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Transportation
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 Urges Action On Transportation Funding

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Allison Frost
/
OPB
Oregon Governor Kate Brown delivers her State of the State address at Portland City Club.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown wants to drive the issue of how to unclog traffic and fix decaying bridges back into the fast lane.

The Democrat highlighted that topic Friday during her State of the State address in Portland.

Democrats and Republicans entered the legislative session talking about raising revenue to pay for improvements to roads and bridges across Oregon. But then, GOP lawmakers walked away from bipartisan talks in February in a dispute over a separate green fuels measure.

Now, Brown is asking lawmakers to put their differences aside and send her a transportation funding measure.

"These issues are real and they are statewide, the governor said. “So this is my wake up call. Now is the time for the Oregon legislature to step up and make these investments."

There's no road funding bill at the ready, but whatever lawmakers come up with likely will include a hike in the Oregon gas tax.

In Olympia, lawmakers are considering a nearly 12-cent increase in Washington's gas tax. Lawmakers in Idaho approved a 7-cent per gallon hike in the gas tax before they adjourned this month.