Tuesday, March 21, 2023

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Texas lawmakers consider legislation to prevent cities from self-governance, Connecticut considers policy options to alleviate an eviction crisis, and Ohio residents await community water systems.

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Gov. Ron DeSantis breaks his silence on Trump's potential indictment and attacks Manhattan prosecutors, President Biden vetoes his first bill to protect socially conscious retirement investing, and the Supreme Court hears a case on Native American water rights.

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The 41st state has opted into Medicaid which could be a lifeline for rural hospitals in North Carolina, homelessness barely rose in the past two years but the work required to hold the numbers increased, and destruction of the "Sagebrush Sea" from Oregon to Wyoming is putting protection efforts for an itty-bitty bunny on the map.

Oregon Ranks in Top 10 for Green Buildings

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Tuesday, January 17, 2023   

Oregon is high on the list of states focused on sustainable building practices, according to a new report.

The state comes in at number 10 in U.S. Green Building Council's ranking released today. The ranking is based on the construction of LEED-certified buildings, a widely used system which rates environmentally friendly practices.

In 2022, Oregon added more than six million square feet of LEED certified space.

Stephanie Gabriel, pacific regional director for the U.S. Green Building Council, said the next step for the state is to expand this type of construction outside major cities.

"Bringing green buildings to more rural environments or small towns outside of Portland metro area and Salem; the larger cities of Oregon," Gabriel emphasized. "Making sure that we're addressing green building throughout the state."

Gabriel pointed out the Inflation Reduction Act signed by President Biden last year will bring federal funding to states with green building initiatives, which could increase the pace toward more sustainable construction.

Rhiannon Jacobson, managing director of U.S. market transformation and development for the council, said LEED certification involves rating operations of buildings such as air filtration, and stressed greener practices within a building have been shown to benefit the workers inside.

"A lot of the design principles that are put forth are going to allow for top performance," Jacobson noted. "We do see things like lower levels of absenteeism in a LEED building. We see lower turnover rates."

Oregon appears on the list for the second year in a row. California ranks fourth, and Massachusetts came in at number one.


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