Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney says the state should take on $200 million in debt to help prepare school buildings for a devastating earthquake that scientists say could come at any time.
An analysis of Oregon's school buildings found that more than 1,000 were at a high or very high risk of collapsing in a major quake.
Courtney, a Salem Democrat, has long advocated improvements in earthquake safety at schools, but fixes often lose out to other priorities in the Legislature. The proposal could face better odds next year, however, as lawmakers look at retrofitting their own offices in the state Capitol.
Experts say the Cascadia Subduction Zone off the Oregon coast shifts on average every 300 years. The last Cascadia temblor was in 1700.