PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Governor Tina Kotek signed the Oregon CHIPS Act into law Thursday afternoon, aiming to boost the state’s semiconductor and microchip manufacturing industries with a $210 million investment.
The bill signing came after it passed the House last week and the Senate in late March.
“Oregon has been at the center of the semiconductor industry in the United States for decades,” Kotek said in a statement after the signing. “This bill is an absolutely essential tool for leading a coordinated effort with the private sector to ensure we can compete for federal funds to expand advanced manufacturing in Oregon.”
The CHIPS Act includes $190 million to support Oregon businesses applying for federal investments in the federal CHIPS and Science Act along with a $10 million investment to help public universities receive federal grants.
The bill also gives the governor the authority to expand land boundaries outside of the urban growth boundary in a quest to lure chip companies.
“Several states will be competing for this money. How is Oregon going to set itself apart when it makes its pitch?” Kotek told KOIN 6. “We have a very strong ecosystem here in Oregon, not only large manufacturers, but for all the companies that support them so we will be helping all of those companies apply.”
The Oregon CHIPS Act includes $10 million to help communities prepare land for manufacturing sites.
Following last week’s House passage, Rep. Janelle Bynum said in a statement “Oregon CHIPS is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to solidify our status as a global leader in semiconductor production and advanced manufacturing.”
While state lawmakers say 15% of the nation’s semiconductors are made in Oregon, Intel lobbyists sent a letter to state lawmakers in October — warning the state is at risk of losing one of its largest industries as other states offer large incentive packages to lure employers.
One of the bill’s chief sponsors, Republican Sen. Tim Knopp, previously told KOIN 6 News, “Oregon would still be in recession from 2008 without the semiconductor industry and the growth that’s happened there because it’s billions of dollars in revenue,” the senator said. “We want a future of opportunity and high-paying jobs for Oregonians that will last for generations.”
Stay with KOIN 6 News as this story develops.