Rep. Matt Wingard and members of Oregon’s House Republican Caucus will shortly unveil a jobs package in anticipation of the upcoming February legislative session. According to Wingard, the series of measures would help stimulate Oregon’s lagging economy and create tens of thousands of jobs.
“Oregon’s per capita income is nine percent below the national average and getting worse. This is a state that’s actually getting poorer. My Republican colleagues and I are determined to change that trajectory.”
Wingard, who called the Legislature’s failure to pass meaningful jobs legislation the biggest disappointment of the last session, believes that the jobs package must be priority number of one in February. Specifics are still being worked out, but efforts will focus on leveraging Oregon’s vast natural resources and lowering income and capital gains taxes, among other things.
“The abundance of natural resources is the economic engine of Oregon and critical to turning our economy around,” said Wingard, noting that Oregon has lost of over 200,000 jobs during the current economic downturn. “We also have to create a climate that will encourage businesses to grow, as well as to attract other businesses to relocate to our state. “
Wingard said that House Republicans have reached out to businesses and communities around the state for ideas and to build support. The jobs package will likely encourage the responsible harvesting of trees, utilizing water resources from the Columbia River, as well attracting data centers to Oregon similar to the one recently built by Facebook in Prineville. Data centers create scores of construction jobs and add to the tax base of rural communities.