Oregon Lawmakers OK $1 Billion in Projects at End of Session

In a last-minute flurry of money bills, Oregon lawmakers approved more than $1 billion for construction projects, salary increases and university tuition reductions Monday before shutting down the 2013 Legislature.
July 9, 2013
 

 In a last-minute flurry of money bills, Oregon lawmakers approved more than $1 billion for construction projects, salary increases and university tuition reductions Monday before shutting down the 2013 Legislature.

Legislation approved on the final day included money for -- among dozens of other projects -- a new or refurbished Multnomah County Courthouse, sidewalks in east Portland, a convention center hotel in Portland, a ton of construction on college campuses and even a raise for the governor.

Lawmakers dedicated more than $600 million for projects on all seven state university campuses and another $125 million for construction at community colleges.

The whirlwind of spending nonetheless caught many by surprise, even Democratic Gov. John Kitzhaber.

"There was a lot of capital construction, and I'm not sure all of it is good," said the governor who was headed out of town on vacation. "I haven't had a good chance to look at it."

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