On Jan. 7, Gov. Kate Brown named Leah Horner, Jobs and Economy Policy Advisor and Regional Solutions Director with the office of the governor, to the new position of Infrastructure Director.
While keeping up her current duties that support the state's economic and community development, Horner's role as Infrastructure Director will be to navigate the implementation of the infrastructure law for Oregon. Horner holds a master's degree in economic development and entrepreneurship from University of Houston, and a bachelor's degree in political science from University of Hawaii.
"This infrastructure bill gives us a once-in-a-generation opportunity to not only invest in crucial needs for our communities, but to also assess investments with a racial justice lens," Horner said in a statement. "I look forward to taking the Regional Solutions approach of streamlining government and removing barriers to get us to the outcomes Oregonians need."
This comes after the federal government passed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and the White House request that each state appoint a single point of contact to navigate implementing the infrastructure law.
The law is expected to bring $3.4 billion to Oregon to help modernize the roads and highways, according to the governor's office. In addition, Oregon expects to see $268 million for bridge replacements and repairs, $747 million to upgrade public transportation, over $52 million for electric vehicle charging infrastructure, $529 million for water system infrastructure improvements, $100 million for affordable, high-speed internet, and $32 million for measures to protect against wildfires, the governor's office said.
"I am so pleased Leah is taking on this important role at this critical time," said Gov. Brown in a statement. "I have worked closely with Leah over the past several years, and I am confident she will be able to help implement the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law here in Oregon. She brings strong strategic planning abilities, all done with a collaborative approach."
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