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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Oregon Governor To Renew Efforts To Pass Transportation Funding Package

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Office of the Governor
File photo. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown delivered her State of the State address Friday in Portland.

During her second State of the State address Friday, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown renewed her call for the legislature to approve a massive transportation funding package.

Brown wants the 2017 legislature to approve upgrades to the state's highways, likely funded by an increase in the gas tax.

"These investments will support the strong business sector Oregon needs to keep our economic engines humming,” the governor said.

Brown also called for a transportation package during her State of the State address last year. But lawmakers left Salem without approving one amid a struggle over a separate bill that regulates the carbon content of fuel sold in Oregon.

Brown also said that she's never been prouder of the state of Oregon. She said she feels that way because of how the state handled the 41-day armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

"We may have disagreements about individual issues, but we stand together against any outsider who would claim to speak for us, who threatens our fellow Oregonians, and whose presence disrupts the well-being of our neighbors,” Brown said.

Brown said the refuge occupation was just one of several moments of crisis since she took office last year in the wake of John Kitzhaber's resignation. Others included the mass shooting in Roseburg, as well as a severe drought and major wildfires.

Brown's address came in front of a sold-out audience at the City Club of Portland.