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6/27/2008, Daily Astorian
 
 
Oregon approves $1 million allocation to help fishermen

SALEM - Coastal fishermen will receive $1 million in state aid from the Legislature and the Governor's Strategic Reserves to defray the impacts on coastal communities following the closure of the salmon fishery this summer.

details were announced Friday afternoon by Democratic State Reps. Deborah Boone, Brad Witt, Jean Cowan and Arnie Roblan.

A request for funding made to the Legislative Emergency Board was approved earlier in the day, paving the way for $500,000 in general funds and $500,000 from the Governor's Strategic Reserve Fund to find its way quickly to coastal communities affected by the closure.

"Our coastal caucus has worked hard to ensure that members of the E-Board understood the dire situations facing coastal families. And we are very pleased that this state aid will quickly find its way to our communities," said Roblan, D-Coos Bay.

Members of the E-Board adopted a proposal that will establish an advisory committee charged with allocating the funds. A similar process was adopted following the salmon closure in 2006.

"We believe the advisory committee is a smart way to allocate funds, allowing for a public process, specific requests for aid and an on-the-ground support system for those families needing funds," said Cowan, D-Newport.

Along with the state aid, Rep. Boone said the coastal legislators were continuing to work on federal funding through the recent disaster declaration issued by Gov. Ted Kulongoski.

"We continue to see positive results out of our efforts in lobbying Washington and our congressional delegation," said Boone, D-Cannon Beach. "Even people 'inside the Beltway' understand what a devastating effect this fishery closure has had on the Oregon Coast."


Witt, D-Clatskanie, said federal funding for the West Coast could mean as much as $25 million more in aid for coastal residents, according to legislation recently approved by Congress.

"This additional million dollar allocation from state funding will get to the ground quickly, allowing these families to stay afloat as we await the federal dollars that will provide the funds so they can recover some of their economic losses," said Witt.
 
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