Pre-Session Updates and Information

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Hello Friends and Neighbors,

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season. I am looking forward to the start of the new session; there is still so much work to do. We are facing a challenging budget cycle, and I am committed to protecting services that Oregonians rely on.


79th Legislative Assembly ready for session!

Legislative Work

We are less than a week away from the beginning of Session. It is important you know where I will spend my energy this Session. In addition to working on my own legislation, I will serve on five committees. I am also monitoring the activities of other committees I do not serve on.

Committees: I am excited to be serving as a member of the House K-12 Education Committee, House Transportation Policy Committee, Joint Transportation Preservation and Modernization Committee, Joint Legislative Audit Committee, and House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. I will continue as Vice-Chair of the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, and I will Co-Chair the Joint Legislative Audit Committee with Senator Richard Devlin.

2017 Priorities

  • Transportation: This summer I toured the state with the Joint Transportation Committee. Now, my colleagues and I must use the public input we received to compile investments that help Oregon's transportation system to be safer and more multi-modal.
  • Education: I will work to balance and increase educational funding in this difficult budget cycle. I want to ensure school districts have control of their funds and can make decisions that benefit their unique communities.

My Bills

  • HB 2717 and HB 2721: Highway workers, flaggers, and transit workers have all seen an increase in violent attacks in recent years. They all serve a vital role in getting Oregonians from Point A to Point B safely. These two bills create additional protection for these workers.
  • HB 2720: This bill creates a study on virtual public charter schools. I first introduced this concept in the 2016 Legislative Session. I pulled my bill in that Session when I realized it needed more work. After spending the summer meeting with leaders of these schools and crafting a more complete study, I feel confident that this bill is ready to go forward. The information we learn from this study will help the schools and the State understand how to better support all students.
  • HB 2722: In 2016 I teamed up with Senator Hansell to stop residents from being fined for not watering their grass to a certain level of greenness during a declared drought. While this was an important step for water conservation, it does not go far enough. This bill encourages water conservation in Homeowners Associations and Condominiums.

Contact: Your voice is important to me. Please reach out to my Capitol Office to set up a meeting or make your voice heard. You can contact my office at (503) 986-1429 or by email at My staff are also available to answer questions you may have about the legislative process or a particular bill.

Around the District


Hillsboro Chamber Legislative Panel: Legislators were invited to listen to business leaders and Chamber members on their 2017 priorities. On January 5th, the Hillsboro Chamber invited Senator Chuck Riley, Senator Betsy Johnson, Representative Ron Noble, Representative Rich Vial, Representative Janeen Sollman, and myself to join them. This was a great opportunity to re-introduce ourselves, and our priorities to our community leaders and small business owners. 


The Chamber’s Public Policy Committee shared their concerns for the upcoming session. The event was a great kickoff to a productive legislative year. Aside from our collaborative concern with transportation in our state, my fellow legislators and I all agreed that constituent involvement is key to a successful legislative process, and that we need to work together to create effective policy. I encourage you to keep the conversations going, engage with us, and each other.

Human Rights Council’s Work: Following the Forest Grove High School walkout, Centro Cultural has stepped up to create a productive place for students and others to acknowledge and address racism they have seen or experienced. Students and community leaders have met twice in the last few months and the meetings have been incredibly uplifting. It was wonderful to see our community take a stand and create solutions. I will continue to participate in this important endeavor.

2017 Key Leaders Forum: Vision Action Network and Project Homeless Connect brought together leaders from across our region to discuss affordable housing. There were many leaders at the state, county, and local levels in attendance to hear from housing advocates. The panel had experts from different fields, from construction to government agencies, I appreciated their different perspectives on this pressing issue. I was also delighted to meet the new Director of Oregon Housing and Community Services, Margaret Salazar.

Meeting with Teachers: Last weekend I had the chance to have coffee with teachers from Hillsboro and Forest Grove. I was so glad to check in with them and hear the issues they are facing this school year. While I do miss being in the classroom, I am honored and proud to represent these voices in Salem. Our teachers are on the frontline and can help create solutions to some of Oregon’s more challenging educational problems.


BRIDGE Housing Tour:The Oregon Housing Alliance arranged a tour of their affordable housing project at the Woodland Park Apartments to see some of the homes that have been kept affordable through preservation funding. The buildings are older and, thanks to Bridge Housing, are in the process of restoration. We were pleased to see the units have been beautifully renovated. Tenants here pay a percentage of their income towards rent and the remainder is compensated through Federal or State housing funds. BRIDGE Housing provides an outstanding service to its residents, and helps with the increasing problem of affordable housing in Washington County.

The construction workers behind me were hard at work!

Important Information

New Laws: On January 1st a new round of laws went into effect. Oregon Public Broadcasting’s article explains some of the new laws that may affect you. Link here to the article. Some of the bills I sponsored also went into effect:

  • SB 1529: I teamed up with Senator Hansell on this bill. After a constituent contacted me that they were fined for brown grass in the middle of a drought. This law prohibits enforcement of residential irrigation requirements by homeowners association while finding or declaration of existing or likely drought conditions is in effect.
  • HB 4067: This law provides an affirmative defense to public employee and certain nonprofit employee whistleblowers who provide lawfully accessed information to state or federal regulatory agency, law enforcement agency, manager employed by employer or employee's attorney. It is important that employees feel safe to inform the public of illicit activities that affect services that we all rely on.
  • HB 4084: This law authorizes certain local governments to adopt ordinance or resolution providing property tax incentive programs that grant special assessment to brownfields or exemption to new and existing improvements and personal property on brownfields for period of up to 10 years. This will help end the cycle of disinvestment in brownfields by addressing the high costs of brownfield cleanup that often constitute a barrier to redevelopment.
  • HB 4128: This law expands crime of obstructing governmental or judicial administration to include engaging in business of notary public or immigration consultant without authorization. Former Representative Joe Gallegos proposed this bill to address a very serious problem, the prevalence of unlicensed non-lawyer “immigration consultants” (known as“notarios”) who prey on unsuspecting members of the public, especially in our immigrant communities.


The beautiful Chehalem Ridge!

Chehalem Ridge: Metro’s future park is tucked away near Forest Grove and spans 1,200 acres of pristine wilderness. Centro Cultural de Washington County has been a key partner though Metro’s Partners in Nature program. Throughout the summer and fall, Centro Cultural led bilingual tours through the future park in an effort to connect the Latino community with nature. This has been a part of an important effort to connect minority communities with nature. The planning for this park is still underway, and public comment is welcomed and encouraged. You can read more about the project and submit comments at this link.

Representative McLain invites you to:

Office Hours: The second Tuesday of every month from 3:00-4:00pm I will hold open  in Salem for constituent calls or visits. My hope is that members of our community will be able to make appointments for an in-person meeting or a phone call to discuss their thoughts on the Session. Of course, if this time does not work I would be happy to find another time to talk. 

CPO12C Visit: I will speak to the Cornelius and West Dairy Creek’s Community Participation Organization (CPO 12C)  on February 14th to provide a legislative update and answer questions. The meeting will take place at Free Orchards Elementary School 2nd Floor Library (2499 S Beech St, Cornelius) from 6:30pm-8:00pm.

Constituent Coffee: The Legislative Session officially begins on Wednesday! I am eager to hear your thoughts and priorities. Since Education and Transportation are my top priorities this Session, I would love to hear your thoughts.  Please join me Saturday, February 11th at 10:30 AM at the Cornelius Library! 

I cannot do my best work without hearing from you. Our communities are special, unique, wonderful places. I am committed to providing support and a voice for you.

I hope to hear from you!

Yours Truly,


Representative Susan McLain

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