May Newsletter

You can read our previous newsletters here

Hello friends and neighbors,

This Spring has brought us many showers, but now the sun is shining, reminding us of beautiful summer to come! We have a lot of work to do before we can adjourn for the summer, and the Legislature has only become busier in the last few weeks.

Bills & Legislative Matters

  • HB 2220 will help veterans qualify for a high school diploma by removing the requirement that veterans must have a General Education Development (GED) certificate, a post-secondary degree or a minimum score on Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB). This criteria is outdated since the mid-1960s, when the United States armed forces began implementing educational requirements for enlistment. Currently, all recruits must take the ASVAB test and have at least a GED in order to enlist. This bill, thus, largely pertains to older veterans who struggle to find jobs or receive a promotion because they lack a high school diploma. HB 2220 passed by a 29-0 vote on the Senate floor May 16th and will go to Governor Kate Brown for her signature.
  • HB 2726 The champions of Cover All Kids discussed updates and next steps forward this week. This is a legislative priority for myself and many of my colleagues.  I am grateful for Rep. Diego Hernandez’s work to make this concept a reality. We will be proactive in working together with the Senate to endure Cover All Kids makes its way to the Governor’s desk.
  • SB 182 This bill better defines the roles of the Oregon Educator Advancement Council. The council serves to better support professional learning, development, and support systems. Itl is composed of 17 members appointed by Governor Brown and includes six or more licensed, certified educators currently practicing in Oregon schools, and representatives from education institutions, nonprofits, and organizations. I was recently appointed to the Council to represent the Oregon Legislature. I remember my early teaching days well, and we must support teachers as they continue to develop their abilities to serve all students in their classroom.

Talking with students from Forest Grove Community School
FGCS students came to visit our beautiful State Capitol on a field trip!

May Revenue Forecast The May Economic and Revenue forecast was released earlier this month, giving us our last look at how much revenue will be available for our schools and critical services before we need to pass a balanced budget in July. The news is mixed: Our economy continues to do better than the national average, although there are signs that the growth is beginning to slow down as we reach full employment.

Even with a booming economy, we’re facing a $1.4 billion shortfall in what we need to fund our schools, health care, senior services, and public safety at just the current levels. The Forecast shows what many of us have know for quite some time, our revenue system is inequitable and outdated. We depend so heavily on personal income taxes and have among the lowest corporate taxes in the nation, we’ve faced year after year of budget uncertainty and cuts to schools. I saw it as a teacher, and I do not want to see it again as a grandmother.

Without bold action, we’ll face many more years of cuts that will lead to more overcrowded classrooms, shorter school years, and cuts to health care and senior services. I believe it’s time for real action to lower the long-term costs of delivering critical services and reform our outdated business tax system so we can invest in a brighter future.

The Oregon Education Investment Initiative (OEII) was introduced to the Joint Committee on Tax Reform by Speaker Kotek, Representative Nathanson, and Representative Barnhart. They brought forward this plan because action is needed to save schools, community colleges and universities from budget cuts.

With the OEII, we can bring down class sizes, add weeks to the school years and offer programs, like technical and vocational education, that were cut during the recession. This action will invest in proven strategies to improve Oregon’s graduation rates. I am proud to support this effort because I understand what’s at stake.

Oregon can’t wait. Read more about the OEII and pledge your support here!

Folks from Self Determination Resources Inc. came to talk with me on their lobby day!

Mid-Session Report

The 2017 Oregon Legislature still has important work to do for Oregonian families; here is a report on our progress so far:

Expanding Opportunity Through Quality Education

  • Early Learning HB 2013 improves access to early education by bringing more,qualified preschool teachers into the Preschool Promise program, increasing the pool available to serve low-income children
  • Higher Education SB 55 continues the Oregon Promise program, helping     students from working families afford community college.

Ensuring Transparent, Accountable Government that Effectively Meets People's Needs

  • Candidate Transparency HB 2298 increases transparency by requiring that all candidates appearing on an election ballot file statements of economic interest.
  • Improving Access HB 2945 requires that elected officials who are seeking reelection declare their candidacy well before an election to prevent incumbents from hand-picking their successors

Keeping Oregon’s Economy Growing

  • Skill Training HB 2162 ensures that 10% of the work done on large state contracts is done by apprentices, so more Oregonians can enter living wage professions.
  • Infrastructure Improvements HB 2933 expands Oregon Infrastructure     Finance Authority grants for emergency projects.

Standing with the Underrepresented

  •  Elder Care HB 3359 prevents elder abuse and ensures that residential care that is provided to seniors meets quality standards
  • Safe Campuses HB 2972 protects victims of sexual assault and domestic violence on Oregon’s college campuses by protecting them from intimidation or coercion when reporting crimes.

Supporting Healthy Communities

  • Opioid Prevention HB 2114 creates standards for preventing the over prescribing of opiates and limits the number of excess pills in circulation, and helps local governments address the growing crisis.
  • Unexpected Health Care Charges HB 2339 protects patients from surprise medical bills caused by out-of network medical charges.

Bipartisanship Report

The vast majority of the work done by the Oregon    Legislature is bipartisan- even unanimous. Our Committee process allows members of both parties to work on bills that are more important  to their constituents, and then pass them on the House floor. As of April 25th,  out of the 270s bills that have passed the Oregon House, 70% have been unanimous, 28% have been bipartisan, and only 2% have been strictly partisan.

Around the District


May Coffee This month I held a Constituent Coffee at BJ’s in Forest Grove to talk about mid- session updates on some of my top priorities, transportation, education funding, and affordable housing. I was especially interested in our discussion on the ramifications of school budget cuts. This issue is close to my heart and I am always touched when others share my passion for our schools and our students. Thank you to all those who could attend!

Kaleidoscope  I was able to attend a fundraiser held by Community Action. The event highlighted the  importance of early childhood education, and we heard many touching stories from families who have benefitted from their program.  I commend Community Action’s tireless commitment to improving lives in Washington County.

TED Talk TEDXYouth I attended a TED Talk featuring student speakers from Washington County. The talk was centered around the the theme “What We Don’t See” and the speakers highlighted issues that young people face, as well as their future ambitions. It was amazing to watch these young people speak their truths.


Spotlight on

The Transportation Package

 The full 14 member Joint Committee on Transportation Preservation and Modernization have spent the last few weeks discussing the details of our proposal in public meetings. We are hoping to have a bill draft for the Transportation Package on Wednesday, May 31st. The Public Hearing will follow in 2 segments. The first Public Hearing is expected to be held on Monday, June 5th, and the second, would be on Wednesday, June 7th. Please note that these are only projections and are subject to change. My office will provide updates as they become available.


Hawthorn Walk-In Center Opening!The Hawthorn Walk-in Center, Washington County’s first mental health urgent care center, opened to the public on May 23rd. I toured the facility at the end of March, and I was incredibly impressed with Washington County’s effort to treat mental health issues and address the stigmas. The center is a safe and welcoming place where people of any age can receive assistance for mental health and addictions concerns that do not require hospital-based help. Services include assessment, crisis counseling, education, and connection to treatment providers and other social services. The center is a joint effort between Washington County Mental Health and LifeWorks Northwest.

The center is open seven days a week, from 9 a.m. – 8:30 p.m., and is located at 5240 NE Elam Young Parkway, Suite 100, in Hillsboro — right next to the Hawthorn Farm MAX stop. All services are confidential and provided by both professionals as well as trained peers in recovery from their own mental health and/or addiction concerns. Both walk-ins and appointments are accepted. During business hours, call 503-846-4555. The Washington County Crisis Line is answered 24/7 at 503-291-9111. Visit for more information. To watch an informational video, click here

Upcomming Events


June Constituent Gathering: Saturday, June 10th, from 10:30am-12:00pm @ the cafeteria of Lincoln Street Elementary(801 NE Lincoln St, Hillsboro)     Please join me for my next Constituent Gathering! Next month’s theme is health care and mental health care services. We will also have our guest, Ginnie Churchill, from the Hawthorn Walk-In Center, to give a short presentation on the services the center provides our community. I’d love to see you there!

  • Revenue Town Hall Friday, June 16th at 6:30PM, (location TBD) The Washington County Representatives will be holding a Revenue Town Hall. We will be updating you shortly with more information.
  • End of Session Town Hall w/ Representative Sollman and Senator Riley: Thursday, June 29th, from 7:00-8:30 @ The Brookwood Library(2850 NE Brookwood Pkwy, Hillsboro, OR 97124) My fellow Legislators and I will be co-hosting an End-of-Session Town Hall. We will be discussing the progress we made in this session in addition to legislation we can focus on in the next. I hope you are able to attend!

    • Cornelius Memorial Day Dedication & Ceremony Monday, May 29th from 11am-12pm @ Veterans Memorial Park (1251 Baseline St, Cornelius) In observance of Memorial Day, I will be stopping by the Veterans Memorial Park for the wreath ceremonies to honor those who have fought for our country.Come join me!

    As we move into the last leg of the Session, concepts and bills will move quickly. You are welcome to call my office any time. My staff would gladly help answer questions, explain the legislative process, or assist you in any manner.

    Enjoy the sunshine!

    Yours Truly,


    Representative Susan McLain

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