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State fair bill goes to governor for signature


SALEM -- The Oregon House has given its unanimous support to a bill that creates a public corporation to run the Oregon State Fair and Expo Center.



Senate Bill 7 is the state's latest effort to create a framework for managing the fairgrounds in a profitable manner.



The Senate approved it June 6 by a vote of 29-0.



The House approved it by a 58-0 vote on June 19, sending the bill to the desk of Gov. John Kitzhaber.



SB7 changes the management structure of the fair to provide it more flexibility to enter into contracts with vendors, advertisers and others who do business with the fair.



SB7 stipulates the state can dissolve the corporation and resume management of the fair if the corporation fails to turn a profit in three years of any five-year period.



A council designed under the bill to oversee the fairground's management will assume management of the fair on Dec. 31, 2015, at the latest.



Until then, the state will continue to fund the fair and expo center.



The state has budgeted $3.8 million for the fair and expo center in the next biennium, on top of a $4 million debt service package.



--Mitch Lies



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