Rep. David Gomberg Presents Bipartisan Rural Infrastructure Proposal for 2023

SALEM, OR –  On December 7, 2022, Representative David Gomberg (D-Central Coast) presented a bipartisan rural infrastructure package proposal for the 2023 legislative session during a meeting with the House Interim Committee on Economic Development and Small Business. Developed by a group of bipartisan legislators, the proposal builds off of the successful $100 million bipartisan rural infrastructure package* passed this year.

The 2023 proposal would help bolster rural entrepreneurial opportunities, expand rural workforce housing capacity, and support critical agriculture, natural resources, and outdoor recreation ventures.

“Oregon’s small, rural towns have big aspirations,” said Gomberg. “Last session, we were tasked with identifying key infrastructure spending opportunities throughout the state. With this proposal, we’re focused on finding ways to support those very same communities to expand their workforces, bolster their housing supply, and become hotspots for private investment and entrepreneurial ventures.”

Over the course of the 2022 interim, a bipartisan group of legislators informally met to develop the proposal, including Representative Gomberg, Representative Pam Marsh (D-Southern Jackson County), Representative Mark Owens (R-Crane), and Representative Greg Smith (R-Heppner).

“This really is the Oregon Way,” said Smith, one of the longest serving members of the House. “I’m optimistic that the 2023 legislative session will continue to represent a renewed commitment to rural Oregon. This package will serve to uplift our communities and provide more opportunities for them to attract and retain the innovative talent that will truly help them flourish.”

“I’m proud of this proposal and the work we’ve been able to accomplish together,” said Marsh. “It’s important for us that economic prosperity reaches every corner of the state.”

“When rural Oregon prospers, all of Oregon prospers,” said Owens. “It’s bipartisan, people-centered work like this that gives me confidence about the future of this great state.”

Components of the proposal include funds for rural workforce housing infrastructure, industrial land development, and investments in Oregon’s Small Business Development Centers. Additional components include rural venue and county fair support, investments in local food systems infrastructure, and investments in Oregon’s outdoor recreation economy.

The proposal will be presented to the Oregon Legislative Assembly during the 2023 legislative session.

A full recording of today’s (Dec. 7, 2022) committee hearing can be found here.

*$100 million bipartisan rural infrastructure package passed this year.