Gov. Brown tempers expectations for transportation package

Kate Brown calls for an increased minimum wage in front of members of Associated Oregon Industries.

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Gov. Kate Brown said a transportation package is not a pressing priority before calling for an increased minimum wage in front of members of Associated Oregon Industries Wednesday.

She said a gas tax or other methods of raising money for the state’s ailing infrastructure should be addressed in the 2017 session.

“I’m counting on business leaders including those in this room, to work with me and my legislative colleagues to address Oregon’s very pressing transportation needs in the 2017 session,” Brown said, making clear “rumors” of those clean fuels ballot measures played a role in the timing. “We simply can’t afford to delay any longer.”

Instead, the governor said, she wants to spend next year’s short legislative session working with lawmakers and business leaders to compromise on a minimum wage increase and head off dueling ballot proposals next year that would raise Oregon’s wage as high as $15.

She also wants more emphasis on addressing Oregon’s housing crisis, building off a $60 million-plus investment in affordable housing approved this summer. And she said she’s looking to answer last month’s mass shooting at Roseburg’s Umpqua Community College with a “proposal that will improve public safety” on Oregon’s campuses.


She refused to take a position on a proposal that would raise taxes on corporations for a $2.6 billion windfall for the state.

RELATED NEWS: 10-cent gas tax headed to Portland voters on May ballotReader Input: Road WorkPair of minimum wage measures to be on 2016 ballot


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