Bill to remedy border woes will get public input

By Pat Caldwell

The Enterprise

ONTARIO — Malheur County residents can testify next week to a state legislative committee taking up a proposal to help the local economy.

A video link between the county and the House Committee on Economic Development and Trade is being arranged for the hearing on House Bill 2012. Details are still being developed on where local residents can go to “appear” at the committee’s 9 a.m. Monday, March 20, hearing.

The legislation creates a seven-member Eastern Oregon Border Economic Development Board. The board will manage a loan fund of $10 million so businesses and local governments can train new workers and complete projects that create jobs. The bill is also intended to streamline local requests for waivers on land use laws that hamper local growth.

The bill comes from collaborative effort between state Rep. Cliff Bentz, R-Ontario, and Speaker Tina Kotek, D . . .