End of Session Update

Hello Friends and Family,

We made progress on expanding opportunities for families in a sustainable economy. Even though the short session was only five weeks long there were many important bills and budget work that will help families and communities across the state. I hope to see you in the next couple of weeks to update you on some exciting changes that are coming to Oregon. My coffees are this Saturday and Tuesday and details are at the end of this newsletter.

Rep Gallegos
Representative Gallegos and me on the first day of session.

Legislative Themes

There were well over 280 bills that were introduced in the 2016 session. As a legislative body we were able to pass around half of those bills. I am proud of the work my colleagues and I accomplished to make our great state even better. We did a lot of work for the economy, for public safety, and for our schools. Below are some highlights.


Human Services:

SB 1515: Our children must come first. This bill strengthens the Department of Human Services’ authority to regulate the actions of child-caring agencies. It also gives them the authority to enforce their regulations. SB 1515 is the result of the Give Us This Day scandal that broke in November, I am deeply saddened by the abuse that took place in that foster home. This bill will help the new head of the Department fight abuse and ensure that taxpayer money is not funding illegitimate operations.

HB 4080: In the same vein as SB 1515, HB 4080 was a response to abuse allegations. This bill creates the Foster Care Advisory Commission to study the issues facing Oregon’s foster children and adults. The Commission will recommend legislative solutions. The thousands of individuals that live in foster care deserve this review and responsiveness to ensure that we are providing the best care we can.

In office meeting
Meeting with advoactes in my office


Budget Packet: One of the legislature’s most crucial jobs is managing the state’s budget and in the 2016 session we made some important updates to our budget to respond to emerging needs. We were able to set aside funds in response to the tragic shooting at Umpqua Community College, the forty-one day occupation in Harney County, and the recent air quality concerns across the state. We also made targeted investments in our economy and our schools.

SB 1583: Small business needs our support. SB 1583 would allow the Office of Small Business Assistance to be more responsive to small businesses. The office will help small businesses with state and local processes and agencies.

SB 1532: Our carefully crafted minimum wage proposal was certainly one of the most exciting things to come from this short session. This bill was a measured compromise that Governor Brown spent months perfecting before bringing it to the legislative body. We saw fit to make some changes that will ensure that small businesses have time to adjust while workers get their much needed boost. SB 1532 creates a three-tiered system that requires incremental increases over a six year period. The hallmark of the 2016 session was this bill to raise the minimum wage for tens of thousands of Oregon workers. The uniquely Oregon approach will put more money into the pockets of hard-working Oregonians this year while phasing in the full raise gradually over the next six years. It also creates a regional approach that recognizes different costs of living across the state.

SB 1507: Oregon has a growing film industry that we as a legislative body are happy to support. This bill creates incentives for production to continue in the Portland Metro area and for production to expand to rural parts of Oregon. This bill also fixes problems with Oregon’s Rural Health Tax Credit and extends the Biomass Tax Credit that give Oregon’s dairy industry a boost. SB 1507 supports a variety of Oregon industries while ensuring that rural Oregonians see the benefits of industry in their area.

Congresswoman Bonamici
Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici joined the Wahsington County Democrats at the Spring Gala


HB 4143: Oregon is in the middle of the biggest housing crisis we have ever seen. This bill will make a significant difference in the lives of renters. HB 4143 adds immediate stability and predictability to tenants by increasing rent notification and limiting when rent can be raised.

SB 1533: We took another important long term step to address our housing issues. SB 1533 allows cities or counties to require affordable housing in all major multi-family residential developments, and to charge a construction excise tax to pay for affordable housing. This will give local governments the tools to begin to correct the lack of affordable housing that has greatly contributed to Oregon’s crisis.

Public Safety:

SB 1571: Victims of sexual assault deserve justice. That means that we must commit to doing everything in our power to apprehend perpetrators. SB 1571 increases funding earmarked to state police to address a backlog of untested sexual assault kits. Not only will these funds allow perpetrators to be brought to justice, it will also prevent further assaults by putting these individuals behind bars. We came together as a legislative body to do this for the victims of sexual assault; not a single person voted against this bill.

SB 1600: This bill is another important step to hold sexual assault offenders accountable. It removes the statute of limitation from first degree sex crimes if additional evidence is found. This gives prosecutors and survivors the power to fight for justice, even if time has passed.


Rep Piluso
I have enjoyed my floor "neighbor" Representative Piluso of Gresham. Here we are on the last day 78th Legislative Assembly. We adjourned sine die on March 3rd at 1:07 PM.


HB 4057: Oregon has far too many children living in poverty. This bill directs the Department of Education to create a report examining the academic performance of impoverished children. The report will give us an idea about what solutions are working to provide better outcomes for our students. It is important that Oregon takes steps to allow children to rise out of poverty.

HB 4021: Student loans are crippling our students and our economy. It doesn’t make sense that students are expected to pay high interest rates on top of high tuition. This bill will study ways to lower interest on student loans. The State Treasurer and Higher Education Coordinating Commission are tasked with creating approaches to tackle this problem.

SB 1537: It is important that we set our children up to succeed. This bill created an innovative, affordable program to assist at-risk youth transfer from high school to college. Recent graduates who meet a set criteria may now be permitted to remain at their high school while they attend their first year of community college courses. Allowing “fifth year” students to remain on campus provides additional support that can be crucial to their continued education.


SB 1547 & HB 4036: The Clean Energy and Coal Transition package, also known as "Coal to Clean," phases out Oregon's use of coal and doubles our use of renewable energy over time. HB 4036 adopted many of the 41 amendments that were introduced before the bill got folded into SB 1547. As written in the Bend Source Weekly, this "represents the most significant state level legislative action on climate change taken in the United State in the wake of the historic Paris agreement." Oregon’s largest energy providers will be coal free by 2030.

For Our District

Cornelius Place

Cornelius Place: This project is one I have supported since I took office. I was happy my testimony helped secure additional state funding for the project. I believe that Cornelius Place could be a game changer for downtown Cornelius. The new library, community center, and affordable housing for seniors will act as an anchor for that area. It will draw in more foot traffic which will help local business thrive. Cornelius Place is the step in the right direction for our small town.

Upcoming Coffees

This short session was a whirlwind! I would love the opportunity to answer your questions about this session, or about issues facing our community. In the next week I will be hosting two coffees where we can have conversations and discussions about our legislative work.

Manaia Coffee

March 12th
10:00 - 11:30 AM

Manaia Coffee House

March 15th

3:00 - 4:30 PM

BJ's Coffee Co


See you this week! I look forward to hearing your ideas, questions, and challenges that you see for our community in the upcoming year.  

Yours truly,



Representative Susan McLain                                                           
House District 29

email: Rep.SusanMcLain@state.or.us I phone: 503-986-1429
address: 900 Court St NE, H-376, Salem, OR 97301
website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/mclain