Rep. Susan McLain: What we have accomplished so far

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When I was talking with constituents in my district all throughout the summer and fall, the most common things I heard were: parents want to see fewer standardized tests and smaller class sizes, that Oregonians expect transparency and that all our elected officials are working in a bipartisan fashion, and that most of all, we share a vision of an economy that works better for the average Oregon family. When I started the legislative session, I committed to do what I could to address those concerns. 

What I have been working on

First, as I have written about before, I sponsored several bills that will have a direct impact on schools in my district. House Bill 2680 will limit the use of results from this year’s Smarter Balanced Assessment to rate schools or evaluate teachers. House Bill 2927 will nearly double the amount of the High Cost Disability Account, which is used to reimburse school districts for expenses related to high-needs students; these grants put money directly back into the classroom. I sponsored and worked hard with my colleagues Representatives Chris Gorsek and Lew Frederick to help pass House Bill 2655, which gives parents the right to opt their child out of standardized testing for the next 6 years. Each of these bills passed the House and is awaiting a hearing in the Senate.

I also introduced and passed House Bill 2928 out of the House Education Committee. This bill would create a task force on class sizes to examine best practices and create recommendations that put us on the path toward smaller class sizes at all grade levels.

I am a co-sponsor of House Bill 2005, which would implement a statewide paid sick leave policy, and level the playing field for Oregon employers by eliminating the patchwork of policies we currently have around the state. I support paid sick leave because I know that too many Oregon families are struggling to make ends meet, and I don’t believe anyone should have to fear losing their job because they, their child, or a loved one are sick.

Other bills I have supported include House Bill 2974, a common sense measure that would require at least 10 public hearings prior to redistricting. I sponsored this bill and testified on its behalf because it reaffirms values that I strongly believe in: public comment is a vital part of any public process, having a transparent and open redistricting process restores public trust and improves results, and local communities are the building blocks of our state.

These are just a few of the things I have been working on. If you would like to know more, please don’t hesitate to call my office or use the Oregon Legislative Information System (OLIS) to see all of the bills I have sponsored.

What we have accomplished

Since session began, the Oregon House has passed over 300 bills.  It has been a remarkably bipartisan session, as demonstrated in the graphic below. I am truly honored to work with my colleagues from both sides of the aisle on important issues affecting our state.

House Votes Chart

The graphic above is a breakdown of the 300 House bills that had passed off the House floor as of April 27, 2015. Of those 300 bills, 83 percent or 247 bills were unanimous or very close to it; 15 percent or 46 bills were bipartisan, with between one and 25 members of the opposing party joining in voting yes; and 2 percent or 7 bills were truly partisan. 

Here are just a few examples.

We reduced barriers to voting by directing the Department of Transportation to communicate with the Secretary of State’s office to provide all eligible voters a chance to automatically register to vote. We clarified that e-cigarettes are to be governed by the same laws that apply to tobacco products, meaning they cannot be sold to minors or smoked indoors (in most cases). We voted to help Oregon consumers end unwanted robocalls by requiring notification of the opt-out process in the first 10 seconds of the call. We also banned the practice of conversion therapy to protect youth from this dangerous and discredited practice.

I always work hard to consider the following things before I vote on a bill: the opinions of my district, benefits to my district, potential negative impacts on my district, and my beliefs about and judgment on the bill and what it does. When a bill is particularly contentious, I do my best not only to respond to constituents who contact me about it, but also to reach out to those who I feel would be most affected by its passage or failure. I believe everything I have voted on so far, I have voted in line with my beliefs and the beliefs of a majority of my constituents, even when it has been a difficult decision to make. I, like you, want the best possible future for our state, and for Oregon families.

Where do we go from here?

We are only halfway through the session, so there is still a lot of work to do. It is time to consider bills from the Senate and our state budget priorities. I will continue to be focused on my bills that have reached the Senate, and I am also participating in a work group to determine insurance regulations and requirements for Transportation Network Companies like Uber and Lyft.

Beyond legislation, there are other important issues I will be turning my attention to. I plan to work with the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) on both air and water quality issues in Hillsboro and statewide. I am also committed to working with Washington County and the County Commissioners on the Gain Share program, to make sure schools and services are getting their fair share, and that the County continues to be compensated for hosting businesses like Intel and Genentech. 

How can you get involved?

I am here to serve the citizens of House District 29, and the State of Oregon, which means that I am here to serve you. I am always interested to hear from my constituents about issues that are important to you, and ideas for legislation that you have. Please never hesitate to reach out to my office to share your concerns or give us an idea.

I would also love to tour your school or your business, or attend a meeting or event hosted by community organizations that you belong to. Send your invitations, ideas, and requests to, and I will do my best to be there.

Yours truly,

Susan sign

Representative Susan McLain                                                                               House District 29

email: I phone: 503-986-1429
address: 900 Court St NE, H-376, Salem, OR 97301