Sex Assault Awareness, Local School Seismic Upgrades, Scam Alert & More


Senator Floyd Prozanski
South Lane and North Douglas Counties
District 4

900 Court St. NE, S-417, Salem Oregon 97301
Capitol phone: 503-986-1704
e-Bulletin                     April 2016

If you're having trouble viewing this message, please visit my legislative web page at, click on "News" in the lower left-hand column and scroll down.

Dear friends,

    In March, Oregon's unemployment rate dropped to 4.5 percent, the lowest point ever since the state began tracking comparable records (40 years). In Senate District 4, the rate also continued to drop, with Lane County down to 4.9 percent and Douglas County down to 6.2 percent in March.

    On April 22, I had the pleasure of participating on a panel for the eighth-grade math class at Lowell Junior/Senior High School. The students presented about Oregon's minimum wage and whether the hourly rate would be enough to sustain them. They examined the estimated cost of living in Oregon by looking at the cost of renting a house, owning a car and buying insurance, food and more. The students calculated that $8.50 an hour wasn't enough to cover everything. I was especially pleased to see how their teacher, Mr. Llewellyn, took the opportunity to emphasize financial literacy, which the students were able to better understand and appreciate.

        (Image credit: The Register-Guard)

    Here's a link to the Register-Guard story. It's worth reading what the students had to say about their participation in the project!

    That same day, it was reported that Lowell Junior/Senior High School was ranked as the nineteenth best school in Oregon by U.S. News & World Report. Elsewhere in Senate District 4, South Eugene High School was named as one of the top ten best schools in the state. U.S. News & World Report ranks schools on student-to-teacher ratios and percentage of students who take AP exams (and pass). The publication also takes into consideration how well students do on state reading and math exams. Congratulations to both schools and districts on this recognition! For more information, see:

    Below you will find information on:

- Sexual Assault Awareness Month
        - Seismic Upgrade Grants Awarded to Two Schools in Senate District 4
        - 2016 Session Accomplishments: Education & Kids
        - Scam Alert: Phishing Tax Scam from "The Boss"
        - New Certified Long-term Care Ombudsman in Douglas County
        - Oregon Criminal Justice Career Fair: April 29-30
        - ODFW Budget Town Halls: Roseburg on May 3
        - Dept. of Forestry Invites Comment on Forest Management Activities
Earth Day 2016

    I hope this information is helpful and informative for you or someone you know. As always, feel free to share your comments, questions or concerns with me by phone, mail or e-mail.

                                                               Sen. Prozanski signature

Sexual Assault Awareness Month

    In observance of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (April), I would like to draw focus to prevention and how individuals, communities, and Oregon's leaders can take action to promote safety, respect, and equality. Sexual assault can affect the lives of people all around us: our friends, family and neighbors. Many bills were passed during the 2016 Legislative Session to support individuals affected by sexual assault. Nevertheless, we still have a long way to go, and we all have to work together to continue to improve the safety of our communities.

    Important bills passed in the 2016 Legislative Session that support survivors of sexual assault include:

    SB 1571 - Ensuring Accountability for Testing of Sexual Assault Forensic Kits: This legislation tightens timelines and standardizes the procedures for handling and retaining these kits. This legislation goes a long way toward ensuring justice for survivors in Oregon.

    SB 1600 - Eliminating the Statute of Limitations for First-Degree Sex Crimes with New Evidence: This legislation authorizes the prosecution of first-degree sex crimes at any time after 12 years from when the crime was committed, if the prosecuting attorney obtains additional, corroborating evidence in non-DNA cases. This evidence can include video or audio recording; confession by the defendant to that particular crime; statements by the victim made close in time to the alleged crime; or when multiple victims come forward alleging crimes similar enough to be on the same list of charges. (Under current law, cases that have DNA evidence do not have a statute of limitation.)

The above-listed two bills were the result of work groups that I convened as chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. I would like to thank key survivor advocates for their important role in making them a reality. In addition, the Legislature passed:

    SB 1558 - Protecting Student Confidentiality: This legislation limits when and how a college or university can disclose student health and mental health records. The bill will help ensure that when a college student accesses health care or counseling on their campus, they can do so with confidence that their records and information will be protected. Though this safeguard is critical to any student, it is particularly meaningful for students experiencing violence, abuse or trauma, who depend on trusted campus services to protect their privacy.

    HB 4082 - Preventing Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children: This legislation closes a loophole in Oregon's laws to better protect victims of sex trafficking. It expands the crime of promoting prostitution to include bartering goods, services or anything of value in exchange for prostitution services, rather than strictly an exchange of money, as is in current statute. HB 4082 comes at the recommendation of the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Work Group, which meets regularly with stakeholders to address the needs of sex trafficking victims, many of whom are minors.

    While progress has been made, there is always more to do. Here are a few ways to take action in your community:

  • Volunteer. Across Oregon, there are many great organizations providing help to people who have experienced sexual assault.

  • Spread awareness and support consent. Take some time to have a conversation with family or loved ones about the need for individuals to take a stand against sexual violence. Use social media to bring attention to important resources.

  • Donate goods or host a donation drive. For many individuals, leaving an abusive situation often means leaving behind important personal possessions. Shelters and support services often ask that people donate a variety of household items to help survivors of sexual assault start over.

Seismic Upgrade Grants Awarded to Two Schools in Senate District 4

   Since the inception of the Legislature's seismic program six years ago, a total of $34 million in grants have been awarded to fund upgrades at 37 schools. The safety grants awarded in the latest round will provide more than $50 million to 41 schools across Oregon seeking seismic upgrades. I'm proud to announce that funding to ensure crucial seismic upgrades to protect students in the event of an earthquake awarded in the latest round include Lowell High School, which will receive $1,136,017, and Yoncalla Elementary, which will receive $1,499,110.

    During the 2015 session, the Legislature approved sale of $175 million in bonds to fund seismic safety grants for schools. These bonds represent an important step in preparing for a catastrophic earthquake. Seismologists have concluded that a major earthquake occurs off the Oregon Coast at an average of every 300 years.

2016 Session Accomplishments: Education & Kids

Starting with this e-bulletin, I'm providing in-depth summaries of bills passed during the 2016 session by subject area. A comprehensive listing of accomplishments from the 2016 session related to education and kids — by Senate/House bill and in numerical order — follows:

Senate Bills

    SB 1515 - Children's Safety and Dignity Act of 2016: This legislation takes steps to improve the safety of kids in state-licensed residential foster care. It makes statutory changes to improve the accountability of the Department of Human Services and licensed child‐caring agencies. It sets forth clear criteria and standards for licensed providers and specifies actions the Department of Human Services can and must take if a program is not in compliance. SB 1515 also expands the definition of a child to include those who are 18 to 20 years old — who are often included among youth in care — and specifies that a failure to investigate or take other action when concerns arise may constitute official misconduct. The bill backs these commitments with an allocation of nearly $900,000 for the 2015-17 biennium to support new licensing, investigatory and enforcement staff within DHS and the Department of Justice.

    SB 1537 - Promoting Higher Education Access: This legislation allows school districts to receive and spend some State School Fund dollars to support "Post-Graduate Scholar" programs (fifth-year programs), which allow certain students who have already earned a high school  diploma to earn community college credits while staying connected to important support systems and resources within their school district. SB 1537 allows successful local programs to continue, supports new statewide higher education programs — like the Oregon Promise tuition assistance program — and ensures accountability by requiring stakeholders to return to the Legislature with alternative proposals for funding Post-Graduate Scholar programs
with a source outside of the K-12 budget.

    SB 1540 Encouraging Math Studies in Oregon: Mathematics education has been associated with higher earning potential and valuable applied skills across disciplines. This legislation directs the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) to conduct a study to evaluate effective methods for increasing the number mathematics-related majors studying at Oregon's universities. The HECC may consider a tuition waiver program for math majors and will report back to the Legislature in 2017 on the study’s conclusions.

    SB 1541 - Study on School District Spending and Student Outcomes: This legislation directs the Oregon Department of Education to conduct a study on expenditure variations among school districts. The study will review how K-12 dollars are spent (instruction, transportation, support services, etc.) what factors shape this spending (class sizes, staff levels, compensation, student demographics, etc.), and how this relates to student outcomes (attendance, absenteeism and graduation rates). The study report required by SB 1541 can provide useful data to lawmakers, districts and the public about best practices — contributing to sound investments based on what works for students.

    SB 1544 - Extending Unemployment Insurance Eligibility for Apprentices: Apprenticeship programs are a key way for many to gain middle-class financial security. For some apprenticeship programs in Oregon, like sheetmetal workers, the unpaid classroom training program lasts longer than the amount of time an individual is eligible for unemployment insurance. To ensure apprentices across trades are able to receive wages or unemployment benefits for the full duration of their training, this legislation extends this window of eligibility from five to ten weeks.

    SB 1566 Extending "Open Enrollment" Option in Public Schools: In 2011, the Oregon legislature enacted an "open enrollment" system, giving public school students the option to attend a school outside of their own district — including online schools — so long as the receiving school permits it. Open enrollment was scheduled to sunset in 2017. SB 1566 extends the open enrollment option for another two years, until 2019.

    SB 1586 - Improving Student Access to Voting: This legislation directs public universities and community colleges to increase voter registration access and information for their students. These higher education institutions will provide more information to student groups that provide nonpartisan registration services and voter education presentations. It requires the Secretary of State to ensure there is at least one designated official ballot drop site location within four miles of each public university and community college campus.

    SB 4022 - Addressing the Shortage of Speech-language Pathology Services in Oregon's Schools: In response to a shortage of providers, in 2007 the Legislature passed a bill to allow retired public employees to work an unlimited number of hours as a speech-language pathologist (SLP) or SLP assistant for a school district without any loss of retirement benefits. That exemption expired on January 2, 2016. This legislation reinstates the exemption, allowing it to continue until 2026 to address the long-term shortage of SLP services in Oregon's public schools, particularly in rural areas.

House Bills

    HB 4002 - Addressing Chronic Absenteeism in Oregon's Schools: This legislation directs the creation of a statewide strategy for addressing chronic absenteeism in Oregon. Recognizing the barrier that childhood trauma can present to attending and succeeding in school, the bill also allocates $500,000 for a pilot program to decrease rates of absenteeism using coordinated, trauma‐informed approaches to education, health services and intervention strategies in several schools. The three-year pilot project will focus on communities with high need and will capitalize on Oregon’s strong system of school-based health centers as an anchor for participating schools.

    HB 4021 - Student Loan Debt Study: Since 2004, total student loan debt has ballooned from $350 billion to approximately $1.2 trillion, and outstanding student debt has surpassed the amount that American households owe on auto loans, home equity loans and credit cards. This legislation directs the State Treasurer and Higher Education Coordinating Commission to conduct a study and explore approaches for lowering interest rates on student loans in Oregon.

    HB 4023 - Protecting School Stability for Students: Under current law, when a school district boundary changes there is no clear right for a student to remain in the school they attended prior to the boundary change. This legislation protects students from this kind of disruption by allowing them to stay in the school they were enrolled in prior to a boundary change, so long as they remain enrolled in that school and their residential address doesn’t change.

    HB 4033 - Equity in Education: In 2015, the Legislature passed the "Educators Equity Act" which updated the Minority Teacher Act of 1991, reflecting the state's commitment to equity in opportunity and cultural competence in Oregon's schools. This legislation makes it clear that funding currently distributed under the Network of Quality Teaching and Learning can be directed toward advancing the Educators Equity Act, with the aim of improving cultural
competence of educators and ensuring educators are trained in culturally relevant educational practices.

    HB 4057 - Improving Outcomes for Students Experiencing Poverty: This legislation requires the Oregon Department of Education to study and report on how school districts spend additional funds received to support children in poverty. The report will identify what best practices, programs and services are used across the state to increase achievement and improve outcomes for students from families experiencing poverty.

    HB 4072 - Catalyzing University Research into Successful Business Enterprises: Since 2007, the University Venture Development Fund tax credit has helped to convert the research conducted at Oregon's public universities into new businesses. In addition to income tax revenue generated by new jobs, universities repay the state with revenue earned by UVDF-sponsored companies. This legislation extends the tax credit for University Venture Development Fund contributions through 2021 and increases the annual taxpayer credit cap from $50,000 to $600,000.

    HB 4075 - Statewide Student Safety Tip Line: This legislation allocates $1 million to establish a statewide student safety tip line, operated by the Oregon State Police. The tip line will field confidential reports on threats — which can include harassment, intimidation, bullying, cyberbullying and threats of violence or self-harm — from any student or community member, and OSP will work with behavioral health service providers to determine best practices for responding to these reports.

    HB 4076 - Supporting Student Success in the Oregon Promise Program: In 2015, the Legislature established the Oregon Promise program, a tuition assistance program to help students cover the cost of a community college education. This legislation strengthens the Oregon Promise program and improves the likelihood of student success by requiring all Oregon Promise students to complete an approved first-year experience and requiring community colleges to provide support services for Oregon Promise students. HB 4076 allocates nearly $1.7 million to support these aims in an effort to maximize the success and effectiveness of the Oregon Promise program.

    HB 4080 - Child Foster Care Advisory Commission: This legislation establishes the Child Foster Care Advisory Commission to advise, study and report to the Governor and the Department of Human Services on Oregon's foster care system, and to recommend legislation. The Commission will include foster parents and children, advocates, juvenile dependency attorneys and other stakeholders who work on foster care issues.

    HB 4082 - Preventing Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children: (See summary above.)

Scam Alert: Phishing Tax Scam from "the Boss"

    The Oregon Department of Justice encourages Oregonians to protect themselves from a new imposter scam by looking out for phony emails claiming to be from your "boss." Scammers have started to send e-mails pretending to be the boss, CEO or another top executive from an employee's company and asking for W-2 statements or other personal information. These e-mails often look like they are coming from the boss' real e-mail address.

    If someone does receive an e-mail that looks to be from a boss or manager asking for personal information, make sure it is real before responding. Contact human resources or a supervisor right away.

    Anyone who falls victim to this scam, please contact the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Hotline at 503-229-5576 or file a complaint online at:

New Certified Long-term Care Ombudsman in Douglas County

     The Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman has announced the appointment of Barbara Moseley, of Sutherlin, as a Certified Ombudsman volunteer. As a certified ombudsman, Barbara will investigate complaints and monitor the rights of residents in Douglas County.

    In Douglas County, there are over 1,100 residents in nursing homes, residential care facilities, assisted living, continuing care residential communities and adult foster care homes. Barbara's volunteer efforts will help improve the quality of care for those facilities that she monitors.

    The Ombudsman office utilizes a couple hundred volunteers to enhance the work of just 12 paid staff, extending the agency's reach to meet the needs of over 48,000 residents in Long-term Care facilities across Oregon. Last federal fiscal year, the efforts of Oregon's highly trained volunteers contributed nearly 28,000 hours, which translates to $650,000 in volunteer time donated to the Office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman. Currently, the state's seven deputy ombudsman work with nearly 200 certified ombudsman volunteers.
    Please join me in welcoming and thanking Barbara for her service to some of Oregon's most vulnerable citizens! Barbara and other local ombudsman can be contacted at: 1-800-522-2602.

Oregon Criminal Justice Career Fair: April 29-30

    The Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST), in partnership with the Oregon Peace Officers Association (OPOA), Oregon State Sheriff's Association (OSSA), and the Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police (OACP), will host the Oregon Criminal Justice Career Fair at the Oregon Public Safety Academy in Salem on Friday, April 29, and Saturday, April 30. More than three dozen agencies from around the state are participating.

    Agencies around the state are looking to hire more than 500 qualified employees to fill both sworn (police, corrections, parole and probation, emergency communications) and non-sworn (chemists, nurses, CSI, etc.) positions at city, county, state, tribal, university and federal law enforcement agencies. Organizations across the state are looking to recruit and hire qualified individuals who reflect their local communities. The Saturday event will focus on bringing women into the criminal justice profession.

    Both days are open to everyone interested. This is a great opportunity to find out about employment opportunities in criminal justice agencies around the state.

ODFW Budget Town Halls: Roseburg on May 3

    The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) is hosting a series of town hall meetings around the state to gather public input on the agency's proposed 2017-2019 budget.

    The proposed budget, which is being developed by ODFW and an external budget advisory committee, will be presented for review and comment at the meetings listed below. All meetings will be held from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

    No major changes to the budget are being proposed. The goal of the budget proposal is to align the agency's activities with funding sources. The proposed 2017-19 budget does not include any new increases in fees for recreational and commercial licenses.

    Public comments will be used to help refine the budget before it is presented to the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission on June 9. Once a proposed budget is approved by the Commission, it will be submitted to the Governor for her consideration. The budget will ultimately be determined by the 2017 Legislature.

    Here's a list of the ODFW budget town halls scheduled around the state:

Clackamas: Wednesday, April 27, Monarch Hotel and Conference Center, 12566 SE 93rd Ave.

Tillamook: Thursday, April 28, Tillamook County Library, 1716 3rd St.

Roseburg: Tuesday, May 3, ODFW Roseburg District Office, 4192 North Umpqua Hwy

Coos Bay/North Bend: Wednesday, May 4, North Bend Public Library, 1800 Sherman Ave, North Bend

Newport: Thursday, May 5, Hallmark Resort 744 SW Elizabeth St.

Klamath Falls: Tuesday, May 10, Oregon Institute of Technology, College Union Bldg., Mt. Bailey Room 3201 Campus Dr.

Bend: Wednesday, May 11, Central Oregon Community College, Boyle Education Center, Room 155, 2600 NW College Way

La Grande: Tuesday, May 12, Island City Hall, Community Room, 1605 Island Ave, Island City

    Additional ODFW budget information can be found on the ODFW website: Comments on the agency proposed budget are welcome and can be submitted through June 1, 2016, by e-mail to ODFW ( or by mail to the ODFW Director's Office: 4034 Fairview Industrial Dr. SE, Salem, OR 7302-1142. Public testimony will also be heard at the Commission meeting on June 9 in Salem.

Dept. of Forestry Invites Comment on Forest Management Activities

    Each year, the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) invites public comment on work plans, called Annual Operations Plans (AOPs), outlining state forest activities for an upcoming fiscal year. From now until 5 p.m. on May 20, the public is invited to weigh in on ODF district activities for the 2017 fiscal year, which starts on July 1, 2016 and ends on June 30, 2017.

    The AOPs describe specific activities such as timber sales, reforestation, road building, stream enhancement and recreation projects on state forestland for nine ODF districts. The draft annual operations plans are available for review at district offices and posted online, here. After the comment period closes, each district will review comments and finalize draft AOPs for the District Forester to review and approve.

    An online survey, with links to relevant information, is provided for conveniently submitting comments and can be accessed at: Comments on AOP activities are most helpful when focused on enhancing consistency among plans, improving efficiency, and providing new information. All state-owned public forests are actively managed as working forests under long-term forest management plans adopted by the Board of Forestry to provide economic, environmental and social benefits. Comments can also be mailed to:

ODF Public Affairs, Attn: Tony Andersen
Oregon Department of Forestry
2600 State St., Salem, OR 97310

Earth Day 2016

    On April 22, communities around the state celebrated Earth Day by prioritizing environmental responsibility in Oregon We must ensure that Oregon remains a leader in sustainability for years to come by encouraging our communities to take action and by promoting accountability.

    The Legislature passed many bills during the 2016 Legislative Session to protect the future of our state's environment. Nevertheless, we still face unprecedented challenges, as climate change, pollution, and waste continue to threaten our landscape. I'm proud to have supported SB 1547, a bill making Oregon the first state to formally transition away from coal-fired electricity and toward a cleaner, renewable energy future. Additionally, SB 1547 invests in small-scale community renewable projects and electric vehicle infrastructure.

    Here are a few ways to take action in your community:

  • Volunteer. Across Oregon, there are many great organizations hosting Earth Day cleanup activities. Consider checking SOLVE’s list of statewide cleanup efforts:

  • Spread the word on sustainability. Take some time to have a conversation with family and friends about the ways our behaviors affect the natural world. Use social media to bring attention to important resources.

  • Be responsible. Take action by carpooling, using public transport, or cycling. Don't forget to be aware of the ways in which we can take responsibility for our environmental impact by saving water, electricity, and other important resources.

Thanks for joining me in celebrating Earth Day, every day! Let's work together to make Oregon a model of great environmental stewardship.

Update your subscriptions, modify your password or e-mail address, or stop subscriptions at any time on your User Profile Page. You will need to use your e-mail address to log in. If you have questions or problems with the subscription service, please contact