Oregon Senate passes bill for rental, drought assistance

SALEM, Ore. – Legislation to help Oregon renters, farmers, landlords, and those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be on the fast track to becoming law.

On Monday, the Oregon State Senate passed Senate Bill 5561. It allocates $100 million to the Oregon Emergency Rental Assistance Program (OERAP), $5 million to fund the processing of OERAP applications, and $10 million to compensate landlords who weren’t receiving rent from tenants.

In addition, $40 million from the state’s general fund would be appropriated to the State Department of Agriculture. The money is intended to help those impacted by the ongoing drought. Nearly $1 million would go to Jackson County residents and irrigators whose wells have dried up. Klamath County could see millions of dollars for drought mitigation assistance.

SB 5561 also includes funding for Afghanistan refugee assistance, illegal marijuana mitigation, education, and housing assistance services.

The bill will move on to the Oregon State House of Representatives for consideration. With largely bipartisan support, it’s expected to pass.

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