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Governor Kitzhaber Signs 'Cool Schools' Initiative

Governor John Kitzhaber Thursday signed into law Oregon’s so-called “Cool Schools” initiative. The measure helps schools access financing to pay the upfront costs of energy and seismic upgrades in K-12 classrooms.

Democrat Jules Bailey helped draft the bill.

“You can think about it in terms of your own home. You know that if you get a little bit of extra insulation in the home or install compact florescent light bulbs that your utility bill goes down remarkably. It’s the same thing that’s true in these schools,” Bailey says.

According to Bailey schools will be able to repay the low or zero interest loans using savings from this increased efficiency.

Governor Kitzhaber says the plan will create construction jobs throughout the state. He estimates every $1 million invested in energy upgrades could create 10 to 15 jobs. Projects will begin this summer.

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