LOC News

2021 Legislative Effort Will Look for Disaster Relief Opportunities

The LOC’s government relations team has been working to identify possible legislation and advocacy to aid in recovery efforts of cities and communities impacted by the wildfire season this year.  Following a vote of cities across the state, the LOC Board adopted six legislative priorities for the 2021 session at its August board meeting. Two of the priorities include: COVID-19 economic relief and recovery investments, and advocacy for a comprehensive infrastructure investment. Both priorities provide a good fit for the type of support that community rebuilding efforts will likely need, but the LOC team will still be working on identifying the details well in advance of the session.  The League will be engaging with the governor’s office, state agencies, cities impacted and members, along with our league counterparts in California, who have significant experience in disaster relief for communities impacted by wildfire.

The LOC is hearing from the governor’s office and other state agencies that there has been quite a bit of outreach with their partners in California to learn from the rebuilding experience that cities seem to go through every year in that state.  This is good news is that California has learned something from every process and this experience will have value for the Oregon communities impacted by the 2020 wildfires.

How Oregon responds to these devastating fires and makes our state safe from a future disaster  will be a fluid conversation in the coming months and even years.  Powerline safety, forest management, and building, fire and life safety codes changes will be  ongoing subjects of conversation, and the LOC will continue to represent the interests of cities and seeking the best available advice and expertise as concepts evolve. 

We are happy to take any suggestions regarding this work. Feel free to reach out to our government relations team at the email address below.

Contact:  Jim McCauley, Legislative Director - jmccauley@orcities.org

Last Updated 9/18/20

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