Schools, Families, and Beaches... Oh My!


Hello Friends and Neighbors,

What a beautiful week of sunshine we will have! With the difficult work we face in the capitol, the warmth of the sun can go a long way. We are working hard to take important steps to address our $1.4 billion shortfall, we’ve passed important pieces of legislation regarding education and workforce development, and I have promoted pathways for constituents in the district to have their voice be heard by their leaders, here in Salem, on important issues.

I continue to work diligently on HB 3430 which would allocate funds held in the unclaimed property account for longer than 25 years to the Common School Fund to be distributed to all 197 school districts in Oregon in January of 2018. This allocation would mean roughly $26 million for Oregon’s K-12 education. My co-chief sponsors, Rep. David Brock Smith and Rep. Rich Vial, both attended the hearing with me and gave testimony on the importance of this piece of legislation. I am hopeful that this bill will have a work session soon and will be voted to the floor so that it can continue its path to the Senate side of the building. This bill would provide a much-needed investment of dollars for our K-12 education system.

HB 3430

One of the most exciting parts of being a State Representative is when the opportunity arises to give someone a platform to have their voice be heard on a topic they are passionate about here in Salem. Over the last couple of months, I have worked with community member, Carl Calkins, on ways to protect our 362 miles of Oregon public beaches for future generations. Carl is a lifelong beach enthusiast and avid treasure hunter. Out on the coast with his trusty Made in Oregon metal detector in hand, he searches Oregon beaches looking for treasure and helping people recover lost articles in the sandy trenches. However, what concerns Carl the most is the hazardous buried glass and metal he finds. As we approach the 50th anniversary of the Oregon Beach Bill in July, Carl wanted to look for ways to preserve Governor McCall’s vision of pristine public beaches. I joined Carl as he testified at an informational meeting of the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee regarding beach safety. I was happy to support Carl as he brought to light an important issue, beginning what will hopefully be a strong dialogue on mitigating hazardous materials, specifically glass, on our Oregon public beaches.

I am honored to serve folks like Carl and will be a representative who strives to ensure our government process is accessible and open to all and remains the people’s government. You can watch Carl’s testimony by clicking here!

carl & janeen

On May 17, Governor Kate Brown signed into law HB 2216, the Foster Children’s Sibling Bill of Rights that I was a co-sponsor on. This was an exciting moment not just for the children who are living the experience of foster care every day, but to those of us who are allies to the youth in foster care. I want to share with you the passionate words of my intern Trina Bell regarding her experience in the foster care system and the importance of this legislation:

On March 16, the Oregon Foster Children's Sibling Bill of Rights passed on the House floor and on my 20th adoption anniversary, no less. The passing of the bill on the House floor, in my household, was received well and with celebration and praise. My three biological sisters and I know firsthand the hardships that youth face in the foster care system, especially in relation to communication between siblings. We were fortunate to be kept together, for the most part, in our involvement in foster care. Additionally, after some pushback, we were then adopted by the same forever family. My sisters and I were fortunate to be adopted together, because we did not know where we would end up and how our future as siblings would develop. Many siblings in foster care are not as fortunate and there is no guarantee that they will be placed and/or adopted together. Communication between siblings that are separated, therefore, is important for the overall well-being of the children. Often the only people who can truly understand your past and present struggles are the siblings that faced the same difficult circumstances.


I want to share a particularly important piece of legislation for Oregon community college educators, SB 206. This bill would allow faculty members to receive compensation from private or public resources including consulting, appearances, speeches and intellectual property. The decision to accept this policy would still fall to the board of these colleges to allow them the space to adhere to the mission or policy of these institutions. I believe this to be important because the work that these faculty members are conducting for our students is just as important as the work conducted by our university professors, who can already accept official compensation in these areas related to intellectual property. Honoring our educators is an important part of honoring our education system.

may 6th

This month has been filled with some exciting meetings in spaces open to everyone from our district. On May 6, I had the wonderful opportunity to host my sixth listening session in House District 30, this time at the Hillsboro Public Library on Brookwood. We covered a variety of topics and had many engaged community members bringing up topics important to them. I can’t help but feel energized by that!

Later that day I had the honor to emcee Senator Ron Wyden’s town hall at Liberty High School where the Senator spoke about the importance of opposing the American Health Care Act (ACHA), investing in ways to support our aging population, and promoting a national vote by mail system and a national popular vote. I’m excited to see how our community can help Senator Wyden succeed in these goals! At the town hall, Senator Wyden introduced a special guest and a constituent in HD 30, Alter Wiener, a holocaust survivor, inspirational speaker, and author of the autobiography, “64735: From a Name to a Number.” What an honor it was for us all to hear from this special man.

Get Involved

  • Without bold action now, Oregon is facing years of painful cuts to K-12 classrooms, higher education, and many other services. The Oregon Education Investment Initiative is the step that will allow us to make strategic new investments in our schools and create better opportunities for Oregon’s students and our future workforce. Learn more about the proposal here:
  • Honor Veterans on Memorial Day at the Annual Memorial Day Event. There will be speakers, music, a POW/MIA Ceremony and more. This will take place at the Veterans Memorial Park in Beaverton beginning at 11am on Monday, the 29th of May.

Upcoming Events

It is such an honor to represent our community here in the capitol. Thank you all for continuing to follow along with me on this journey. Knowing that with each busy day in Salem, we are continuing the fight for an inclusive, safe, and supportive Oregon makes every day an important step towards a better future for all Oregonians.

Onward& Upward,


Capitol Phone: 503-986-1430
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE, H-487, Salem, Oregon 97301