July 9, 2020

Speaker Tina Kotek, Co-Chair
Senate President Peter Courtney, Co-Chair
Joint Emergency Board
Oregon State Capitol
900 Court Street NE,
Salem, Oregon 97301

Dear Co-Chair Courtney and Co-Chair Kotek,

This letter is written in urgent support of the $3.58 million water and wastewater treatment infrastructure funding request for The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs.

The announcement by the State Debt Policy Advisory Commission to not issue lottery revenue bonds in 2021 because of COVID-related drops in lottery sales was devastating news for the Warm Springs community.

As we conveyed in 2019, the closures of both Kah-Nee-Ta and the Warm Springs Forest Product Enterprises have devastated a community that is already 70% below the federal poverty level.

Additionally, reporting from Oregon Public Broadcasting continues to highlight the dangerous water situation in Warm Springs. Securing these state resources are critical to completing the necessary emergency projects that ensure the Warm Springs community receives a basic need for clean potable water.

Few state priorities could be more important than providing drinkable water and working sewers. These basic and essential needs are absolutely critical to achieving the state’s public health guidelines and for reversing the COVID spike within the Confederate Tribes of the Warm Springs.

We strongly encourage the Emergency Board to include water and waste water treatment funding for the Warm Springs community in the emergency actions that it’s taking.