What happened...

Mark W. Meek

What happened...

Dear Neighbors,

The 2017 legislative session has come to a close! We started this session with some of the toughest challenges to face our state in a long time. We were successful in addressing many of them - but a lot of work still lies ahead. 

Read below for my take on what happened, and continue reading for some more legislative highlights as well as photos from throughout the session. And don't forget that you are invited to my End-of-Session Town Hall tonight, July 13th at 6:30pm at the Oregon City Public Library (606 John Adams Street)


Keeping faith with our veterans is something we must never waver on. As a member of the House Committee on Veterans and Emergency Preparedness, I've had the honor to work with many veterans and advocates on legislation that helps veterans and their families.

One of the biggest accomplishments of this session is the historic funding that has been put into veterans' outreach and services. This includes $27.5 million for the Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs and Measure 96 (passed by voters last year by more than a 4-1 margin), an additional $2.5 million for veterans' mental healthcare services and another $2.5 million for capital improvements at Oregon's two veterans' homes. 

In a budget cycle where many programs and agencies saw cuts, I am proud that we were able to make significant new investments in veterans' programs.


Oregon children deserve the very best education, and that begins with providing stable and adequate funding - something that has been lacking for years. I worked hard this session to reform our outdated business tax code and am frustrated that partisan politics and corporate interests prevented us from making progress on it this year. CLICK HERE to watch my take on the education budget that was passed.

I am committed to continuing this effort, because inaction will not achieve smaller class sizes, raise our graduation rates, or bring back eliminated programs like career-tech education. Only real solutions that allow us to invest in our kids' future will. 


Oregon is in a housing crisis, and the legislature passed several major pieces of legislation aimed directly at protecting and expanding affordable housing options while increasing supply.

Some of the most significant housing legislation I supported that were successful include: HB 2002 to preserve existing affordable housing options; HB 2008 which grants new protections to manufactured home residents; expanding the Oregon Affordable Housing Tax Credit in HB 2066; and expediting the application process for local affordable housing development through SB 1051 to bring more supply online more quickly.

I am disappointed that HB 2004 - which would have protected renters by restricting the use of no-cause evictions - did not pass the Senate. I am proud of the progress we made on housing this session and recognize the work that still lies ahead in ensuring every Oregon family has a place to call home.

Jobs & Economy

Oregon's economy continues to grow, and we must continue that momentum while making sure that the benefits of a growing economy reach all working Oregonians. 

That's why I was proud to sponsor HB 2005, which will move Oregon closer to achieving pay equity for women. I also supported SB 828, requiring large employers in certain industries to provide their employees with work schedules one week in advance. Both bills were passed and will soon become law. 


By far the biggest transportation news out of this session was passage of HB 2017 - a $5.3 billion transportation package that will go towards modernization and infrastructure improvements over the next 10 years. I advocated for many improvements to the package's priorities and funding - including improvements to I-205 - and I believe it is a much better piece of legislation because of that advocacy. 

Ultimately, though, I still had major concerns with the final bill because it primarily places the financial burden on working families and opens the door to tolling, which I oppose. CLICK HERE to learn more about what the package means for our community.

Healthcare & Long-Term Care

One of the most serious issues people have spoken to me about since I took office in January is healthcare. There is a lot of anxiety with what is happening in Washington D.C., and Oregonians can't afford for our state to be idle in addressing healthcare concerns. I supported two crucial pieces of legislation this session on healthcare that are especially meaningful: HB 2391 protects our state's Medicaid program for over a million Oregonians, and SB 558 expands healthcare coverage to 15,000 additional Oregon children.

When it comes to our seniors, I am proud of the work we were able to accomplish this session on long-term care facilities. I was a chief sponsor of HB 2661, which requires long-term care referral providers to be registered with the Department of Human Services (DHS) and sets higher certification standards. I also sponsored HB 3359, which sets new quality and reporting standards for community-based care facilities, as well as allowing for DHS to investigate and suspend facilities that fail to properly care for their residents. Both bills successfully passed and now await the Governor's signature.

Representing you in the legislature is an honor, and I look forward to continuing my work on behalf of our community.

Yours truly,


Mark Meek

State Representative - Oregon House District 40

Legislative Highlights

Thousands of bills are introduced each legislative session...and only a tiny fraction of them actually pass. I was a chief sponsor of several important pieces of legislation that successfully passed this year and will soon become law. They include:

Revitalization of Willamette Falls Locks (SB 256): Growing our local economy is so important. SB 256 establishes the Willamette Falls Locks Commission to advise on the repair and reopening of the locks - the critical first step in an effort which will, upon completion, directly provide jobs and new economic opportunities in our community for years to come. 

Better Quality Long-Term Care (HB 2661): Seniors and other Oregonians in long-term care deserve to be in a safe environment where they are treated with dignity and have quality-of-life. HB 2661 sets higher certification standards that will improve the long-term care experience for thousands of Oregonians. 

Preserving Oregon's Heritage (HB 3012): Oregon's historic homes and landscapes are timeless treasures. House Bill 3012 allows for more flexibility in letting property owners increase housing supply in low-density areas while protecting the historical structures that are already there.

Photos from the Session

Here are just a few of my favorite photos taken from throughout this session.

One of the coolest parts of serving in the legislature is meeting students in the classroom and at the capitol to hear about their goals and aspirations. Our future is very bright!

school visitors
(Clockwise from top): Students from Christ the King Middle School in Milwaukie visit the capitol for "We the People Day" | Students from Rex Putnam High School visit the capitol | Talking with students at Kraxberger Middle School

Last month I had the very special honor of performing "O Sole Mio" for the House's opening ceremony, accompanied on the piano by my youngest son Jacob. CLICK HERE for the video of our full performance. Bravo, Jacob!

o sole mio

Always enjoy taking the time to speak with those who have served in our country's armed forces. Thank you for your sacrifice.

(Clockwise from top): With Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs Director Cameron Smith | Attending the Three Rivers VFW Loyalty Day event in Oregon City | Performing the national anthem at the Pacific Northwest Defense Coalition's annual Military Employer Summit

In April I visited the Two Rivers Homeowner's Cooperative in Gladstone. Co-ops like these are instrumental in creating housing stability and give residents the opportunity to take ownership over their future. 

Visiting with residents of the Two Rivers Homeowner's Cooperative in Gladstone in April

The Willamette Falls and Locks are the economic opportunity of a generation. I am thrilled with the work happening on both sides of the river - both the potential reopening of the locks on the westside and the redevelopment of the Oregon City waterfront on the eastside - and am excited to work together with all the partners involved to make these projects a reality.

locks 4
(Clockwise from left): Checking out the Willamette Falls Locks with colleagues | Former Blue Herron Paper Mill site that is slated for re-development | Speaking at the Willamette Falls Legacy Project's riverwalk design celebration

I've held close to a dozen town hall and community coffee events this year - and look forward to many more! I'm always eager to listen and hear from our community.

town halls

Let's Stay in Touch!


The legislature has adjourned for 2017, but I will continue working hard to make your voice heard on the issues facing our community and our state. I would love to keep in touch - send me an email or call my district office if you have thoughts to share or if I can ever be of assistance to you and your family.

District Office: (503) 451-0143
Capitol Office: (503) 986-1440
Email: Rep.MarkMeek@oregonlegislature.gov
Website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/meek