PENDLETON, Oregon – A group of people from Umatilla County have banded together to work for the Oregon Legislature to approve funding for two projects. Representing Umatilla County, the Port of Umatilla, and the city of Pendleton among others, the group has decided to seek professional help in Salem when the 2019 session begins.
“We have engaged a lobbyist who is really going to focus on our behalf on the FARM II project, and also help us work through the jail renovation funding,” Commissioner George Murdock said.
Gov. Kate Brown has provided funding for FARM II in her proposed budget. Murdock says there are also indicators that key lawmakers who aren’t from the immediate area understand the need to remodel the jail to provide for a more efficient intake area.
“We’ve gotten good vibes from not just our own legislative delegation, but people like Sen. (Elizabeth) Steiner-Hayward, Sen. Betsy Johnson, and others that have indicated that they’re in support of the two projects,” Murdock said.
Steiner-Hayward is a Democrat representing northwest Portland and Beaverton. Johnson is a Democrat from Scappoose. Steiner-Hayward toured the jail during Round-Up week. Johnson is a moderate Democrat who has shown an inclination to vote with Republicans on some business-related issues. She is vice co-chair of the Joint Ways and Means Committee, and Steiner-Hayward is a member of that budget-writing committee as well.