PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – The Oregon House on Thursday passed the bipartisan Oregon CHIPS Act — investing $210 million in the semiconductor and microchip manufacturing industry.
The Oregon CHIPS Act includes $190 million to support Oregon businesses applying for federal investments in the federal CHIPS and Science Act and $10 million to help public universities receive federal research 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.
“There’s no question that Oregon’s land use system isn’t working and the obvious evidence of that is we don’t have land that’s available where we can act to take advantage of the $52 billion that the federal government wants to invest in onshoring jobs and bringing them back to America in the semiconductor and computer chip industry,” Rep. Tim Knopp (R-Bend) previously told KOIN 6 News.
The Oregon CHIPS Act also includes $10 million to help communities prepare land for manufacturing sites.
Rep. Janelle Bynum (D-Clackamas) noted Oregon’s leadership in the tech industry as the state makes about 15% of the nation’s semiconductors, according to the Oregon Semiconductor Workforce.
“Oregon CHIPS is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to solidify our status as a global leader in semiconductor production and advanced manufacturing,” Rep. Bynum said.
Rep. David Gomberg (D-Lincoln and Western Benton & Lane counties) added, “Oregon CHIPs will be a historic accomplishment when it comes to keeping Oregon’s economy stable and competitive in the 21st century.”
The bill’s passage comes one day after U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo visited Oregon as part of President Biden’s Investing in America Tour. During her visit, the secretary described Oregon’s work in the tech industry as “exceptional,” as she met with Governor Kotek and Senator Wyden.
Raimondo met with local tech companies and visited the Mechatronics Lab at Portland Community College Willow Creek Center.
“Not every state has a state CHIPS Act, which includes very smart investments, like worker training, site selection and investments in companies,” Secretary Raimondo said, adding, “Not every state has world class community colleges that are already working with the industry.”
After the bill passed the House, Rep. Kim Wallan (R-Medford) said, “the passage of Oregon CHIPS will boost prosperity in our state and make our nation safer. Oregon is the No. 3 producer of semiconductors in the world and the number one developer of new technology in this industry.”
Wallan added, “it is vital to our economic and national security that we do everything we can to secure Oregon’s position as a global leader in advanced manufacturing. I am thrilled to see this act pass out of the legislature, and look forward to seeing it signed into law.”
The bill comes after Intel lobbyists sent a letter to Oregon lawmakers in October — warning the state was at risk of losing one of its largest industries to other states offering large incentive packages to lure employers.
The Oregon CHIPS Act now heads to Gov. Kotek’s desk for signature after passing the Oregon Senate on March 29.