PASSED SENATE, HOUSE REFERRED BACK TO WAYS & MEANS
This bill directs Oregon Business Development Department to develop and implement Economic Equity Investment Program to award grants to organizations that provide culturally responsive services to support economic stability, self-sufficiency, wealth building and economic equity among disadvantaged individuals, families, businesses and communities whose future is at risk.
Establishes the Economic Equity Investment Fund and appropriates $15 million General Fund to Oregon Business Development Department to organizations only for proposals to provide outreach, support and resources to individuals, families, businesses or communities whose future is at risk. At risk is two or more economic equity risk factors defined as (a) Experience of discrimination because of race or ethnicity; (b) English language proficiency; (c) Citizenship status; (d) Socioeconomic status; or (e) Residence or operation in a rural location. And, improve economic equity measured by: (a) Ownership of land, principal residences and other real property; (b) Entrepreneurship; (c) Business development; (d) Workforce development; and (e) Intergenerational wealth building, such as savings, investments and real property equity.
Organizations providing culturally responsive services picks and choses winners and losers instead of a constitutional equality. It is unclear whether OBDD needs to fully disburse the $50 million (aside from program administration, evaluation and training costs) before June 30, 2023; it is unclear how many community-based organizations will seek grants and technical assistance and the scope of that assistance; and the extent to which application fee revenue will support the ongoing administrative costs of the program.
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