Kitzhaber signs school energy retrofits bill

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SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber has signed into law a bill designed to put people to work by retrofitting public schools with energy efficient technology.

Kitzhaber's signature on Thursday enacts a central issue of his campaign for a third term in office.

The measure uses existing money to offer schools low-interest loans to pay for the high upfront cost of energy retrofits like efficient lighting, new windows or low-energy boilers.

Proponents hope schools can repay the money using the savings they get on their energy bills. They say it will create new construction jobs, lower costs for schools and provide a healthier learning environment for students.

The House and Senate both passed the measure unanimously.