Rep. Diehl: Semiconductor bill update

By State Representative Ed Diehl,

SB 4 – Semiconductors

With Intel already in Oregon, we have a big opportunity to benefit from the Federal Government’s CHIPS act, a $52 billion investment to bring microchip manufacturing back to America. As a member of the Joint Semiconductor Committee I am working to make sure we have a package that benefits ALL of Oregon.

It’s no secret that Oregon has an anti-business climate because of the policies passed over the last decade. High tax rates, low incentives, and an uncooperative government won’t help bring large-scale semiconductor manufacturing back to Oregon. The Semiconductor Committee is working through amendments to SB 4 in an effort to put together a winning package – as it stands we have a lot of work to do.

It is important that our final bill includes the following elements:

• Investment in workforce training and universities – to attract business to Oregon we need a highly skilled and motivated workforce.
• The legislator should not give the Governor broad authority to pull farmland into our urban growth boundaries. I believe that the legislature should make the decision and not leave it up to executive power. Currently, Oregon does not have any ‘large’ (500 acre or more) industrial sites; the legislature will have to make some difficult decisions about what land, if any, should be brought inside an existing urban growth boundary. Areas around Hillsboro and North Plains are being discussed and are considered attractive areas for new tech businesses.
• Our package should encourage tech businesses in all areas of the state. There are many smaller sites throughout Oregon that are already zoned industrial. And other existing companies, such as ATI in Albany, have the opportunity to expand their semiconductor supply operation. Let’s encourage additional tech businesses to build and grow outside of the Portland metro region so all of Oregon can benefit.
• Tax incentives, such as R&D tax credits and enterprise zones, must be part of the package if we want to be competitive with the other states vying for this business.
• The package should include state funding to help offset municipal system development costs to get industrial sites ‘shovel ready’. This will especially benefit small towns outside of the metro area.