Morning Roundup

Lawmakers question Kate Brown’s asset proposal, $400 million taxpayer kicker likely and PSU names new president.

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Can Gov. Brown asset sale bring in needed state funding?

Gov. Brown has proposed selling off public assets, including surplus property, to raise $5 billion, which could be used to partially fund the $22 billion PERS deficit. Experts say it might have a negative longterm impact, OPB reports, including forcing the state to rent buildings from private entities. Lawmakers also question whether the plan could actually raise $5 billion.

Oregon kicker to kick in as state grapples with budget gap

Amid a $1.6 billion budget deficit, Oregon will likely have to return some of its tax revenues to taxpayers, Willamette Week reports. The news stems from a report from the Office of Economic Analysis that found Oregon should record more revenue than projected, which is good for the budget. But as tax revenues are also coming in higher than projected, Oregon’s kicker will likely be activated. The state could be forced to return $408 million to taxpayers.

PSU names new president

Rahman Shoureshi has been named the president of Portland State University, the Portland Business Journal reports. Shoureshi is replacing Wim Wiewel, who is stepping down after nine years at the end of the academic year. Shoureshi currently serves as interim president of the New York Institute of Technology. The PSU board picked Shoureshi partially for his experience fundraising.

Zapproved receives investment 

Vista Equity Partners has invested in Zapproved to help accelerate the company’s growth. CEO Monica Enand says the investment partnership was chosen because of Vista’s expertise in growing software companies. (Check out our cover profile of Enand here).

Salt & Straw accepts investment from New York restaurateur

Danny Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality Group has invested an undisclosed amount in Portland’s Salt & Straw, the Oregonian reports. The investment will fund new staff and infrastructure, including new commercial kitchens in Portland and San Fransisco. Salt & Straw says co-founders Kim and Tyler Malek will retain control of the company.

Oregon Tradeswomen receives $200,000 EPA grant

The Portland company won one of 14 nationwide grants for workforce training. This isn’t the first time Oregon Tradeswomen has been awarded the EPA training grant. Tradeswomen has received the grant six times; in 2004, 2007, 2009, 2012, 2015 and now 2017. This grant will allow the copmany to train 50 students and place 40 or more graduates in environmental jobs. 

Salem businesses to reopen after lead contamination

An old battery factory in West Salem closed abruptly in March after health officials found lead dust on site. The building contains six businesses, including Capitol City Sports and Xicha Brewing. The businesses could reopen next week if test results come back clean, the Statesman Journal reports.