, Eastern Oregon Conservation Director, The Nature Conservancy.

“For the second year in a row, Senator Merkley has secured language in support of a clinical trial for a rare and debilitating neurologic disorder that disproportionately affects children, known as Pantothenate Kinase-Associated Neurodegeneration, or PKAN," said OHSU neurologist Dr. Penny Hogarth, one of the study leads. "This is a devastating disease and Senator Merkley’s advocacy has helped OHSU researchers advance a promising treatment in an accelerated, low-cost model, benefitting PKAN patients and families across Oregon and the country.”

“This funding is an invaluable investment in a project that both restores natural flows to McKay Creek, supporting reintroduced steelhead, while providing more reliable pressurized water to farmers. We are thankful for this federal investment in a truly win-win project that gives back to the community and the ecosystem,” said Kate Fitzpatrick, Executive Director of the Deschutes River Conservancy. 

“We are grateful for the efforts Senator Merkley and Senator Wyden have put towards obtaining funding for our Wallowa Lake Dam project.  Fixing this 100 year old hazardous dam is something the community has worked on for decades, and seeing it to completion will continue to help our community thrive for many years to come--by helping avoid catastrophic floods, providing water for irrigation, and providing much needed infrastructure for fish seeking to access to Wallowa Lake’s cold clear waters,” said Joe Dawson, Secretary, Wallowa Lake Irrigation District.

"We are moving and restoring the Commissary, a 125-year old historic building, and turning it into a small business incubator for Warm Springs entrepreneurs.  It will be a launch pad for successful local businesses, and will eventually offer retail space, co-working space, a food truck pod, commercial kitchen, outdoor market, outdoor recreation and pavilion space, and a classroom/conference room for community use. The Commissary is more than a building; it is the anchor project of what we expect to be a larger downtown business district in Warm Springs.  We are thrilled to receive this funding; it will truly assist us in building and strengthening our local business community, and in making Warm Springs a more vibrant place," said Chris Watson, Executive Director, Warm Springs Community Action Team.

Merkley, Wyden Announce Investment Wins to Create Oregon Jobs, Building Foundation for Prosperity in Federal Funding Deal

Bill will send resources to communities across Oregon to support renewable energy, small ports, irrigation districts, and more

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announce key provisions that will help create jobs and deliver essential services in Oregon communities in the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Energy and Water appropriations bill have been included in Congress’s final funding package for fiscal year 2022. The victories for Oregon are in the Energy and Water portion of Congress’s omnibus spending bill, which is expected to pass both chambers of Congress and be signed into law by President Biden this week.

“Every year, I use the Senate appropriations process to help Oregonians complete projects and support their communities, creating jobs and better access to essential services,” said Merkley. “This bill includes many bipartisan investments in things like renewable energy and energy storage—which Oregonians need to build a foundation for long-term prosperity—as well as support for other projects that will have positive impacts in the near future, like dredging our small ports, restoring dams and canal locks, and crucial drought relief funding. I will continue to use my seat on this committee to push for the resources that will make a difference for Oregonians.”

“Oregonians consistently tell me at my 1,000-plus town halls in every part of the state how federal investments should focus on creating jobs in their communities and supporting the needed transition to clean energy opportunities,” said Wyden. “This legislation accomplishes those goals by putting federal resources toward improving infrastructure such as ports, jetties and locks; building more robust green energy options; and helping the Klamath Basin weather the drought. I’m glad to have teamed up with local officials statewide on these ‘Oregon Way’ solutions that build an even stronger quality of life for our state.”

Merkley is the only Oregon member of Congress from either chamber since Senator Mark Hatfield to serve on the Appropriations Committee, considered to be one of the most powerful on Capitol Hill. He joined the committee in 2013 so that Oregon would have a strong voice in decisions about the investments our nation should be making.

Key elements of the legislation that will impact Oregon include:

Small Ports and Army Corps Navigation: The program, which is vital source of funding to help Oregon ports pay for dredging and other necessary infrastructure projects, received over $344 million for deep-draft harbor and channel improvements, $34.5 million for inland waterways, $20 million for navigation maintenance, and $45 million for small ports, which supports the small ports that are the lifeblood of Oregon’s coastal economy. This funding was not included in the President’s Budget and Senator Merkley fought to restore it. 

Water Conservation and Habitat Restoration: The WaterSmart program received $45 million to fund projects that will help irrigation districts comply with the Endangered Species Act. The WaterSmart program has supported the collaborative process in Central Oregon launched by legislation written by Merkley and former Congressman Greg Walden to conserve water, improve habitat for endangered steelhead and the spotted frog, and keep Central Oregon family farms in business.

Expanding Renewable Energy: Merkley fought to increase funding for renewable energy research. The bill includes $290 million for solar energy, a $10 million increase, $114 million for wind energy, a $4 million increase, and $10 million for distributed wind, which is the use of smaller wind turbines that help offset emissions from homes, public buildings, and businesses. The bill also includes $162 million, a $12 million increase, for water power research, which will support ongoing research at OSU.

Electric Vehicle Deployment: Merkley secured an increase of $839 million for sustainable transportation including $50 million for the deployment of electric vehicles through the Clean Cities Program, to support cities installing more electric vehicle charging infrastructure and getting more electric vehicles on the road.

SuperTruck III: Merkley secured $30 million to further improve the efficiency of heavy-duty trucks through cost-effective technologies. The program enables to develop and deploy cutting-edge vehicle technologies, including advanced batteries and electric drive systems, to reduce fossil fuel consumption and carbon emissions in the transportation sector.

Energy Storage: Merkley secured $347 million, for energy storage research and development. This important funding ensures stability, reliability, and resilience of the U.S. electricity grid as the country deploys and uses more renewable energy.

National Energy Technology Lab (NETL) in Albany: Merkley secured language prohibiting the closure of the NETL lab sites, including the facility in Albany. The bill also includes $75 million for infrastructure at NETL lab facilities.

The next step for the bill is a full Senate vote, and eventually merging with a counterpart bill from the U.S. House of Representatives in order to be passed by both houses and signed into law.

In addition to the funding allotments above, Merkley and Wyden secured federal funding for eleven projects throughout Oregon. Those funds and projects include:

  • $34,800,000 secured to support efforts by the Army Corps of Engineers to address the lack of fish passage at Willamette Valley dams.
  • $6,889,000 headed to the Port of Coos Bay, to fix the North Jetty, which poses dangers annually to fishermen.
  • $6,200,000 headed to Clackamas County to fund work necessary to repair the Willamette Falls Locks to functional status, with Representative Schrader. The locks were decommissioned in 2011 due to mechanical issues.
  • $5,000,000 secured to help install Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition and Automation devices—which help improve water conservation and irrigation efficiency – throughout the Klamath Project.
  • $1,819,000 secured for Cole Rivers Hatchery Repair and Modernization, to go toward the revitalization of the Cole Rivers Hatchery Program, which will have benefits throughout Southwest Oregon.
  • $1,500,000 headed to Forth to purchase and test 12 electric tractors, with a minimum of three farms per vehicle during a period of 24 months, for a total of 36 test sites throughout Oregon.
  • $1,200,000 to fund the ongoing efforts to identify sites for tribal housing near The Dalles.
  • $732,000 headed to the City of Portland for the Army Corps’ Lower Willamette Environmental Dredging and Ecosystem Restoration Project.
  • $344,000 secured for Verde, a Portland-based environmental justice nonprofit, to support the organization’s Cully Community Solar Pilot program, which is helping to lower energy costs by transitioning to solar energy. 
  • An additional $301,000 secured for Verde, to support the organization’s work to help Oregonians transition away from bulk fuels, such as wood stoves and oil furnaces, and natural gas heating to more sustainable, reliable alternatives. The funding will also help expand access to Verde’s program among communities outside of Portland.

“These dollars are an integral part of helping the Army Corps of Engineers complete their work before they can transfer Willamette Falls Locks to a new owner, which was created by the State of Oregon,” said Clackamas County Commissioner Martha Schrader. “This work has been long in the making, and I’m proud of our Senators’ leadership to see it included in the final bill.” 

"The North Jetty, which maintains the safety of the Coos Bay bar crossing for mariners has receded nearly 1,000’ from its original build design,” said John Burns, CEO of the Port of Coos Bay. “Senators Merkley and Wyden have championed funding to extend the jetty by approximately 150’-200’ and stabilize the head, trunk, and root system.  This is truly critical maritime infrastructure to maintain safety within the harbor, and to promote future commerce and economic development for the region and state.  We are extremely grateful to Senators Merkley and Wyden for their ongoing efforts."

“American farmers depend on tractors and other equipment, and right now that equipment depends on expensive diesel fuel with prices that can vary wildly. Diesel equipment is also highly polluting, and a major cause of climate change, which in turn makes life harder for those farmers,” said Jeff Allen, Executive Director of Forth. “This important project will demonstrate how a shift to electric tractors and farming equipment can help farmers save money and improve their operations while protecting their health and fighting climate change. We commend Senators Merkley and Wyden, the farmers of Oregon, Sustainable Northwest, and our many other project partners for their leadership and innovation.”

“Now, more than ever, we need better science and engineering solutions to protect infrastructure and adapt to climate change,” said Dan Cox, CH2M-Hill Professor of Civil Engineering at Oregon State University. “The Senate Committee on Appropriations’ FY2022 investment in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Coastal Inlet Research Program recognizes this importance. We appreciate the support and efforts from Senator Merkley in his role on the committee as well as Senator Wyden to increase investment in this program to help improve coastal community resilience to climate change.”

“In this day it seems we’re losing much of our Oregon Natural Resources. Our strong Southcoast Salmon and Trout Recovery quest looms larger than ever,” said Court Boice, Curry County Oregon Commissioner. “Senator Merkley and his staff have worked very hard and understand how critical these paths are. The Cole Rivers Hatchery Repair and Modernization Project will vault us into the next important steps of enhancing and protecting our Anadromous Fish runs. This is a very good day for our three Rogue River Basin, Curry, Josephine, and Jackson Counties.”

“Senators Merkley and Wyden are helping secure a lifeline for Oregon’s Willamette River Chinook salmon and steelhead,” said Marlies Wierenga, Pacific Northwest Conservation Manager for WildEarth Guardians. “The Columbia River Fish Mitigation Funds provides critical investments in actions, research, monitoring and restoration that contribute to the recovery of these culturally important species. We are excited to see this much needed boost in funding.”

“Senator Merkley and Senator Wyden know that the Klamath Basin need tools and resources to get to a better, more stable place,” said Paul Simmons, Executive Director of Klamath Water Users Association. “For everything from irrigation modernization to effective fisheries protection and recovery, they are consistent champions, and we are grateful for this important measure.” 

“Reconnecting salmon and lamprey to their habitat in Tryon Creek is extremely important to the environment, our future generations, and the work to protect these species is an act of upholding tribal treaty rights.  We appreciate Senator Merkley’s and Senator Wyden’s partnership in helping to get funding for this project and look forward to it becoming a reality," said Portland City Commissioner Mingus Mapps, who oversees the Bureau of Environmental Services.

“I applaud Senators Wyden and Merkley for improvements to the Cole Rivers Hatchery," said Coos County Commissioner, Bob Main. "These improvements will bring back the once great salmon runs to the Rogue River!”

Merkley, Wyden Announce Key Funding for Nurses, Educators in Congressional Funding Deal

Bill includes funding for projects in every corner of the state to improve mental health care, train workers for better jobs, expand and modernize health clinics and more

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announce key provisions for education and health care in the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education bill that will fund programs supporting Oregon’s frontline health care workers and educators, who have suffered through the strain of a global pandemic for nearly two years. The bill, which is included in the omnibus funding bill for fiscal year 2022, is expected to pass both chambers of Congress and be signed into law by President Biden this week.

“As both a dad of two kids and the husband of a nurse who worked on the front lines throughout the pandemic, I felt deeply for everyone in our communities who suffered the extra strain of navigating teaching, parenting, and working in health care professions over the past two years,” Merkley said. “This bill not only contains critical investments in federal programs that support nursing, health care, research, and education, it also contains funding for scores of projects identified by our Oregon communities as important for our friends and neighbors to thrive on the other side of the pandemic. I’ll keep fighting for Oregon’s teachers and health care workers so that we can deliver the quality education and health care that working families deserve.”

“I’ve heard firsthand at hospitals across Oregon about the pandemic’s devastating toll on health care workers, and listened to both educators and young Oregonians statewide recount how the past two years have magnified an already-severe youth mental health crisis,” Wyden said. “As our state works together to put this public health crisis in the rearview mirror as soon as humanly possible, these federal funds are crucial to support Oregon’s health care heroes, teachers and students as well as invest in career training opportunities for Oregonians. I very much appreciate local communities’ input in this legislation and will continue battling for similar resources in the years ahead.”

Merkley is the only Oregon member of Congress from either chamber since Senator Mark Hatfield to serve on the Appropriations Committee, considered to be one of the most powerful on Capitol Hill. He joined the committee in 2013 so that Oregon would have a strong voice in decisions about the investments our nation should be making.

The Labor, Health and Human Services and Education bill includes research and workforce development funding that will help health care professionals, as well as funding to help students from underserved populations:

Nursing: The bill includes $280.4 million to support nurses in Oregon and across the country. Merkley led 36 senators in a letter to the committee leaders to push for an increase in federal funding for nursing workforce development. Oregon benefitted from nearly $2 million in program funding in prior years.

Child and Maternal Health: The bill includes$1 billion to for programs to improve maternal and child health, including $200 million to combat this country’s maternal mortality crisis.

Medical Research: The bill includes a $2.25 billion increase in funding for the National Institutes of Health, totaling more than $44.9 billion in the fight against cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and other devastating diseases.

Institute of Education Sciences: The bill includes $737 million to support innovation, evidence, and evaluation in education. Merkley led 17 senators in a letter to the committee advocating for this investment.

Migrant Students: The bill includes $96 million for programs for migrant students and seasonal farmworkers. Through this program, higher education and non-profit organizations can receive funding to give migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their children the opportunity to attend higher education or earn their GED. Oregon State University, Chemeketa Community College, Portland Community College, and Treasure Valley Community College receive funds through this program.

Accessible Education: The bill includes a $410 million, a $12.3 million increase, for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) program, including funding to assist states in providing a free, appropriate education for children with disabilities and provide support services for over 7.6 million students.

Students: The bill includes $1.14 billion for TRIO, a set of eight educational programs that supports students from first-generation college students and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds; as the first person in his family to go to college, Merkley knows firsthand the value of this type of support, and has been a fierce advocate for the funding.

Career Training: The bill includes $2.1 billion, a $62 million increase, for Career, Technical and Adult Education, which supports the workforce and economy by training young people to fill in-demand, twenty-first century jobs.

Community Services Block Grants: The bill includes $787 million for the program which provides critical support for rural Oregon communities. Merkley led 30 senators in a letter to the committee pushing to preserve and increase funding for the program.

Community Service: The bill funds AmeriCorps VISTA volunteers at $100.285 million; Senior Corps programs at $230.7 million; and State AmeriCorps grants at $466 million.

The next step for the bill is a full Senate vote, and eventually merging with a counterpart bill from the U.S. House of Representatives in order to be passed by both houses and signed into law.

In addition to the funding allotments above, Merkley and Wyden secured in the bill federal funding for specific community projects throughout Oregon, including:

  • $500,000 for Oregon Association of Relief Nurseries, for the prevention of child abuse.
  • $840,000 for Southern Oregon Success, for services to prevent abuse and neglect, homelessness, and addiction.
  • $1.276 million for Oregon Social Learning Center Developments Inc., to promote child welfare.          
  • $79,000 for the Council on Aging of Central Oregon, for equipment.
  • $232,000 for Easterseals Oregon, to support an outreach program.
  • $400,000 for Urban League of Portland, for workforce development and training.         
  • $500,000 for Oregon Tradeswomen, for expansion of registered apprenticeships.        
  • $500,000 for Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center, for career training and placement services.
  • $544,000 for Baker Technical Institute, for heavy equipment and trucking and logistics training programs, including the purchase of equipment. 
  • $165,000 for Northwest Mothers Milk Bank, for equipment.
  • $175,000 for Project Access NOW, for workforce development.
  • $189,000 for Trillium Family Services, for equipment.
  • $199,000 for the City of Elgin, for equipment.
  • $250,000 for Mano a Mano Family Center, for workforce development.
  • $500,000 for OCHIN, Inc., for equipment.
  • $503,000 for Oregon Coast Community College, for equipment.
  • $660,000 for La Pine Rural Fire Protection District, for equipment.
  • $850,000 for Bandon Community Health Center, for facilities and equipment.
  • $943,000 for Oregon Health & Science University, for equipment.
  • $1 million for Oregon Institute of Technology (Oregon Tech), to improve health care services.
  • $1 million for Parrott Creek Child & Family Services, for facilities and equipment.    
  • $1.3 million for Deschutes Rim Clinic Foundation, for facilities and equipment.
  • $1.5 million for Lane County, for facilities and equipment, with Representative DeFazio.
  • $2 million for Community Action Program of East Central Oregon, for facilities and equipment.
  • $2.124 million for Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center, for facilities and equipment, with Representative Bonamici.
  • $449,000 for Oregon State University, for professional learning opportunities in timber design.
  • $600,000 for Portland State University, for education and training programs in cybersecurity.
  • $50,000 for Winston Area Community Partnership, for the Winston Community Teen Center, including equipment.
  • $56,000 for Willamalane Park and Recreation District, for mobile technology lab, including equipment.     
  • $93,000 for Circle of Friends, for youth development and mentoring, including equipment.
  • $250,000 for Latino Network, for early childhood education.
  • $500,000 for College Possible, for college access programming, including technology and student support.
  • $645,000 for Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center (OMIC), for career and technical education, including equipment.
  • $900,000 for High Desert Education Service District, for expansion of a childhood trauma program.
  • $100,000 for Mental Health for Children, dba The Child Center, for the expansion of access to school-based mental health services.
  • $375,000 for Multnomah County, for behavioral health care services.
  • $433,000 for Lines for Life, for mental health care and crisis intervention services.
  • $459,000 for Oregon Center for Nursing, to support the mental health and emotional well-being of nurses.
  • $501,000 for Rogue Retreat, for services for individuals with mental health or substance use disorders.
  • $750,000 for Friends of the Children, for mental health care services to youth and families, with Representative Blumenauer.
  • $750,000 for Youth Rising Oregon, for substance abuse treatment for youth parents.
  • $800,000 to OHSU for the Northwest Native American Center of Excellence for a health workforce initiative, with Representative Blumenauer.
  • $850,000 to Cascade AIDS for behavioral health services, including medication assisted treatment, with Representative Blumenauer.
  • $1 million to Benton County for facilities and equipment for the Benton County Crisis Respite Center, with Representative DeFazio.
  • $260,000 to Salem Arts Association for arts education.
  • $187,000 to SMART Reading for literacy and adult mentoring program, including equipment.

“The trauma nurses have experienced through this pandemic has been well-documented, and impact it has had on the nursing workforce will be felt for many years to come,” said Jana Bitton, Executive Director of the Oregon Center for Nursing. “OCN’s RN Well-Being Project will work at a community level to support nurses’ mental and emotional health as we move toward the next normal. Many thanks to Senators Merkley and Wyden who have been a constant champion for nursing and nursing workforce in Oregon, for making this important work possible.”

“Building with mass timber offers the opportunity to lower our carbon emissions, reduce wildfire risk and create resilient, well-paying rural jobs,” said Iain Macdonald, Director of the Tall Wood Design Institute at Oregon State University. “However, to fully realize these benefits, construction managers and structural engineers also need access to specialized education and training. We are sincerely grateful to Senator Jeff Merkley and Senator Ron Wyden for championing a FY2022 congressionally directed spending investment to help OSU develop a first-of-its-kind, nationally-accessible professional development program on building with mass timber.”

“As our communities work to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, we have the opportunity to not only help our current clients find their footing, but also increase our programming to help around 500 families move from desperation to stability,” said Joe McFerrin II, President & CEO of Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center. “With this $500,000 in federal funding, we will be able to serve hundreds more through our culturally specific job training programs, ultimately placing them in living-wage careers in industries like construction, culinary arts, tech, and more. We thank Senator Merkley for working to secure this important funding for our community.”

“We can’t say enough how excited and thankful we are that Senators Merkley and Wyden successfully included the renovation and expansion of our youth residential care facilities in this spending bill,” said Simon Fulford, Executive Director of Parrott Creek Child & Family Services. “This project is part of our vision to become a regional center of excellence providing services to vulnerable children and families. Not only will it allow us to expand our services, we will be able to build new buildings using trauma-informed and environmentally sustainable design principles. Our communities will be feeling the long term impacts of the coronavirus pandemic for many years to come and this project will allow us to meet the behavioral health and related needs of highly traumatized children and youth for many, many years. The project is estimated to create 25 construction jobs in the short term and over 20 social care jobs upon completion. We thank Senators Merkley and Wyden for their leadership, and urge Congress to include this funding in the final bill.”

“With this CDS funding we are able to fully equip our new ambulance,” said Elgin Mayor Risa Hallgarth. “What a blessing to know our community emergencies will be responded to with complete confidence in our new vehicle and our emergency responders. A BIG thank you to all for making this happen.”

“Oregon Tradeswomen is grateful for the stellar leadership from Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley to ensure that all Oregonians, including the most vulnerable in our community, have access to job training and supports to be able to have a lifelong career that will support themselves and their families," said Kelly Kupcak, Executive Director of Oregon Tradeswomen. "Investing in community-based programs such as Oregon Tradeswomen’s help put women to work, and we know that when women have economic security, it not only means that for her family, but for our broader communities because we know that strong women build strong communities. This historic investment will allow Oregon Tradeswomen to expand our training across Oregon and help put even more women to work in high-wage, high-skilled trades careers! Thank you to Senator Merkley for investing in our workforce and in our future.”

“I could not be more humbled and grateful to Senator Merkley, Senator Wyden and their staffs for selecting Rogue Retreat to receive funding that will further our program participants, specifically those struggling with mental health and substance abuse disorders,” said Chad McComas, Executive Director of Rogue Retreat. “We are delighted to work with so many worthy organizations that help us restore lives of homeless individuals, couples and families as well as strengthen the communities where we all live and work. Thank you to Senator Merkley and Senator for working hard on behalf of our participants, and all Oregonians so that the state we love to call ‘home’ continues to flourish and thrive.”

“We’re grateful to Senators Merkley and Wyden for advocating for this impactful investment in the kids of Oregon,” said Chris Otis, SMART Reading Executive Director. “This vital funding will help SMART Reading implement our virtual programming we developed in response to the pandemic. Our Virtual SMART delivery model has promising potential to extend our reach, engage students and volunteers in new ways, and eliminate geographical boundaries that we previously faced. Ultimately, this investment means more kids across our state will be prepared for reading and learning success.”

“Virginia Garcia’s first priority has always been to ensure access to high quality care for those who need it most. The expansion of the Newberg Clinic in Yamhill County will do just that,” said Virginia Garcia CEO, Gil Muñoz. “By growing the Newberg location we will be able to double the number of individuals we can provide medical, dental and pharmacy services to in that area as well as create a space where the community can gather. This expansion will also act as an economic stimulus for the area, allowing us to employ 13-15 more staff members. We are so grateful for the support of Senator Merkley and Senator Wyden on this project.”

“We are fortunate to have the support of Senator Merkley and Senator Wyden who value ALL youth in our state, especially those in rural communities,” said Nicole Swisher Woodson, Executive Director of Circle of Friends. “At Circle of Friends, we are honored to be granted this Project 92 funding and are excited to bring more opportunities to youth in need in our Sisters Country community.”

“Health center providers deserve essential technology to help their patients thrive by optimizing value and enhancing care delivery to meet the often more complex medical or social needs of those who seek their care,” said Jennifer Stoll, Executive Vice President of External Affairs at OCHIN. “We deeply appreciate U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden for supporting the OCHIN network, helping to sustain and transform community-based care into the future.”

“We know the root causes of so many things our children and families struggle with and we know that the only way we can effectively address them is through collaboration with all levels of education, health care, mental health care, human services, public safety and workforce development,” said Peter Buckley, program manager with Southern Oregon Success. “This funding means effective support for thousands of families throughout Southern Oregon.”

“These funds will allow us to develop virtual CTE training, which will enable us to support CTE programs in rural and low income school districts and in school districts that serve populations that do not traditionally enter into manufacturing careers,” said Craig Campbell, executive director, Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center. “For the workforce development efforts of the OMIC Initiative and its partners this is a game changer. I cannot show enough gratitude to Senator Merkley, Senator Wyden and Congresswoman Bonamici and their amazing staffs. They are truly serving Oregon!”

“We are honored to receive such a wonderful award in support of our continued expansion of services in Curry County,” said Linda Maxon, Chief Executive Officer, Coast Community Health Center. “These funds will directly support our delivery of health and wellness services to south Curry County. Our investment not only expands health care but brings economic investment and jobs to the region. We are grateful for our State and Federal Legislators continued trust in our ability to deliver on our commitment to the communities we serve.”

“I’ve had the privilege to work with Coast Community Health since its conception and have long been an advocate to expand access to healthcare services that are desperately needed on the South Coast," said State Rep. David Brock Smith (R-01). "I’m grateful to Senators Merkley and Wyden for their incredible advocacy for this funding to expand vital healthcare services to our residents through a dedicated partner with Coast Community Health.”

“Connecting rural and urban cybersecurity is a national priority,” said Portland State University Provost Susan Jeffords. “PSU’s excellence in education and research—as recognized by our partners at the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security—is uniquely qualified to make that connection. This investment allows PSU to expand workforce training, improve student success and strengthen security for the critical infrastructure in our state.”

“Thank you Senators Merkley and Wyden for sponsoring our need for new vehicles to improve the scope, response and delivery of respite care, Meals on Wheels, home safety inspections and case management for at risk older adults,” said Susan Rotella, executive director of the Council on Aging of Central Oregon. “The two new vehicles will allow our client services team to reach a large, rural population throughout the tri-county and provide critical client assessments to ensure that all seniors, and people with disabilities, are safe and can remain in their homes as long as possible.”

“The dangers of respiratory problems during times of wildfires are real and very prevalent in rural areas such as Klamath County,” said Oregon Tech president, Dr. Nagi Naganathan. “This funding will allow Oregon Tech faculty and students to conduct critical research on the resources needed to support respiratory care hospitalization during wildfires, improving response times and increasing collaboration with local, state, and federal agencies. Our sincere thanks go to Senators Merkley and Wyden for their advocacy for this important research about the impact of wildfires on Oregon’s healthcare systems.”

“This investment in our school-based mental and behavioral health services will fundamentally and profoundly shift our educational systems across Crook, Deschutes and Jefferson counties, including Warm Springs,” said Jim Boen, regional director of mental and behavioral health for the High Desert Education Service District. “It will dramatically strengthen our ability as educators to create school environments that nurture resilience by caring for all students and staff impacted by trauma. It will allow us to grow trauma-informed cultures of care for 45,000 children and youth ages 3-18 in our region and the dedicated educators and staff who serve them.”

“With the expansion of our heavy equipment and truck driving mobile programs, we will be able to reach more Oregonians that have not had the opportunity for this type of training, allowing them to pursue careers in fields that are in high demand,” said Doug Dalton, President of the Baker Technical Institute. “In turn, businesses will have access to a trained workforce that will build healthy communities and drive sustained economic growth in areas that desperately need it.”

“We are appreciative of the support of our work at Northwest Mothers Milk Bank,” said Lesley Mondeaux, Executive Director, Northwest Mothers Milk Bank. “Receiving direct congressional spending is an investment in the health of Oregon’s most vulnerable infants. Every baby deserves the best start in life.”

“Oregon Association of Relief Nurseries show up every day for our most vulnerable children and families,” said Cara Copeland, Executive Director at Oregon Association of Relief Nurseries. “We are deeply grateful to Senators Merkley and Wyden and their teams for their tireless effort to champion our children through the process. While we are currently serving 2,300 children across the state, we know that there are more than 6,500 than need our help. We know this investment will help us to elevate child abuse prevention across Oregon and expand our capacity to strengthen families.”

“The Connected Coast Virtual ICU project will extend OHSU’s critical care expertise to patients across Oregon,” said Joe Ness, M.H.A., BSPharm, senior vice president and chief operating officer for OHSU Health. “This federal investment will strengthen the capacity of community hospitals to care for critically ill patients, while allowing those patients to stay in their communities.”

Merkley, Wyden Announce Vital Funding for Housing and Transportation Projects in Government Funding Deal

Bill includes funding for Oregon projects to help rebuild homes after wildfires, increase housing accessibility and affordability, electrify bus fleets, and more

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today announce they have secured investments that will support critical housing and transportation services and projects across the state. The investments are included in a broader funding package that is expected to pass both chambers of Congress and be signed into law by President Biden this week.

“I joined the Appropriations Committee to bring solutions to the issues Oregonians care most about, and this bill tackles two that I hear about all the time: Housing affordability and climate chaos,” Merkley said. “Both of these urgent issues affect every corner of our state and nation. I am pleased that the Senate Appropriations Committee allocated significant resources for Oregon projects to build affordable housing and shelter Oregonians without homes. And by electrifying public bus fleets and improving electric infrastructure it will reduce the carbon pollution that is driving climate change. This bill delivers in a big way for Oregon and for America.”

“These federal investments to combat skyrocketing housing costs, strengthen transportation infrastructure throughout Oregon and tackle the climate crisis are a direct response to issues Oregonians share with me in town halls, small business visits and everyday encounters in the grocery store,” Wyden said. “I’m gratified this legislation reflects Oregon communities’ priorities of securing housing that’s affordable, ensuring Oregonians can get smoothly from Point A to Point B, and generating clean energy opportunities. Big thanks to all the Oregonians who helped shape this bill into such a strong investment for our entire state.”

Merkley is the only Oregon member of Congress from either chamber since Senator Mark Hatfield to serve on the Appropriations Committee, considered to be one of the most powerful on Capitol Hill. He joined the committee in 2013 so that Oregon would have a strong voice in decisions about the investments our nation should be making.

The Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill includes support for affordable housing and homelessness services—which are of particular importance as the state grapples with the aftermath of both the coronavirus pandemic and devastating wildfires:

Community Development Block Grants: Merkley successfully advocated for $10 billion for Community Planning and Development, an increase of $1.75 billion above fiscal year 2021, including $3.3 billion for Community Development Block Grants. This program funds vital housing rehabilitation, supportive services, public improvements and economic development projects in communities across Oregon and the nation while encouraging local investment.

Affordable Housing: As rural and urban communities across Oregon continue to experience housing crises, Merkley successfully advocated to increase for affordable housing programs for some of Oregon’s most vulnerable people—low-income families, seniors, and people with disabilities. Merkley led 37 of his colleagues in a successful effort to provide an additional $475 million to support continuing rental assistance for 1.2 million low-income households. The Senator also helped increase Housing Vouchers to serve up to 25,000 more low-income individuals and families experiencing or at risk of homelessness, including survivors of domestic violence and veterans. This funding increase includes up to 4,000 new affordable housing units for seniors and persons with disabilities.

Rural Housing: The Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP) and Rural Capacity Building Program received $12.5 million and $5 million, respectively. SHOP provides funds for non-profit sweat-equity homebuilders, such as Habitat for Humanity, to cover land purchases and infrastructure costs. The Rural Capacity funds are intended to build the capacity of rural low income housing non-profits by providing training, information, technical assistance, and financing.

Homeless Assistance Grants: Merkley secured $3.2 billion for Homeless Assistance Grants, a $213 million increase that will benefit organizations across Oregon. Within that appropriation, rapid rehousing programs for victims of domestic violence received $52 million; homeless youth programs received $107 million; and Emergency Solutions Grants—particularly important to the Portland metro area—received $290 million to support street outreach, emergency shelter, homelessness prevention, rapid re-housing assistance.

HOME Investment Partnerships Program: The bill includes $1.5 billion for the program to provide states and localities with flexible resources to respond to their affordable housing challenges, including rental housing and paths to homeownership for low-income families.

HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing: The program received an additional $50 million to provide new rental assistance vouchers for homeless veterans.   These vouchers have been critical to reducing veterans’ homelessness by 50 percent since 2010.

Capital Investment Grant Program: The bill includes nearly $2.2 billion for the program, which provides funding for major transit investments that support sustainable transportation and reduced congestion in cities like Portland, Eugene and Salem.

National Infrastructure Investment Grants: Formerly known as TIGER and BUILD, the program received a $775 million investment for 2022. This critical transportation grants program has helped fund projects across Oregon such as the Hood River-White Salmon Interstate Bridge replacement project.

Port Infrastructure Development Program: The bill includes $234.3 million for the Port Infrastructure Development Program, which improves the safety, efficiency, or reliability of the movement of goods into, out of, around, or within a port.

Essential Air Service and Contract Towers: Merkley secured $350 million for the Essential Air Service. The Essential Air Service program supports flights between the City of Pendleton and Portland International Airport, a vital connection to support economic development across Eastern Oregon. Additionally, the bill increases funding for FAA Contract Towers to $178 million. There are six contract towers across Oregon, and this funding ensures their continued operation.

The next step for the bill is a full Senate vote, and eventually merging with a counterpart bill from the U.S. House of Representatives in order to be passed by both houses and signed into law.

In addition to the funding allotments above, Merkley and Wyden secured in the bill federal funding for specific housing, transportation infrastructure, and other projects throughout Oregon, including:

  • $2 million to Casa of Oregon for Harbor Village RV Park
  • $1 million to Homes for Good for Lazy Days Mobile Home and RV Park
  • $2 million to Center for Hope and Safety for its HOPE Plaza Housing and Economic Development Project
  • $1 million to Oregon Department of Transportation for its project on Tualatin Valley Highway Safety Improvements
  • $500,000 to Northwest Coastal Housing for its Golden Eagle II housing project in Tillamook
  • $950,000 to Lane Transit District for its Electric Bus Replacement Project
  • $800,000 to Creating Housing Coalition for its project at Hub City Village
  • $550,000 to DevNW - Community Land Trust Affordable Housing for its project on Community Land Trust Developments in Corvallis and Clackamas County
  • $1.44 million to Marion County for the North Fork Road Improvements Project, with Representative Schrader
  • $500,000 to Tillamook Municipal Airport for its project on Automated Weather Observing System Replacement
  • $6.3 million to Salem Area Mass Transit District for its Zero-Emission Bus Fleet Electrification Project
  • $2 million to Habitat for Humanity Portland Region for its Foster Townhomes project in East Portland
  • $2 million to Oregon Department of Transportation for its project on I-84 Exit 216 eastbound Snow Zone/Truck Parking
  • $1 million to Proud Ground for its project on Expanding Permanently Affordable Homeownership Opportunities
  • $600,000 to Lane Transit District for its project on a Trip Planner/Mobile Wallet Application
  • $529,000 to Hacienda Community Development Corporation for its project on Portland Mercado Plaza Repairs & Upgrades
  • $1.2 million to Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency for its acquisition of property for permanent Veterans’ homeless shelter
  • $2.670 million to Multnomah County for its project on a Behavioral Health Resource Center Outdoor Plaza, with Representatives Bonamici and Blumenauer
  • $2 million to the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde for its project on Blue Heron Infrastructure Improvements
  • $1 million for Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency for its project on Brian’s Place: Community Action Sheltering Services
  • $1.172 million for Kid Time Discovery Experience for its Early Learning/Childcare Expansion
  • $1 million to North Willamette Valley Habitat for Humanity for its project on Rural Resident Development
  • $2 million to Oregon Housing and Community Services for its project on Salem YMCA Veteran Housing
  • $3 million to City of Hillsboro for its 53rd Avenue Park West Inclusive Park 
  • $500,000 to City of Beaverton for the Beaverton Non-Profit Incubator Development Project, with Representative Bonamici
  • $1 million to City of Eugene for the Eugene Civic Park, with Representative DeFazio
  • $1,750,000 to the Japan Institute for its Building Renovation Project, with Representative Bonamici

“Harbor Village Cooperative is thrilled to be a recipient of Congressionally Directed Spending within the THUD appropriations bill. These monies will be used to help keep rent affordable for our low income residents as well as replacing our leaking water system,” said Sharon Beck, Treasurer of the Harbor Village Cooperative. “We appreciate the inclusion of our community in the distribution of these funds. Thank you, Senator Merkley.”

“With more than $1.5 million in federal funding specifically for Lane Transit District projects, we can continue our mission to connect the community with expanded reliable, sustainable, and quality public transportation,” Mark Johnson, General Manager, Lane Transit District. “This funding will help further electrify our fleet, as well as improve accessibility and trip planning for all modes of transportation. We thank Senator Merkley and Senator Wyden for everything they’ve done to support sustainable public transportation, and for pushing to secure support for our projects.”

“This $2 million for the 1-84 Exit 216 project is welcome news for CTUIR,” said Kat Brigham, Chair of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. “We are glad ODOT has submitted this funding request and we look forward to collaborating with them on it. Creating safety at one of the most treacherous stretches of highway in the national interstate system will be greatly appreciated.”

“With more than $1.5 million in federal funding specifically for Lane Transit District projects, we can continue our mission to connect the community with expanded reliable, sustainable, and quality public transportation,” said Mark Johnson, General Manager, Lane Transit District. “This funding will help further electrify our fleet, as well as improve accessibility and trip planning for all modes of transportation. We thank Senator Merkley and Senator Wyden for everything they’ve done to support sustainable public transportation, and for pushing to secure support for our projects.”

“We at Kid Time appreciate the dedication Senator Merkley, Senator Wyden and their staffs have shown to improving access to childcare and improved opportunities for families,” said Sunny Spicer, Executive Director of the Kid Time Children’s Museum. “After the devastation our Southern Oregon region has experienced due to recent wildfires and the ongoing pandemic, the need to provide quality, affordable early learning opportunities is more urgent than ever.  This project allows us to do just that.”

“We know that homeownership is the best way for working class families to build financial security and stability, but with skyrocketing costs, homeownership is out of reach for too many Oregon families,” said Emily Reiman, CEO of DevNW. “We’re so grateful to receive this funding, to help build two community land trusts in Corvallis and Clackamas County, to offer permanently affordable homeownership options in those communities. A huge thank you to Senator Merkley for his continued support of affordable housing!”

“The Port of Tillamook Bay is thrilled to learn about receiving the community project funding for the upgraded replacement for Tillamook Airport’s Automated Weather Observing System,” Michele Bradley, General Manager at Port of Tillamook Bay. “This is critical equipment for local and transient pilots, UAS test flights, and emergency helicopter transport. The Port of Tillamook Bay is ready to get this project moving, and are grateful to the senator’s office for assistance with our application, and we are thankful for their support.”

“On June 2nd, 2021, Senator Merkley and Senator Wyden were on the site of the Lazy Days Mobile Home Park and saw firsthand the devastation caused by the Holiday Farm wildfire,” said Jacob Fox, Executive Director of Homes For Good. “The fact that the THUD bill includes $1 million in federal funding for the Lazy Days Mobile Home park reflects the commitment that the senators have to helping heal and rebuild the community that has been so severely impacted by the wildfire.”

“If we are to ensure an equitable recovery, we need big ideas and bold solutions that represent statewide needs. This legislative package is a representation of our commitments in action and meeting this moment. I appreciate Oregon’s Federal Delegation, as well as Senators Merkley and Wyden, for prioritizing affordable housing,” said Andrea Bell, Acting Executive Director of Oregon Housing and Community Services. “These federal investments represent a path forward towards solutions that matter most to the people of Oregon.” 

“We are so grateful to Senator Merkley and Senator Wyden for their support for the HOPE Plaza project! HOPE Plaza will provide affordable housing, job training, and wrap around services under one roof to survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking in Marion and Polk Counties in Oregon,” said Jayne Downing, Executive Director of Center for Hope and Safety. “The HOPE Plaza project will address the severe housing shortage and the increase in demand for services for victims exacerbated by the pandemic and wildfires in our area. HOPE Plaza will use the trauma-informed Domestic Violence Housing First Model to provide permanent housing to vulnerable families. Thank you to the Senators and their dedicated staff members for highlighting the need for survivors of violence in Oregon!”

“Equity and inclusivity are at the center of our work to address a critical infrastructure need in our community for an inclusive park and playground—and we are tremendously grateful for the continued support and advocacy of Senators Merkley and Wyden,” said Hillsboro Mayor Steve Callaway. “In Hillsboro and beyond, children and families with disabilities are counting on all of us to provide spaces and facilities that are inclusive and equitable, that make the joy of play accessible, and that enhance quality of life for all. This significant support from our partners at the federal level will help to accomplish our shared goals.”

“Since its foreclosure, the old Blue Heron site has sat empty and abandoned. The funding allocated to the Grand Ronde Tribe under the Transportation, Housing & Urban Development appropriations bill, will allow us to make significant improvements to the property’s infrastructure and take this project one step closer to welcoming family and friends back to Willamette Falls,” said Cheryle A. Kennedy, Chairwoman of the Grand Ronde Tribal Council. “We want to thank our Senators for work they’ve done to highlight this important project.”

“We thank Senator Merkley and Senator Wyden for working to secure this significant investment in sustainable public transportation for riders across our region,” said Ian Davidson, President of Cherriots Board of Directors. “With these additional five new zero-emission electric buses, we will be able to provide our community the quality service they expect, but free of harmful pollution. We are thrilled that this $6.3 million in federal funding will accelerate our transition away from diesel buses and toward the electric infrastructure and vehicles we need to best serve our community.”

“Homeless rates among veterans in Oregon remain high, as a new generation of veterans need housing and critical wrap-around services so that they can have what they have so richly earned: a safe, healthy, and warm roof over their heads and hope for a better future,” said Jimmy Jones, Executive Director, Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency on Veterans’ Shelter. “Our veterans’ shelter will provide 36 beds of transitional housing where Oregon’s homeless vets can get connected to the critical services they need. We’re very grateful to Senator Merkley and Senator Wyden for securing this resource for the Willamette Valley’s homeless veterans.”   

“The past two years have been extraordinarily difficult in the fight against homelessness in Marion and Polk counties,” said Jimmy Jones, Executive Director, Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency on ARCHES Inn (formerly Brian’s Place). “The Labor Day wildfires of 2020, the COVID pandemic, the ice storm of February 2021 and the Heat Dome incident of June 2021 have cost hundreds of people their homes, and some of them their lives.  These climate and public health emergencies have swelled an already large homeless population in the Willamette Valley, and created new challenges to keep folks housed, sheltered, and fed.  This investment will allow us to keep our wildfire homeless sheltered, and eventually take more than 100 homeless residents off the streets of Salem, reducing our unsheltered homeless population by 10 percent. We are very grateful to Senator Merkley and Senator Wyden for their commitment to our neighbors in poverty, and those suffering in unsheltered conditions in our community.”

Article Topic Follows: Central Oregon

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