December News and Updates

Happy Holidays!

We are just 39 days away from the 2017 Legislative Session. I am putting the finishing touched on my legislative concepts and preparing to pass those ideas as bills. I have spent months researching, examining, and proposing solutions to challenges that face Oregon. I worked with my colleagues and the public to ensure my proposed solutions help Oregonians.

My grandkids at our early Christmas dinner.

Legislative Work

December Legislative Days: Last week, the Legislature held committee meetings to prepare for the 2017 Legislative Session. Four of my five committees met. We prepared committee bills and discussed the challenges we will address in the coming session. I used the time in Salem to connect with my colleagues about the bills we will introduce and how we can help Oregonians.

The decorations in Capitol building are beautiful and festive.

The Governor’s Budget: We are heading into one of the most challenging budget cycles in Oregon’s history. The State is $1.8 billion shy of the funds needed to run at current service level. Governor Kate Brown’s budget can be read at this link. My staff and I are reviewing these budget recommendations, paying particularly close attention to the areas the cover education, transportation, and human services. I am concerned with funding cuts our human services may receive, the Governor’s budget suggested closing the new psychiatric hospital in Junction City. Funding for higher education has flatlined and our K-12 schools will receive a minimal increase to cover increasing costs. As I examine the 500+ page document, I will continue to share my takeaways. I would love to hear your perspective as well, write to me any time at!

My bills: Over the interim I have continued to work on my bills. These three are my priority bills:

  1. Virtual Public Charter School Study - There are thirteen virtual schools that operate independently and receive state funding. These schools serve a different population of students and use different techniques. In an effort to better understand how virtual education fits in our system, I propose we conduct an in-depth study on these schools. I worked with some of these schools to craft a study that will help us better serve our students. Virtual education is on the rise and Oregon has the opportunity to lead the way.
  2. Transportation Worker Protection - Our highway workers, flaggers, and public transit workers help ensure Oregonians can get safely from Point A to Point B. Unfortunately, their jobs are becoming more dangerous due to increasing incidents of violence targeting those workers. Representative Chris Goresk and I are working in partnership to increase penalties for assault on these workers that are a vital part of our transportation system.
  3. Homeowners Associations and Water Conservation - In the 2016 Session I worked with Senator Bill Hansell to prohibit homeowners associations from penalizing their members that choose not to water their lawns during a drought. I believe that homeowners associations and condominium associations could take on a more proactive approach when it comes to water conservation. My bill will update the statute to include language for these groups to use in their bylaws to encourage the use of less water.
Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians of Oregon hosted the Summit.

17th Annual State Government-Tribal Governments Summit: We have nine sovereign tribal nation governments in Oregon. These governments work with the State of Oregon, and every year they meet with state officials to discuss how we can better collaborate. All state agency heads were in attendance, as well a the Governor. It is important that we commit to working together. Our government and the governments of the nine federally recognized tribes who make their homes within Oregon’s borders can improve the lives of all of our people through collaboration and teamwork.

Around the District

34th Annual Stan Johnston Memorial Toy Run: For more than three decades, local organizations come together to collect toys for children in our community. The Toy Run is co-sponsored by ABATE of Washington County, the Hillsboro Fire Department, and the Hillsboro Elks Lodge. I was invited to participate by Paul Hering of ABATE and was happy to hear that hundreds of toys and more than $2,000 were donated to the Hillsboro Fire Department’s Toy N Joy Drive. The event kicked off at Fire Station No. 3 and dozens of motorcyclists, some in costume, and other vehicles rode to the Elk’s Lodge for lunch.

wl henry

Visiting W. L. Henry Students: I believe civic education and engagement is one of the most important lessons our students learn, and it’s a lesson we must teach early and often. I was asked to visit with some students to discuss my role as their state representative and I was able to speak with two lively 3rd grade classes. Their questions were astute and I know some of our future leaders were in those classrooms.

Upcoming Events

MLK Day Racial Profiling Event - Save the date! On Martin Luther King Jr Day (January 16th) the Attorney General’s office and I are hosting a panel on racial profiling. The panel will address the state of affairs in Oregon and discuss methods to ensure that racial profiling does not burden the lives of Oregonians. This is an issue I will be deeply involved with in the 2017 Legislative Session and I hope you are able to join the discussion. I will make sure to post the details on my Facebook page.

Coffee with Teachers: The Hillsboro Education Association is hosting a coffee with educators and legislators. This is a great opportunity for me to connect with teachers on their thoughts for the upcoming Session. We are still working out the details, and I will post them on Facebook.

Community event: The Oregon Symphony musicians will play a free concert at Walters Cultural Arts Center on January 5th at 7 PM. The symphony will play traditional composers as well as pop culture theme songs from favorites like Star Wars and Harry Potter. This free, family-friendly concert is part of the symphony's mission to share the power of music throughout the region.


I also wanted to let you know that my staff, Nicole, and I will be on vacation starting December 26th. We return to the office on January 9th, and will return emails and calls as soon as possible. I am looking forward to spending time with my grandchildren and enjoying the festivities.

Happy Holidays!


Representative Susan McLain

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