Gov. Ted Kulongoski
is pushing lawmakers in Oregon to approve his $100 million bonding program to
fix non-highway transportation systems, including ports, airports and rail.
Oregon,” Kulongoski said his plan is needed to strengthen the state’s ties to
national and international markets, The Associated Press reported.
The governor said the
money from lottery-backed bonds is the next step in creating a business climate
in the state that supports moving people, goods and commerce.
“Rail, air and marine
are not competitors with our highway system; they are interconnected with
our roads, bridges and highways,” Kulongoski said in a written statement.
“Connect Oregon is an important investment we can make to strengthen our
ability to compete in a global market, create and retain jobs in Oregon, and
grow our state’s economy.”
The plan is seen as a
follow up to a $2.5 billion road and bridge upgrade program approved by the
Oregon Legislature two years ago.
Supporters said the
governor’s multimodal transportation plan is important for business development
in the state. Opponents have criticized the amount is too small.
acknowledged the sum is small, but he maintains it is only the beginning.
SB71 is in the Joint
Ways and Means Committee.