I-5 bridge back on the table, budget writers issue another warning and Gov. Brown pushes toxic air regulations.
New I-5 bridge commitment progresses in Washington
A bill establishing a joint Oregon-Washington committee to work toward a new bridge between Vancouver and Portland is headed for Gov. Jay Inslee's desk, the Oregonian reports. But Oregon officials have made their disinterest clear, at least for the time being. Washington officials hope passing this bill with bipartisan support will show Oregon they are serious about the bridge project, after Washington pulled support from the project in 2014.
Budget writers issue list of potential cuts
The Legislature issued another warning about funding levels if new revenue isn't approved this session, OPB reports. Potential cuts to bridge the $1.6 billion deficit include cuts to government-funded healthcare under the Affordable Care Act, cuts to education (and using marijuana revenue instead of lottery funds) and delayed expansion of female prisons. The final budget still largely depends on revenue forecasts which will be released in mid-May.
Dairy air emissions bills fail, while Governor pushes committee to consider health impacts of industrial pollution
Two bills to impose regulations on dairy air emissions and pesticides used in Oregon forests have stalled in the Legislature, the Portland Tribune reports. Meanwhile, Gov. Kate Brown's Cleaner Air Oregon task force is pushing the Department of Environmental Quality to consider health impacts when regulating industrial air pollution, the Tribune reports. The DEQ currently issues industrial permits without regard to real-world impacts. The task force's proposal would require the DEQ to consider the impacts of several polluters in the same area before issuing permits.
State-wide Uber bill fails
The bill would have made ride-sharing services legal statewide. The bill failed to get a hearing needed to move forward in the legislative session, Willamette Week reports. The news isn't a complete surprise, Salem Mayor Chuck Bennett predicted the outcome earlier this month while the city itself considers legalizing Uber and Lyft.
Lumen Learning receives $3.75 million investment
The open-source textbook company is preparing to partner with Follett to distribute Lumen's materials in college bookstores, the Oregonian reports. (Check out our profile of Lumen's leaders David Wiley and Kim Thanos). Follett also led the funding round for Lumen. In total, Lumen has raised $6.35 million from investors.
Stripped shell legislation passes out of committee
House Bill 2191 intended to rein in abusive shell companies. While the amended bill will still have some effect, the bill was watered down before heading to the Joint Committee on Ways and Means, the Portland Business Journal reports. Companies will still need to include a physical address on incorporation filings, but the owner's name requirement has been downgraded to a person with "direct knowledge."
The 100 Best Nonprofits survey launches today
Organizations can sign up to participate in our 2017 100 Best Nonprofits to Work For in Oregon survey here.
Oregon's Energy Future conference today