Pair of Rep. Cheri Helt's bills pass Legislature in final days

Bend mixed-use; Hwy. 26 POW-MIA Memorial Highway

SALEM, Ore. - After a long floor session in the Oregon Senate on Saturday, House bills 3450 and 3452 were the last to pass the Senate floor, both on 27-0 votes. Rep. Cheri Helt (R-Bend), finishing up her first term in Salem, is the chief sponsor of both bills and had been pushing hard for their passage in the waning days of the 2019 legislative session.  

House Bill 3450 creates a pilot program that will allow the city of Bend to construct residential units near transit stops and various places of business. The bill had support from a wide array of organizations and agencies that want to see responsible growth and greater housing supply in Bend. 

"When I came to Salem, one of my top priorities was taking steps to address the housing crisis facing our city and our state." Helt said, "This bill creates a pilot program that Bend will be able to utilize to continue revitalizing old and underused areas of the city for increased housing and commercial developments."

House Bill 3452 allows that U.S. Highway 26 also be referred to as POW/MIA Memorial Highway, to honor Oregon's veterans who have been declared MIA or have been a POW in U.S. wars from WW1 to the present. 

"This is just one of the many ways that I hope to continue to honor our veterans in Oregon," Helt said. "I would like to thank The Bend Heroes Foundation, and Dick Tobiason, for his tireless activism and support of our military veterans, as well as Senator Tim Knopp and Representative Jack Zika for their partnership on this bill."

"I consider it a blessing that I am in the position to be a chief sponsor of this important legislation.  We all owe our veterans a great deal for their dedication and sacrifices." 

Both bills will now be sent to Governor Brown's desk for her signature.

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