The House convened for a special session on Monday and passed a bill that will allocate funding to the resettlement of Afghan refugees.
“SB5561 – passed in a special legislative session on Monday – approved more than $400 million in funding to address various issues such as rent assistance, farmers facing drought and illegal marijuana grow operations.
The bill allocated $18 million to support Afghan individuals and families with housing, education, legal aid, job training and culturally-specific support as they settle in the state.
Of that $18 million, $5.25 million has been earmarked for short-term food and shelter, $2.9 million will support case management services, $5.9 million will be for rental assistance and $2.89 million is for immigration and legal services. An additional $807,600 will be available for culturally specific assistance and interpretation classes.”
In light of this new legislation, Catholic Charities Director of Refugee Services, Matthew Westerbeck, spoke on OPB’s Think Out Loud on Tuesday to discuss what this legislature will mean for aiding Afghan families and individuals resettling here in Oregon. “Across the six agencies who provide refugee resettlement in Oregon…we’re currently around 250 individuals [resettled so far]…[and] we are preparing for a total of around 700 to be here by the middle of February. In order for Oregon to have the capacity to receive as many families as possible…the state needed to help provide that capacity and the funding to get there.”
To listen to the full interview: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/oregon-lawmakers-address-illegal-cannabis-and-afghan/id274122573?i=1000544980266