New Scottsburg Bridge Opens, Wildfire Prevention Grants & More


Senator Floyd Prozanski
South Lane and North Douglas Counties
District 4

900 Court St. NE, S-413, Salem Oregon 97301
Capitol phone: 503-986-1704
e-Bulletin                     June 2022

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Dear friends,

    With the 2022 primary election now behind us, I'm resuming my monthly e-bulletins to keep you apprised of happenings in Salem and around Senate District 4. As a reminder, you can update your subscription preferences using the user profile link at the bottom of this e-mail.

    Our country is dealing with yet another surge in COVID-19 cases. Although hospitalizations and deaths have not spiked as with previous variants, the BA2 strain's virulence means we must stay vigilant to protect our vulnerable family and friends. I encourage everyone to mask up indoors when possible and to get boosted! Single boosters are now available for the pediatric Pfizer vaccine (see graphic below).


Our nation is also experiencing a renewed rash of gun violence and mass shootings. Like many of you, I was devastated by the tragedy that occurred at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. I grew up 85 miles to the east, in San Antonio. My family camped regularly at Garner State Park just north of Uvalde. As a gunowner for over 50 years and a longtime advocate for gun safety, I’m sick and tired of hearing many elected officials offer their "thoughts and prayers" in response to these senseless acts of gun violence. It’s past time for Congress to enact common-sense gun safety legislation.

    I've already discussed with Congressman Peter DeFazio possible changes to the age requirement for purchasing semi-automatic weapons, and raised the issue of cognitive maturity (for males, age 24-26). I know he’s working with some of his colleagues to enact such legislation. Needless to say, it would be great if Congress actually passed common-sense gun safety legislation including raising the age limit to purchase a semi-automatic to the same age for purchasing a handgun, 21, but I’m not holding my breath! Instead, I’ll be working with my colleagues on similar state legislation for the 2023 regular session.

   It's worth noting that Oregon currently is ranked 11th in the country for gun law strength ( Oregon has passed significant gun safety legislation. In 2015 Oregon closed the final loophole in the state's criminal background check law with SB 941. Now all sales of firearms in the state—including private sales and internet sales—must include a criminal background check. In 2017 the Legislature passed SB 719, a "Red Flag Law" that allows removing firearms from individuals who have been determined to be an extreme risk to themselves or others. Both of these common-sense laws have failed to be passed at the federal level.

    In 2019, Oregon closed the domestic partner abuse loophole with HB 2013. Last year, the Legislature passed SB 554, which requires safe storage of firearms and also gives local school districts and institutions of higher learning the option to prohibit firearms in their buildings and facilities.

    On May 31, I was honored to be invited to join students at Willamette High School for a policy forum. Seniors presented their class projects on various social issues such as homelessness, criminal justice reform and domestic violence. I always enjoy connecting with students and hearing their hopes and concerns firsthand. I was impressed with their preparation and presentations.

    From June 1-3, the Legislature held its first set of legislative days following the 2022 short session. Committees met virtually for informational hearings. Meetings were recorded and posted on the Legislature's website. The Senate Judiciary Committee, which I chair, heard an update on equity initiatives and workload from Chief Justice Martha Walters; an update from the Oregon Health Authority and stakeholders on Ballot Measure 110 Implementation; and an update on consumer privacy from the Attorney General's office. On Friday, the Senate met in person to consider confirmations of the Governor's appointments to various boards and commissions. With the senate president and president pro tempore not in attendance due to health issues, I was asked to preside over the chamber. It was a true honor!

    Last month, Representative Paul Evans and I were assigned to co-chair a work group on public defense shortcomings in Oregon. The workgroup will address the shortage of public defenders that has impacted criminal courts in our state. We will need to restructure how Oregon provides legal services in the criminal justice system. The group, which includes a broad spectrum of stakeholders, will produce legislation to be considered in the 2023 and 2024 sessions.

    Below you will find information on:

        - Highway 38 Traffic Moves onto New Scottsburg Bridge
        - Fire Marshal Wildfire Prevention Grant Programs
        - State Grants for Senate District 4

    I hope this information is helpful and informative for you or someone you know. As always, feel free to share your comments, questions or concerns with me by phone, mail or e-mail.

                                                                   Sen. Prozanski signature

Highway 38 Traffic Moves onto New Scottsburg Bridge

    ODOT reports that the new Scottsburg Bridge is open, even if it’s not quite finished. The bridge, which spans the Umpqua River 16 miles east of Reedsport, was opened to a single lane of traffic on May 25.

    Over the next month, contractor Hamilton Construction will widen the northeast approach to the bridge with the goal of opening a second lane in July. Highway 38 motorists are advised to watch for flaggers or automated flagging machines in the work zone. Most delays will be brief.

    Construction on the bridge replacement project began in February 2020. Most work, including the removal of the old bridge and a pair of work platforms, is scheduled to be completed by the end of summer. The original Umpqua River Bridge opened in 1929, when vehicles were smaller and speeds lower. In recent years, the bridge has been hit several times by trucks and recreational vehicles navigating the tight corners at each end. A crash in April 2017 required a three-day bridge closure for emergency repairs.

    In the summer of 2017, the Legislature passed the Keep Oregon Moving Act (HB 2017), which provided nearly $40 million in funding for a new bridge in Scottsburg. Highway 38 is a critical freight and evacuation route connecting Interstate 5 with the southern Oregon Coast. Over the past 20 years, ODOT has replaced several aging bridges along the Umpqua Highway, including bridges in Elkton and on both ends of the Elk Creek tunnel.

    When completed, the new bridge will provide two 12-foot travel lanes and wide shoulders for pedestrians and bicycles. The new bridge alignment will straighten the curves at both ends of the bridge. For more information, visit the project website.

Fire Marshal Wildfire Prevention Grant Programs

    On June 1, the state Fire Marshal (OSFM) announced a series of open and upcoming grants designed for Oregon fire services, local governments, communities, and community members. OSFM spent the last year working with stakeholders, response partners, and the public to evaluate the best way to build its programs and meet the needs of those it serves.

    The 2021 Oregon Legislative Assembly passed SB 762, Oregon's comprehensive wildfire preparedness and resiliency bill. SB 762 also implements new programs, mandates, and strategies to enhance Oregon's approach to response, preparedness, and resiliency to wildfire. The bill also grant funds for bolstering response and community risk reduction projects. As grant opportunities open to applications, they will be announced on OSFM's grant website. Current open grant opportunities include:

Defensible Space Incentive Grant for Schools and Hospitals

    The Defensible Space Improvement (DSI Grant) was opened earlier this year to provide funding to Oregon's public or private schools, universities, and hospitals with an opportunity to perform either ember intrusion mitigation and/or surface area debris mitigation around their properties. Please e-mail OSFM's grant manager for more information at

2022 Wildfire Season Staffing Grant

    As part of the OSFM's Response Ready Oregon Initiative, An initial investment of $4 million in grant funding is available to Oregon's 306 local fire districts and departments to bring on additional staff during the 2022 wildfire season. Local fire agencies can request up to $35,000 to support staffing. Agencies can use the grant funding to expand capacity using the current district or department staffing model and pay scale. To apply, please follow this link to the online application.

State Grants for Senate District 4

    The City of Lowell has been approved to receive a $20,000 state technical assistance grant as it develops its new wastewater facilities plan. Additionally, Glide Water District received a $326,825 award, and the City of Oakland a $20,000 award, for water treatment upgrades. Congratulations to each administration for your successful applications!

    Separately, Bohemia Food Hub, Center for Rural Livelihoods, and City of Veneta were each selected for Business Oregon Rural Opportunity Initiative (ROI) grant awards. ROI is Business Oregon's strategic effort to empower rural communities to support entrepreneurs and small business growth and strengthen entrepreneurial ecosystems within and across Oregon's rural communities. Bohemia Food Hub, which received $100,000, currently consists of a shared-use commercial kitchen, food cart pod, and micro-retail space that cumulatively provide low-barrier access to people seeking to start food-based businesses.

    The Center for Rural Livelihoods, which received a $60,000 ROI grant, supports entrepreneurs by cultivating new business development opportunities in the forestry ecosystem that simultaneously respond to climate change and enhance local economies and ecologies. In conjunction with project partners across Lane County, the Center for Rural Livelihoods will assess opportunities for job and business creation within the forestry sector and design a business development curriculum or "entrepreneurial bootcamp" to support their emergence as enterprises within an evolving natural resources economy

    Finally, Veneta's project, which received a $50,000 ROI grant, will support the value-added foods entrepreneurial ecosystem, providing opportunities for local farmers, herbalists, dairies, wineries, and others to start and grow businesses. This effort will complement an already thriving craft and maker entrepreneurial sector by matching value-added foods entrepreneurs with business coaching, resources, and mentorship; providing a space to learn, test, and collaborate at a culinary lab; and identifying entrepreneurs to showcase to investors at events. Congratulations!

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