OBA 2011 Legislative Agenda – Economic Development

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OBA Agenda Invests in Oregon’s Economy

Efforts to create jobs and grow Oregon’s economy are front and center this Legislative Session. From attracting sustainable businesses to investing in transportation infrastructure, it is critical that the state take steps to maintain a competitive business environment and increase per capita income to stabilize state revenues that support core services.

The following investments will help create a healthy business environment throughout the state:

Business Energy Tax Credit

The BETC has been a successful economic development tool and also promotes energy efficiency. OBA believes it is important to continue to support the growth of this industry cluster to leverage Oregon’s brand by extending key components of the BETC.

Energy Efficiency

Increased energy efficiency efforts will help put Oregonians back to work through retrofitting residential, commercial and institutional structures, as well as helping the state meet its renewable portfolio standard, lower greenhouse gas emissions and reduce the need for additional generation facilities. OBA will support policies that maintain the public purpose charge and expand cost-effective energy efficiency.

Economic Development

Oregon’s investment in the innovation and financing programs of Oregon Inc., ETIC and Business Oregon have leveraged considerable private funds and economic opportunity for Oregon businesses. Significant investment in these programs now will create jobs, and position Oregon’s economy for growth as we continue to move out of the recession. Additionally, incentives like the film production tax credit will encourage continued investment in key industry areas.

Columbia River Crossing

Congestion on the Columbia River Crossing (CRC), one of the largest public works projects in the Pacific Northwest, threatens the competitiveness of Oregon’s trade dependent economy. OBA supports state appropriations to advance the Columbia River Crossing project, as well as the creation of a Bi-State Bridge Authority to lead CRC development forward and become the authority ultimately responsible for bridge construction and operation.

ConnectOregon 4

Though funding sources this session are limited, the passage of ConnectOregon 4 legislation, even with a smaller funding pot, would keep ConnectOregon program continuity and allow for additional multi-modal investments in the system.

Initiative Reform Rounds-Out OBA Agenda

Good government practices are the foundation for good public policy. Oregon Business Association believes that good government is dependent not only upon public officials who are dedicated to the public interest, but also on processes that are equitable, transparent and accountable. The current initiative system is flawed, resulting in potentially harmful public policy and costing the state significant revenues. OBA supports enhancing the initiative process for the purpose of improving the quality of measures, and providing voters with greater disclosure of the long-term financial impact of measures.