Walkout doesn’t slow down local projects

By on Tuesday, June 25th, 2019 in Local News

Rep. Greg Smith (R-Heppner)

SALEM, Oregon – Eastern Oregon capital projects moved forward in the Oregon House of Representatives today, not slowed by the walkout by Senate Republicans. Rep. Greg Smith (R-Heppner) spoke with KUMA News right before he cast his vote in favor of a funding bill before the Capital Construction Committee.

“Sen. Hansell has been instrumental in working with me to get the items taken care of,” Smith said. “I will be voting affirmative to spend $1.6 million on the Umatilla County Jail expansion for mental health services.”

That project, along with several others, were approved by the committee. Smith said funding is provided for an expansion of the early learning center at the Port of Morrow, a Hermiston project by Umatilla-Morrow Head Start, and a surface water pumping project in Umatilla County.

Smith added that, in another package, funding for another project that has been a priority for Sen. Hansell, Rep. Greg Barreto (R-Cove), and himself is now a reality.

“Blue Mountain Community College will soon be receiving funding for an indoor equestrian center,” he said. “That funding is in the Blue Mountain Community College bonding package.”

Smith said the package was approved with votes from both parties after negotiations with Speaker of the House Tina Kotek (D-Portland) and Senate President Peter Courtney (D-Salem).

“This is exciting news, that this passed, in a bipartisan manner, with all that has been going on,” he said.