ARPA investments flow into House District 52 communities
On March 11, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) into law to address effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on public health and the economy. Of the $1.9 trillion budgeted toward this effort, $2 million are now earmarked to aid communities in House District 52.
House District 52 Rep. Anna Williams (D-Hood River) announced the funding proposals for Hood River, Clackamas and Multnomah counties Tuesday, June 1.
"This session, we will address three of the most crucial issues my constituents reach out to me about: improving our infrastructure, investing in mental and behavioral health support, and protecting our children," said Williams. "These investments will result in healthier kids in more stable homes, getting the services they need. And the infrastructure funds I am advocating for will make our community safer. I am excited to take these priorities home to the communities I represent."
Williams has also announced her intention for $75 million in additional state funds to go toward local infrastructure improvements, children's advocacy centers, farm to school meals and a treatment court for families struggling with mental health and addiction.
"We know education is the key to success. For many families like mine, education served as a pathway to a brighter future." said Williams. "Today, obtaining a quality education feels more and more unreachable. The cost of college and student loans prevent many otherwise qualified students from pursuing education after high school. Post-secondary education is critical for families to earn living wages and build generational wealth. Community colleges give everyday Americans a chance to afford an education and build their technical skills. By investing in agricultural, technical, education-related, and other supporting programs like childcare facilities at our local community colleges, we can grow our regional economy by training local students for the work our communities need done."
Mt. Hood Community College (MHCC) and Columbia Gorge Community College (CGCC) will both receive funds. CGCC intends to use the money to bolster their agriculture, technology and education programs, and fund a Spanish GED program. The goal for the Hood River CGCC campus will be an on-campus family childcare center.
MHCC intends to invest in the college's Multicultural Diversity and Equity Center.
"I want to make sure that the people in my district can receive the training and skills they need to be competitive in a modern economy," said Williams. "Education is the foundation to a brighter future, which is why I'm investing in our community colleges to give Oregonians now and in the future a chance at the American Dream."
Williams is also advocating for several other funding proposals in the Legislature that would benefit District 52. One that would directly impact the Sandy community is a proposed budget item of $14.7 million for maintenance and repairs to the Sandy Wastewater Station.
Other budget items Williams is supporting are:
• $5 million toward the replacement of the Hood River Bridge;
• $12 million for Farm to School programs that provide fresh food to school children;
• $6 million for children's advocacy centers;
• $28.65 million for Family Treatment Courts; and
• $20 million for housing affordability.
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