More than $1 billion in stimulus money coming to Oregon

PORTLAND, Ore. — While U.S. lawmakers are on the verge of approving a $2 trillion stimulus package for coronavirus relief, local leaders expect more than $1 billion to be shared with Oregon in addition to cash payments, unemployment assistance, and help for business.

During a teleconference Wednesday morning, Gov. Kate Brown said she expects Oregon will receive at least $1.2 billion from the federal stimulus.

“I don’t have the details yet. We will get those out as quickly as we can,” said Brown.

The federal stimulus includes $150 billion to provide stability for state, local, and tribal governments to maintain health, education, and other services.

Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon, said he expects Oregon to get between $1.3 billion and $1.5 billion. About 55% will go to state government, according to Merkley. The rest will be distributed to counties and cities.

The stimulus included $25 billion for transit. During a TriMet board meeting Wednesday morning, General Manager Doug Kelsey said they were not sure what that means for local transit agencies.

“We’re literally unpacking that in the hours and days ahead, to factor that into the impact on this organization for the foreseeable future,” said Kelsey.

Money will be distributed to both big and small businesses too. Merkley said federal leaders must now figure out how to distribute that cash quickly and effectively.

“We’re going to see another phase in this challenge,” said Merkley. “Hopefully, we’ll see an expeditious and smooth rollout of these programs.”