Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, secured investments in a wide range of Oregon priorities in the federal spending bill passed by the Senate last week.
The provisions championed by Merkley will help put Oregonians to work in the woods reducing the threat of wildfires, ensure the maintenance and availability of business-critical infrastructure like ports, airports, roads, and bridges, and help veterans returning from war with job searches and mental health care.
Small ports are the lifeblood of the coastal communities, and without funding for channel maintenance and dredging, they could wither away. Unfortunately, without a dedicated funding stream, small ports often have trouble competing with larger ports for grants.
Merkley fought for and secured $40 million in dedicated funding for small ports.
In Fiscal Year 2013, there was no dedicated funding, and in Fiscal Year 2012 there was $30 million.
Press Release, January 20, 2014