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Smith sponsors bill for 24/7 OSP coverage

Rep. Patti Smith recently announced her support for a plan to create a dedicated funding source to achieve 24-hour Oregon State Police coverage on state highways without raising taxes. She is co-sponsoring House Bill 3535 to dedicate 1 percent of state general fund revenue to the OSP Patrol Division.

'This plan empowers the Oregon State Police to protect and assist Oregonians at all hours of the day,' Smith said. 'It brings stability to Oregon State Police funding while allowing the agency to grow as the state's economy grows.'

The legislation - supported by the Oregon State Police Officers' Association - would generate $126.7 million for the Oregon State Police for the 2007-09 biennium, providing sufficient revenue to add 140 state troopers. By comparison, the proposed budget released last week provides funding for only 100 troopers, which would not assure 24-hour coverage on Oregon's highways.

'This bill firmly establishes the Oregon State Police as a top priority for general fund dollars,' Smith said. 'It brings fiscal sustainability to vital patrol services and does not increase taxes on Oregonians.'