▶️ Even with 6-week walkout, representatives bring home funds from ’23 session


After a six-week Republican walkout, the 2023 Oregon Legislative session concluded on schedule with a rush of bills.

Central Oregon Daily News caught up with three local state legislators who are exhausted but pleased with what they accomplished.

“We were trying to negotiate an end to the walkout, and then we did two months worth of work in 10 days. Everybody worked together. We got a lot of stuff done,” said Senate Minority Leader Tim Knopp, R-Bend.

Lawmakers passed hundreds of bills in the final hours of the 2023 Oregon legislative session, then cheered and hugged as the gavel came down.

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“We passed the largest K-12 budget in state history,” said Rep. Jason Kropf, D-Bend “I spent a lot of my time working on the early literacy success initiative to make sure our schools have research aligned literacy practices for our K-3 learners. We were able to secure $144 million to help with that program. My guess is Bend-La Pine will see multi-millions to help teach our K-3 kids with reading and writing.”

Local representatives brought home $15 million in state funds to expand the Deschutes County Courthouse.

$5 million for the 450 unit North Point housing project in Redmond which will include affordable housing, mixed use and regular rate housing.

There’s also $5 million to help build the Hawthorne Bridge Crossing which will link downtown Bend to the Central District over Highway 97 and the railroad tracks.

“One I am most excited about we will double our youth homeless shelter beds,” said Rep. Emerson Levy, D-Bend. “Right now we have about 15 beds. We are going to be able to double that and the money is already on its way and out the door.”

“You are going to get a significant tax credit on your 2024 tax return that will be the largest ever. For most people, it will be hundreds of dollars if not thousands of dollars in credits,” Knopp said.

Representative Levy described the 2023 legislative session as “an adventure.”

Representative Kropf called it “incredibly challenging.”

Senator Knopp said it was “worth the effort.”


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