Oregon Legislature earmarks $300M for quake preparedness


Lawmakers set aside largest-ever amount of money for updates ahead of the Big One.

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BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Oregon lawmakers set aside the largest-ever amount of money for preparedness measures ahead of the Big One.

The state will spend $300 million from the capital construction budget to update buildings.

A portion of the money, $175 million, will go in grants to seismically upgrade schools.  The rest will go to school districts that pass a bond to improve their facilities.

Ted Wolf was on the state’s school seismic safety task force and says the money will really boost earthquake preparedness.  “And it will do much more. It will help modernize schools, it will help school districts rebuild schools that are old and obsolete,” he said. 

(SOURCE: OPB)

Money will not be set aside for the Capitol building as Senate President Peter Courtney acknowledged it is unstable and will collapse.

“The decision to not include seismic safety improvements and renovations to the Capitol in the bonding package is a devastating loss,” Courtney said. “It’s a loss for science. It’s a loss for a decade-long public process. It’s a loss for this Legislature. It’s a loss for Oregon and her people… especially her children.

“… We are not prepared. They have told us over and over that the Capitol is unstable and will collapse.”

(SOURCE: Portland Business Journal)

RELATED NEWS: Oregon businesses face destruction from future earthquake 

 




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