Half Way Through: Legislative Update

Diego Hernandez

Hello Friends and Neighborhors,

It's halfway through the session, and deadlines on hearings and work sessions are quickly coming up. Remember to follow my FB PAGE to receive updates and stories in real time.


 Homelessness and housing are a growing problem in Oregon.

Oregon has seen the third highest increase in homelessness nationwide, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). In 2015, 13,100 adults and children experiencing homelessness in Oregon. Of those Oregonians experiencing homelessness, one-in-ten was a military veteran, one-in-seven was identified as having a serious mental illness, one-in-five reported being a victim of domestic violence, and nearly one-in-three were families.

Renters Rights

East Portland is disproportionately impacted by housing issues. Many of our communities are being displaced from their homes, renters are seeing huge hikes in rent increases and being evicted with the use of no-cause evictions. This is why I am a chief sponsor of HB 2004, a bill that transitions us to a no-cause eviction to just-cause evictions and removes the state preemption on rent stabilization programs. The bill passed the house floor and is headed towards the senate.


Click here to see my speech on the house floor on this issue


Housing Crisis

Our office is taking a comprehensive approach to the housing crises. As a social worker, I believe that we must address these issues in a well-rounded way that addresses the root causes of the issue. We must increase funding for mental health services and other wrap around services, increasing the supply of Affordable Rental Housing, increasing the supply of homes and rental units, expand renter’s rights, fund family and transitional shelters, decriminalize being homeless amongst other issues. One of the bills, amongst many others I support, is the Right to Rest Act, which died and is not going anywhere this session, but is a critical component to a comprehensive approach. We received many emails and calls on this bill, which was supported by the ACLU and Sisters of the Road. For these reasons, I am supportive of both the Housing Alliance and the Oregon Opportunity Network Legislative agendas.

Oregon Opportunity Network: Legislative Agenda
The 2017 Housing Alliance Agenda

Media Coverage:

Oregon House Passes Tenant Protection Bill

Paid Family and Medical Leave

Rep. Alonso Leon, Majority Leader Rep. Williamson, and I as co-chief sponsors testified in support of the FAMLI Act, which will bring paid family and medical leave to Oregon, aligning us to the living standards of most other developed nations. House Bill 3087 would give working Oregonians much needed financial support when they're at their most vulnerable.


Media Coverage

Paid Family Leave
After raising minimum wage, Oregon Democrats look to add paid family leave 


Family Engagement

Representative Teresa Alonso Leon and I testified as a co-chief sponsor in support of HB 3185, which creates a task force of education professionals, teachers, parents, and community organizations to study best practices in engaging families in the education process, from kindergarten through higher education. The bill passed out of committee and is headed towards Ways and Means committee.  As a first-generation graduate, I know firsthand how vital it is to have family engagement every step of the way starting in Pre-K all the way through post-secondary education.

Overview of HB 3185


Oregon Ethnic Studies Bill Update

HB 2845 or better known as Ethnic Studies Bill had a hearing on March 15th and March 20th. As a chief sponsor, I testified, along with Sen. Frederick and Commissioner Joe Gallegos. It is up for a work session next week and this is good news because the bill is still alive and has the votes to get out of committee. The Ethnic Studies Coalition put together a website on the bill, to learn all about it and all its supporters click here. https://orethnicstudies.org/

Media Coverage:

Oregon Lawmakers Consider New 'Ethnic Studies' Curriculum for Schools 

David Douglas School Based Health Center


 On March 24th I toured David Douglas School- Based Health Center and met Youth Advisory students. It's important this session to not cut School Based Health Centers against each other in order to provide critical health services to children and adolescents in schools.

Immigrant and Refugee Rights

The Detention of my Constituent

On March 26th, in my district, Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) agents picked up Francisco J. Rodriguez Dominguez without a warrant at his home in southeast Portland. Rodriguez Dominguez, 25, is part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program since 2013 and works for Latino Network serving low income families. He was released after an outcry by the community and support from the ACLU and CAUSA Oregon.

Immigrations and Custom Enforcement (ICE) Formal Public Records Request

Representatives Alonso Leon and I, joined by Speaker of the House Tina Kotek and Majority Leader Williamson, submitted a request for information from ICE regarding recent enforcement actions in Oregon. We submitted a Freedom of Information Act Request to have greater transparency regarding ICE’s actions in Oregon. We are seeking to understand ICE's policies as part of an effort to reassure immigrant communities that they're not in danger to go to the doctor's office or to school.

Media Coverage

ICE arrests 84 undocumented immigrants in Pacific Northwest
Oregon Elected Officials Ask for Information on ICE Policies 


I joined Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici and Congressman Earl Blumenauer at their press conference where they introduced a bill that seeks to ban federal immigration agents from courthouses, schools and other sensitive locations. The latest detentions have occurred in our courthouses and spread a wave of fear to our communities. This federal piece of legislation by our congressional representatives is a step in the right direction. Our courthouses, schools and other sensitive locations need to function and be safe places for our society to function effectively. 

Media Coverage:

Bill seeks to band federal immigration agents from courthouses

Representative Hernandez joined Gov. Brown in honor of the legacy of Cesar Chavez


Media Coverage:
Gov. Brown Honors Legacy of Cesar Chavez


Town Hall with Representative Hernandez

Where: Midland Library (large conference room): 805 SE 122nd Portland, OR 97233

Date: Sunday, April 30th; 2:00 pm- 3:30 pm

Focus: Mid-session legislative update and share your priorities and concerns that I'm working on in Salem.


Capitol Phone: 503-986-1447
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE, H-283, Salem, Oregon 97301
Email:  Rep.DiegoHernandez@oregonlegislature.gov
Website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/hernandez