November Newsletter

Ginny Burdick

Dear friends and neighbors,

There have been some exciting developments in my office during the past few months. I was recently elected by my fellow Senate Democrats to serve as the Senate Majority Leader. It is a great honor to represent Senate District 18 and all Oregonians in this new role. I look forward to working with my Senate colleagues, the Oregon House of Representatives and Governor Brown to prioritize jobs, education and providing critical services for all Oregonians. I will remain co-chair of the Joint Committee on Marijuana Legalization through the 2016 Legislative Session.

One of the highlights from my first month as Majority Leader was an “East meets West” legislative tour of Eastern Oregon organized by Senator Bill Hansell (R-Athena) that I attended in mid-October. Oregon is an incredibly diverse state, and I enjoyed getting a firsthand look at some of the industries that are thriving in Eastern Oregon—expanding economic opportunity and creating family-wage jobs for our rural communities. As Majority Leader, I plan to work hard to make sure that voices from across the state are brought to the table. Working together we can ensure that all Oregonians—in every corner of the state—have the opportunity to succeed.


During the 2015 Session, Senate Democrats went to Salem with a plan for bold action that put the needs of families and small businesses from across Oregon first. We got the job done, but there’s more work to do. As Majority Leader, I look forward to building on these accomplishments in the 2016 February Legislative Session, by continuing to focus on Oregon's priorities. For an overview of my work as Majority Leader, our Senate Democratic Caucus, and Agenda in the 2015 Session, click here. For periodic updates, I also encourage you to follow my work on Facebook and Twitter.

Marijuana Legalization Update

In the four months since the 2015 Legislative Session adjourned, significant developments affecting Oregon’s marijuana industry have occurred. All of the agencies tasked with adopting rules and regulations for both the recreational and medical markets have been hard at work drafting and passing temporary rules and regulations to govern Oregon’s marijuana industry, and protect the safety, welfare, and health of Oregonians.

In late October, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) approved draft rules that cover many aspects of the recreational market—from growers and processors to dispensaries. Over 100 stakeholders participated in the Rules Advisory Committees that helped draft the temporary rules, and the end product shows the thoughtful hard work that so many put into the process. For more information please visit the OLCC Recreational Marijuana Program.

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has approved temporary rules to regulate marijuana labeling, concentration limits and testing. For more information please visit the OHA Medical Marijuana Dispensary Program.

One of our big legislative triumphs was Senate Bill 460, the bipartisan bill to allow recreational sales of marijuana flower and immature plants in existing medical marijuana dispensaries that choose to participate. Those sales began on October 1—Adults 21 and older may legally possess, purchase, and use recreational marijuana, but there are limits. It's important to know what's legal and what's not. Go to for more information.

As always with the complexities of regulating a new legal market, this is a work in progress. During the upcoming 2016 Legislative Session, the Marijuana Legalization Committee will be making some minor fixes to the existing regulatory framework.

Open Enrollment for Health Insurance in 2016

Starting on November 1, the Health Insurance Marketplace opened for 2016—Whether you changed jobs, haven't been covered in the past, or you or your family are looking for health care coverage for 2016—Shop for health insurance, compare plans, and see if you qualify for financial help at or call anytime at 1-800-318-2596. Open enrollment for health care coverage in 2016 will end January 31, 2016.

You can also find a local certified insurance agent or community partner who can help you with the enrollment process by visiting or calling 1-855-268-3767. Help is free and can be offered in person or by phone.

As always, please feel free to contact me or my Legislative Aide Kate Grosswiler with your concerns. We can be reached at 503-986-1718 or by emailing

Wishing you and your family a very happy Thanksgiving!

All the best,


Senate Majority Leader Ginny Burdick
District 18

email: I phone: 503-986-1718
address: 900 Court St NE, S-223, Salem, OR, 97301


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