The Democrat-led Oregon House on Thursday night approved a bill that will invest hundreds of millions of dollars in students and communities impacted by the multiple crises of the last year.
Included in the bill is $2.5 million for an emergency housing shelter in Bend.
“This funding for emergency shelter in Bend is going to bring desperately needed relief to people in our community experiencing houselessness,” said Bend Rep. Jason Kropf. “This is a big step forward. As Bend and Oregon recovers from COVID and the wildfires there is a lot more that needs to get done this session to help our struggling families.”
HB 5042 provides $18 million in funds for emergency housing shelters (known as navigation centers) in impacted communities, and millions more in funding to communities harmed by last year’s wildfires.
The bill also includes $250 million in funding for Summer Learning and Child Care programs to aid students and families across the state.
“The Summer Learning and Childcare programs funded by this legislation will be a lifeline for both students and parents across Oregon,” said Woodburn Rep. Teresa Alonso Leon, chair of the House Education Committee. “The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the school year for so many Oregon students, and we need to make sure that no student, particularly from our historically underserved communities, gets left behind.”
In a press release, House Democrats said the bill passed “after weeks of delay caused by Republican obstruction, will now be considered by the Oregon Senate.”
“Getting these bills passed will help Oregon families tremendously, especially when we consider the impact the pandemic has had on students’ academic year,” says House Majority Leader Barbara Smith Warner. “But let’s be clear, there are other critically important bills that Republicans are still holding up, and their pointless obstruction is only delaying relief to hurting Oregonians.”