Season's Greetings

Senator Steiner Hayward

Season’s Greetings From Senate District 17!

I’m writing today because I’m grateful. Grateful for a year of successes and come-backs, for family, friends and wonderful colleagues, and I’m grateful to you. Thanks to so many of you, in 2017, I’ve been able to learn more about my district, my state, and ultimately, how our laws should better serve the people of Oregon. I appreciate the personal stories you’ve shared with me; the letters you sent; the phone calls you made; and the in-person meetings many of you took a whole day off of work to accommodate. These actions don’t go unnoticed, and I hope that you will continue to engage in our political dialogue in ways that are meaningful to you.

While 2017 was filled with many successes, it was also full of hard work and some significant disappointments, especially at the federal level. I am looking forward to some much-needed down-time with my family in the coming days. My staff and I will take a brief break for the holidays, and then will begin the New Year preparing for our next short session beginning February 5th. If you have thoughts, concerns or ideas about bills, how to engage, or the legislative process, our office is always open, so please don’t hesitate to reach out.


Tobacco 21 Signing

Tobacco 21 bill signing with Governor Brown, Commissioners Bill Hall and Jim Doherty, Representatives Alissa Keny-Guyer and Rich Vial, and the ACS Cancer Society.

As many of you know, The Oregon Legislature met for a long session in 2017, and we left with several incredible accomplishments under our belts. To name a few, we passed Pay Equity which particularly benefits women & people of color, Tobacco 21Public Safety Reform, the largest K-12 Education Budget the state has ever passed, and a Provider Assessment that will protect healthcare for hundreds of thousands of Oregonians.


Measure 101- The Provider Assessment

The Provider Assessment was passed this year with the support of Democrats, Republicans and health care industry groups. It continued an assessment on hospitals and healthcare providers who pay a small fee to help cover the costs of Medicaid in Oregon. These healthcare providers supported the funding package that was finalized at the end of session. As we move into the New Year, the Provider Assessment is being threatened on the ballot in a special election on January 23rd. A small handful of legislators who disagreed with the assessments petitioned to put a repeal on the ballot, which would undercut the state’s support of over 350,000 Oregonians on Medicaid. These Oregonians are our most vulnerable community members-- the elderly, children and many others who are living under the Federal Poverty Line. Now, Oregonians have the opportunity to vote YES on Measure 101 to support the agreement and protect health care in Oregon. This is one of the most definitive ballot measure our state will see for years to come. If it does not pass, the State will be forced to cut hundreds of thousands of Oregonians off of healthcare without any backup plan. Simply, we will be forced to cut a program that supports our most vulnerable neighbors.

I’m voting yes for Measure 101 on January 23rd, because my goal as a legislator is to make Oregon the healthiest state in the nation. I’m choosing people over politics, and doing all I can to ensure that every Oregonian has access to safe and affordable health care. If you, like me, believe every Oregonian deserves access to affordable healthcare, please join me in voting Yes on Measure 101.


On December 21st, the federal government passed an end of year funding package which included the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) through March 31st. This is a small win for now; we hope to see a 5-year budget for CHIP in the New Year, because we know that when children are safe and healthy in their first five years of life, they are more likely to graduate from college, and become productive members of society. The bill however, didn’t include a Clean Dream Act, which is an incredible disappointment. Congress has an obligation to reconsider a Clean Dream Act in the New Year, as these 800,000 Americans deserve to continue building the lives they’ve begun here in the United States.


A Senate District 17 Town Hall will be coming up in late January. Stay tuned for a time and location.


Yours truly,

ESH small signature

Senator Elizabeth Steiner Hayward MD
Senate District 17

phone: 503-986-1717
address: 900 Court St NE, S-215, Salem, OR, 97301