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Oregon Governor Urges Action On Transportation Funding

Oregon Governor Kate Brown delivers her State of the State address at Portland City Club.
Allison Frost
Oregon Governor Kate Brown delivers her State of the State address at Portland City Club.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown wants to drive the issue of how to unclog traffic and fix decaying bridges back into the fast lane.

The Democrat highlighted that topic Friday during her State of the State address in Portland.

Democrats and Republicans entered the legislative session talking about raising revenue to pay for improvements to roads and bridges across Oregon. But then, GOP lawmakers walked away from bipartisan talks in February in a dispute over a separate green fuels measure.

Now, Brown is asking lawmakers to put their differences aside and send her a transportation funding measure.

"These issues are real and they are statewide, the governor said. “So this is my wake up call. Now is the time for the Oregon legislature to step up and make these investments."

There's no road funding bill at the ready, but whatever lawmakers come up with likely will include a hike in the Oregon gas tax.

In Olympia, lawmakers are considering a nearly 12-cent increase in Washington's gas tax. Lawmakers in Idaho approved a 7-cent per gallon hike in the gas tax before they adjourned this month.

Copyright 2015 Northwest News Network

Chris Lehman
Chris Lehman graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He landed his first job less than a month later, producing arts stories for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana. Three years later he headed north to DeKalb, Illinois, where he worked as a reporter and announcer for NPR–affiliate WNIJ–FM. In 2006 he headed west to become the Salem Correspondent for the Northwest News Network.