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Oregon House votes to honor Chief Painter with highway renaming

Oregon House votes to honor Chief Painter with highway renaming

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A bill to rename a portion of Highway 30 in honor of Rainier's slain police chief unanimously passed the Oregon House today, taking it one step closer to passage.

House Bill 3354 names a portion of the highway between St. Helens and Rainier the Chief Ralph Painter Memorial Highway. Painter was fatally shot Jan. 5 after responding to a report of a suspicious person outside a Rainier car stereo shop.

Rainier Mayor Jerry Cole asked lawmakers to honor his longtime friend and colleague with the highway designation.

"That's really good news to hear," Cole said Thursday after learning of the vote. "I feel really good about it to be a legacy for the family and to honor him."

State Reps. Brad Witt, D-Clatskanie, and District 28 Rep. Jeff Barker, D-Aloha, were the sponsors in the House. Barker is a retired state policeman.

The bill now moves to the Senate, where State Sen. Betsy Johnson, D-Scappoose, is the chief sponsor. It is expected the bill will pass unanimously there as well.

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