State round-up: hearings on capital construction budget and Cultural Trust

The budget continues to be the focus of attention in Salem. Hearings have also been scheduled for many university priorities.

Capital Construction hearing set for May 10

The Joint Ways and Means Subcommittee on Capital Construction will hold a hearing on capital requests for Oregon University System projects on May 10. UO has five projects under consideration. The Governor’s Recommended Budget included state-backed bonds for the renovation and expansion of Straub and Earl Halls and revenue bond funding for student housing, the expansion of the Student Recreation Center, and expansion and renovation of the Erb Memorial Union (EMU). The Governor’s announcement of his capital construction priorities identified the expansion of the University of Oregon’s science library as a further priority should the legislature choose to allocate additional debt capacity.

The capital construction subcommittee will discuss these projects and others during a 1:30 pm hearing on May 10. The Oregon Legislature will provide a live stream of the hearing.

UO weighs in on Cultural Trust extension

On May 2, two bills that would extend the sunset on the Trust for Cultural Development received a hearing in the Joint Special Committee on Tax Credits. The Oregon Bach Festival, the UO Libraries, the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, the UO Museum of Natural and Cultural History, and the Oregon Folklife Network jointly submitted written testimony in support of HB 2470 and SB 319. The Oregon Cultural Trust was established to support, stabilize and protect Oregon culture and enhance the lives of Oregonians by increasing opportunities to experience Oregon’s unique cultural offerings. Since that time, $12.7 million dollars have been distributed and 980 grants have been awarded, helping bolster 60,000 creative sector jobs in Oregon. More details about how the Oregon Cultural Trust supports UO programs is included in the written testimony.