Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski believes a quick way to put millions of people to work and help bring the economy out of its nosedive would be a massive public-works project on university campuses, reports the Oregonian. Kulongoski said he plans to send a letter to President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team with a proposal to direct billions in federal stimulus dollars to cover deferred maintenance at colleges in Oregon and around the nation. If they want to do something with an immediate impact, he said, "they should poll all 50 states and say, ‘We want to know what your deferred maintenance is on your university campuses.’" Oregon’s backlog is about $650 million, he said. Besides taking care of long-neglected repair issues on hundreds of campuses, the effort would spread the jobs well beyond urban centers, he said. So far, Obama has signaled he wants to focus on transportation and school modernization for public-works stimulus projects. Under Kulongoski’s plan, the government would commit to starting work within six months of Obama signing the order. That would be possible, he said, because colleges have the projects lined up and ready to go. They just need the money. Needs on Oregon campuses range from new ventilation systems to electrical wiring overhauls in aging buildings, according to a report by the Oregon University System. Oregon State University has the biggest need, with about $228 million in deferred maintenance. Next is Portland State, with $167 million in needs…

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