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Merkley, Wyden announce long list of federally funded Oregon projects in Senate appropriations bills

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C.O. list includes Warm Springs water system, La Pine Community Health Center expansion, watershed plans

WASHINGTON (KTVZ) -- Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, D-Ore., announced Friday they have secured funding for essential community projects across Oregon in the Fiscal Year 2023 Senate Appropriations bills, including millions of dollars for Central Oregon agencies and organizations. 

A total of 111 Oregon community-initiated projects were included in the FY23 federal funding bills that will help meet critical needs in every corner of the state, including investing in wildfire and drought resiliency, affordable housing, health care, education, and much more, while creating essential services and jobs.

“No one knows the unique needs of communities across Oregon like the folks living and working in them,” said Merkley, who helped drive inclusion of Oregon projects as the only Oregon member of Congress from either chamber to serve on the Appropriations Committee since Senator Mark Hatfield. “I joined the Committee in 2013 to ensure Oregon has a strong voice in decisions about our nation’s investments. Community-initiated projects are an incredible example of this, because these local and regional projects were generated at the ground level by folks who are working to make their communities better. I am pleased to have worked with my colleagues on the committee and Senator Wyden to secure funding for 111 of these important homegrown projects, and we’ll keep pushing to get them across the finish line for Oregonians.”

“Oregonians have consistently told me during more than 1,000 town halls in each of our 36 counties how federal investments should reflect their priorities to generate jobs in their communities, keep everybody safe and build an even stronger quality of life across the state,” Wyden said. “I’m gratified the teamwork with Oregonians who know their local priorities best has produced such promising federal investments to strengthen communities all across Oregon. Bottom line, our state’s communities are focused on coming together to forge Oregon Way solutions that build a better state just like these targeted investments, and I’ll keep battling to make sure these projects advance.”

Both Senator Merkley and Senator Wyden hold a town hall in each Oregon county every year and work hard to ensure that local feedback informs every aspect of their work in Washington, D.C. This local feedback is directly reflected in the projects that were chosen for potential federal funding in this year’s bills.

Because of Senator Merkley’s position on the powerful Appropriations Committee and key role pushing Oregon priorities in the drafting of the bills, and the collaborative way that Senator Merkley and Wyden work together to advocate for projects from Oregon, last year the two senators were able to secure more projects for their home state than any other senators besides Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

The 111 Oregon community-initiated projects were spread out among bills produced by the Appropriations subcommittees, including 20 projects in the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies subcommittee, of which Senator Merkley is Chair. The Senate bills next need to be merged with legislation produced by the House of Representatives, a process expected later in the year. The Senators will continue to advocate that the Oregon projects are included in the combined bill.

The funds and projects secured by Senators Merkley and Wyden, broken down by region, are as follows: 

Oregon Coast:

  • $10.528 million for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for Port of Coos Bay Dredging
  • $4 million for the Oregon Department of Administrative Services for Shutter Creek Rehabilitation and Renovations 
  • $4 million for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for Columbia River Channel Improvements
  • $3 million for Nehalem Bay Health District for its Health Center and Pharmacy 
  • $2 million for the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office for a Lincoln County Radio System Upgrade 
  • $1.2 million for the Oregon Department of Transportation for its US101: Harbor Pedestrian Improvement Project 
  • $800,000 for Oregon State University for the Blue-Tech Professional Training Program 
  • $750,000 for Columbia Lutheran Charities for Emergency Operations and Logistics Renovations at Columbia Memorial Hospital
  • $750,000 for the Coquille Indian Tribe for Coquille River Salmon Conservation 
  • $702,000 for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the Umpqua River Project 
  • $625,000 for the Tillamook Estuary Partnership for Climate Change Monitoring Instruments
  • $330,000 for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the Tillamook Bay and Bar Project 
  • $320,000 for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the Coquille River
  • $50,000 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the Skipanon Channel Project 

Click HERE for quotes from Oregon Coast community-initiated project recipients 

Metro: 

  • $5 million for the Oregon Food Bank for Facilities and Equipment in Multnomah, Wasco, and Malheur Counties 
  • $3 million for Home Forward for the Troutdale Affordable Housing Project 
  • $3 million for the City of Beaverton for the Beaverton Homelessness Shelter 
  • $3 million for the City of Sherwood for the Tonquin Employment Area Access Project 
  • $2 million for The Oregon Zoo for the Condor Restoration Project 
  • $2 million for Central City Concern for the Portland River Haven & Recuperative Care Program Expansion Project
  • $1 million for Proud Ground for its Expanding Permanently Affordable Homeownership Opportunities Project 
  • $1 million for the Latino Network for La Plaza Esperanza 
  • $962,000 for Washington County for Aloha Livable Community and Safe Access to Transit 
  • $850,000 for Williams & Russel CDC for its Williams & Russell Project 
  • $814,000 for Columbia Economic Team for the Columbia County Advanced and Additive Manufacturing Small Business Incubator 
  • $785,000 for Portland State University for the Oregon Microplastics Research Center 
  • $750,000 for NAMC-Oregon for Black-Owned Small Businesses and Economic Prosperity Project
  • $540,000 for Lines for Life for its YouthLine National Expansion Project  
  • $500,000 for Riverside Training Centers, Inc. for its Empowerment Center for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities 
  • $374,000 for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for its Willamette River, OR Environmental Dredging Project 
  • $352,000 for the City of Portland for its Legacy Business Preservation Project 
  • $340,000 for the City of St. Helens, Oregon for St. Helens Law Enforcement Technology 
  • $252,000 for the Children’s Center of Clackamas County for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention 
  • $198,000 for Scappoose Rural Fire District for its Fire and Aviation Workforce Training and Education Program for High School Students 
  • $163,000 for SPOON for Online Training to Support Children at Risk for Malnutrition 
  • $108,000 for Disability Rights Oregon to Enhance Services for People with Disabilities 

Click HERE for quotes from the metro area community-initiated project recipients 

Willamette Valley:

  • $2.2 million for the City of Carlton for the Sewer Collection Pipe Replacement Project 
  • $1.6 million for the City of Falls City for the Water System Project
  • $1.5 million for the City of Carlton for the West Main Street Revitalization Project 
  • $1 million for the Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency for the Santiam Lodge: A Transitional Home for Wildfire Survivors Project 
  • $1 million for the State of Oregon for the Opal Creek Wilderness and Scenic Recreation Area Act Implementation Project
  • $1 million for Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital for the Sweet Home Clinic and Urgent Care 
  • $850,00 for Corvallis Neighborhood Housing Services Inc., DevNW for Community Land Trust Development 
  • $804,000 for the Capaces Leadership Institute for Anahuac Farms Facilities and Equipment 
  • $500,000 for Lane Community College for its LCC Simulation Laboratory 
  • $412,000 for the Capaces Leadership Institute for its Anahuac Farm & Cultural Center Infrastructure Build Project 
  • Infrastructure Build Project 
  • $500,000 for the Sheridan School District for the Barbara Roberts Career Technical School 
  • $275,000 for White Bird Clinic for its White Bird Clinic Mental Health Center Renovation Project 
  • $195,000 for Looking Glass Community Services for At-Risk Youth Rural Program Building Renovation & Program Expansion 
  • $83,000 for the City of Dallas for its Emergency Operations Center

Click HERE for quotes from Willamette Valley region community-initiated project recipients

Mid-Columbia/Central Oregon:

  • $5 million for the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs for Drinking Water Infrastructure 
  • $3.445 million for the North Unit Irrigation District for the Crooked River Water Quality and Supply Reliability Pumping Plant Feasibility Study 
  • $3.088 million for the La Pine Community Health Center for Health Center Expansion 
  • $3 million for the Columbia Cascade Housing Corporation for Hood River Affordable Housing 
  • $2.548 million for the Lone Pine Irrigation District for its Authorized Watershed Plan 
  • $2.5 million for East Fork Irrigation District for its Authorized Watershed Plan 
  • $2.5 million for the Ochoco Irrigation District for McKay Creek Infrastructure 
  • $2 million for the City of Redmond for Water System Construction 
  • $1.380 million for Oregon State University-Cascades for Little Kits Childcare Centers 
  • $1.019 million for the Wheeler County Office of Emergency Management for its Radio System Upgrade 
  • $975,000 for the City of Mosier for the Mosier Community Center and Fire Station 
  • $960,000 for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the John Day Lock & Dam 
  • $800,000 for the Bend-Redmond Habitat for Humanity for Affordable Housing Development in Central Oregon 
  • $700,000 for the U.S. Forest Service for Deschutes National Forest for Recreational Access 
  • $441,000 for the Columbia Gorge Community College for Advanced Manufacturing Skills and Equipment 
  • $400,000 for the Mid-Columbia Community Action Council for The Dalles Navigation Center Micro-Shelters 
  • $153,000 for the Central Oregon Community College for Madras Campus Health Careers Expansion 
  • $115,000 for Hood River Crag Rats for Historic Cloud Cap Inn Reroofing 

Click HERE for quotes from community-initiated project recipients in the Mid-Columbia and Central Oregon regions 

Eastern Oregon

  • $6 million to Camp Umatilla for Housing Facilities Construction
  • $3.5 million for the City of Burns for Water System Improvements
  • $3 million for Owyhee Irrigation District for its Kingman Lateral Pipeline Project 
  • $3 million for Treasure Valley Community College for its Nursing & Allied Health Professions Center 
  • $2.82 million for City of Paisley for Water System Improvements 
  • $2 million for Union County Emergency Services for its Union County Radio System Upgrade Project 
  • $1.855 million for the Burns Paiute Tribe for its Burns Paiute Tribal Community Wellness Center Retrofit  
  • $1.7 million for Morrow County to address Drinking Water Contamination in Northeast Oregon
  • $1.5 million for the City of Pendleton for its Highway 11/30 Housing Expansion project 
  • $1.25 million for Community Counseling Solutions for its Grant County Health Center 
  • $1 million for City of Irrigon for its Business Opportunity Incubator 
  • $940,00 for the Burns Paiute Tribe for the US Highway 20 Wildlife Connectivity Project 
  • $700,000 for facility improvements at the Pendleton Agricultural Research Service Station
  • $602,000 for the City of Prairie City for Water Distribution System Improvements 
  • $515,000 for the La Grande School District for its Students Addressing Housing Shortage Through Home Construction Trade Skills Project 
  • $500,000 for Harney County Senior and Community Services for its High Desert Veterans Village 
  • $408,000 for facilities improvements at the Burns Agricultural Research Service Station 
  • $386,000 for the Winding Waters Medical Clinic for its Wallowa County Oregon Primary Care Clinic Construction Project 
  • $299,000 for the Grant County Sheriff's Office for Emergency Management Operations Center Modernization
  • $250,000 for the Harney Watershed Council for Harney Basin Water Resource Planning Support
  • $221,000 for Harney County for its Generator for Continuity of Operations Project 
  • $177,000 to Morrow County for the Primary EOC Generator Project 

Click HERE for quotes from Eastern Oregon community-initiated project recipients 

Southern Oregon:

  • $5 million for the Talent Irrigation District for the Billings Siphon and Eastside Canal Project
  • $5 million for the construction of communications facilities at Kingsley Field 
  • $3.615 million for Rogue Community College for the Allied Health Facility Renovation 
  • $3.557 million for the Klamath County Economic Development Association for the Transformations Wellness Center  
  • $3.5 million for Oregon State University for Elliott State Research Forest Monitoring Equipment 
  • $2.095 million for Adapt, Inc for SW Oregon Regional Recovery Center 
  • $2 million for Southern Oregon University for its Forging Oregon’s Renewable Energy Source Transition Through Reimagining Education + Energy (FOREST TREE) Project 
  • $2 million for the City of Grants Pass for its Water Treatment Plant Relocation Project
  • $2.2 million for facilities improvements at Cole Rivers Hatchery 
  • $1.444 million for City of Medford for its Radio System Upgrade 
  • $1.2 million for the Bureau of Land Management for the Cascade Siskiyou National Monument 
  • $1.120 million for Medford Irrigation District for its Floating Community Solar Project 
  • $1 million for CASA of Oregon for the Redevelopment of Talent Mobile Estates 
  • $1 million for Kid Time Discovery Experience for Southern Oregon Childcare Capacity Expansion 
  • $430,00 for Bandon Community Health Center for the Expansion of Health Center Project
  • $355,000 for Douglas County for its Radio System Upgrade 
  • $300,000 for Oasis Center of the Rogue Valley for its Family-Focused Recovery Center with Emergency Housing 
  • $241,000 for Douglas County for an Emergency Mobile Command Center 

Click HERE for quotes from Southern Oregon community-initiated project recipients

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In another Merkley news release Friday: 

Merkley Announces Essential Investments in Oregon Families  

Funding included in draft 2023 spending bills will boost affordable housing, health care, mental health, education, and more 

Washington, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley today announced critical investments in housing, health care, mental health, and education for Oregon families through FY23 Senate Appropriations bills. 

"At a time when working families are struggling with rising prices on everything from rent to prescription drugs to gas and groceries, it’s critical that our nation prioritizes quality, affordable health care, housing, and education—and that’s exactly what these new funding bills do,” Merkley said. “The legislation includes significant investments in federal programs that support affordable housing, health care, research, and education, which will have a big impact for families across Oregon. This bill delivers in a big way for our state and the nation, and I’ll keep pushing to ensure these critical investments become reality.” 

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 Oregon families that Merkley fought to include in the funding bills include: 

Housing 

Affordable Housing: As rural and urban communities across Oregon continue to experience housing crises, the bill includes an increase for affordable housing programs for some of Oregon’s most vulnerable people—low-income families, seniors, and people with disabilities, including $14.7 billion for housing unit specific rental assistance. The bill also protects funding for housing programs that benefit the elderly and people with disabilities. 

Fair Market Rents: Building on significant positive fair market rent changes due to Merkley’s language in the fiscal year 2018 bill, the bill sets a 90-day timeline for the Department of Housing and Urban Development to find better ways to measure the fair and accurate cost of a rental unit. This is a significant step forward in the battle to address the affordable housing crisis by ensuring that vouchers keep pace with the real cost of rent in competitive rental markets. 

Rural Housing: The Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP) and Rural Capacity Building Program received $17 million and $6 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. 

HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing: The program received an additional $85 million to provide rental assistance vouchers for homeless veterans, along with case management and clinical services. This increase will provide an estimated 7,460 new rent vouchers for veterans experiencing homelessness, and when combined with prior year appropriations and available unleased vouchers, has the potential to eliminate veteran homelessness based on the most recent complete data available.  These vouchers have been critical to reducing veterans' homelessness by 49 percent since 2010. 

Homeless Assistance and Prevention: The bill includes $3.55billion for Homeless Assistance Grants, a $340 million increase that will benefit organizations across Oregon. Within that appropriation, rapid rehousing programs for victims of domestic violence received an additional $53 million; homeless youth programs received $107 million; and Emergency Solutions Grants—particularly important to the Portland metro area—received $290million to support street outreach, emergency shelter, homelessness prevention, rapid re-housing assistance.  

HOME Investment Partnerships Program: The bill includes $1.725 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. 

Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation: The program, also known as NeighborWorks America, received $170 million. The national nonprofit offers support for affordable housing and community development through public-private partnerships. President Trump’s proposal would have eliminated this program, crippling its six locations across Oregon. 

Community Development: the bipartisan bill includes $3.5 billion for the Community Development Block Grant Program. 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.

Health Care 

Nursing:The bill includes $318 million to support nurses in Oregon and across the country. Merkley led 40 senators in a letter to the committee leaders to push for an increase in federal funding for nursing workforce development programs.  

Reproductive Health Care: The bill includes increases in funding for the full scope of reproductive health care programs, including nearly double funding for the Title X Family Planning Program and $130 million for teen pregnancy prevention. 

Child and Maternal Health:The bill includes$1.25 billion for programs to improve maternal and child health, including $496 million to combat this country’s maternal mortality crisis and $25 million in new funding to increase training and support for Certified Nurse Midwives with a focus on practitioners working in rural and underserved communities. 

Mental and Behavioral Health Care: The bill includes $1.42 billion for the Mental Health Block Grant to improve community mental health services in all 50 states. Oregon benefited from over $22 million in program funding in years prior. The bill includes an increase of $625 million for suicide prevention programs, including increased funding for the 9-8-8 and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.   

Medical Research:The bill includes a $2 billion increase in funding for the National Institutes of Health, totaling $48 billion in the fight against cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and other devastating diseases. The bill also includes funding to further research and provide a more comprehensive understanding of COVID-19, including susceptibility and long COVID.   

Community Health Centers: The bill includes $1.92 billion in funding to support ongoing efforts to increase accessibility of medical services through community health centers. These centers serve a vital role in ensuring access to primary care for underserved communities. 

Rebuilding our Public Health System: Bolstering our public health infrastructure is a matter of both public health and national security, and this bill includes a $2 billion increase for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to address the current COVID-19 pandemic and respond to future public health challenges. The bill also includes flexible funding for federal agencies to assess and respond to monkeypox virus (MPV) in Oregon and nationwide. 

Education 

Institute of Education Sciences:The bill includes $831million to support innovation, research, and evaluation in education, including evaluating strategies to combat learning loss from the COVID-19 pandemic. Merkley led 19 senators in a letter to the committee advocating for this investment. 

Migrant Education:The bill includes over $59 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, Treasure Valley Community College, and community-based organizations in Oregon receive funds through this program. 

Accessible Education:The bill includes $15.3 billion, a $1.9 billion increase, for the Individuals withDisabilities Education Act (IDEA) state grants 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 nationwide. 

Student Support:The bill includes $1.275 billion for TRIO, a suite 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. The bill also includes a $500 increase in the maximum Pell Grant award, the cornerstone of student financial aid, which would increase the total maximum Pell grant award to $7,395 for the 2023 – 2024 school year. 

Career Training:The bill includes $2.2 billion, a $155 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 $770 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 $105 million; Senior Corps programs at $240 million; and State AmeriCorps grants at $492million. 

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

Article Topic Follows: Government-politics

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