New Year, New Legislative Session!

Hello friends and neighbors,

With the holiday season behind us, I am looking forward to a prosperous and rewarding 2018. The Legislative Session is just around the corner. I am confident that my colleagues and I will enact legislation that promotes economic opportunity, supports Oregon workers, protects our environment, and promotes government efficiency and accountability.

Legislative Survey

As I prepare for the Session, I hope to hear from you! The survey is on my legislative website or available at the links below. Please take a few minutes to share your thoughts, and ask your friends and neighbors to do the same! 

English Survey  

Spanish Survey

Around the District


Forest Grove Lions Club - It was great to address the Forest Grove Lions Club to speak about the work I’ve done in the Legislature, and my future plans. Thank you to President Mike Moore, pictured left with Metro Councilor Kathryn Harrington, for inviting me to address the group. I enjoyed the dialogue! Please let me know if you would like me to speak to your club or group.




Farm Tour - Myself and fellow legislators joined farmers and 1000 Friends of Oregon on a tour of Washington County farm land. We discussed Oregon’s land use system and how it was designed to protect agricultural production. I am always appreciative of community members that share their perspectives on specific issues. This truly helps me when analyzing policy and understand the impacts of state and local laws.


Virginia Garcia Cornelius Wellness Center Tour with the Governor - The Children’s Health Insurance Plan has been without stable funding for far too long. Governor Brown and I toured the Cornelius location and met Diego and his mother. Diego relies on CHIP to cover his medical bills related to his hearing. CHIP funding has enabled him to thrive in school and at home. The CHIP Program is over two decades old and helps insure children and pregnant woman who may have a hard time paying for private insurance. We must get this funded!


December Constituent Gathering - I was touched to have so many community leaders attend the gathering around how to support our community. I sent out a specific ‘Happy Holidays’ newsletter that discussed the conversation. You can read that newsletter here. 


Tour of Pacific's Occupational Therapy School - Representative Margaret Doherty, the Chair of the House Education Committee, visited House District 29 to tour Pacific’s OT facility. These students are learning how to help people with disabilities or daily challenges accomplish the tasks of daily life. Occupational therapist work in a variety of fields, and are especially useful in a classroom setting. Rep. Doherty and I discussed ways to help educators and school administrators to understand the benefits of including these professional in the classroom. I am eager to continue working with the Occupational Therapy Association of Oregon on this issue.


Hillsboro Chamber's Legislative Reception - I joined the Chamber to discuss their thoughts and priorities for the 2018 session, and to share my goals and bills. I am grateful for the opportunity to connect with business leaders and hear policy through their lens. Please let me know if you would like me to attend a similar meeting for a group you are a part of!

2017 in the Rearview

Personal Reflection - This year was rewarding and challenging on many fronts. On a personal note, my family and I had a great year. My eldest grandson, Ryan, graduated high school. I celebrated the wedding of my daughter, Emily, with friends and family this summer. It’s these special moments that make you take stock in how blessed we are. I hope you have 2017 highlights that will make you smile for years to come!

Community & Constituent Outreach - When I was first elected to this office in 2015, it was important that I be accessible to constituent and our community at large. I do that by attending public events (over 60 in 2017), hosting or co-hosting constituent and community gatherings (14 in 2017), putting out these e-newsletter (13 newsletters in 2017), posting on my Facebook page (71 posts in 2017), and more. This summer my office conducted small business outreach to Latino businesses, last year was my general small business outreach. Ivan, a great summer intern, reach out to over 50 business, conducted 40 surveys, and helped promote state supports and resources for small businesses. I will do another large scale outreach project Summer 2018. Please send your suggestions and ideas for other ways to engage our community!


Legislation - I am proud of the work we did in the 2017 Legislative Session. I’ve highlighted some of my favorite bills in past newsletters (you can read them here:, but there were many bills I did not cover. The legislation listed below are changes you should be aware of:

  • Move Over - Oregon law requires you to move over or slow down for emergency or roadside assistance vehicle on the highway. Due to safety concerns, we expanded that law to cover all cars on the shoulder. Please be sure to change lanes or slow down for any stopped vehicle on the highway.
  • Extreme Protection Orders - Our nation has a problem of gun violence and suicide. My colleagues and I created a new process for worried loved ones to intervene if they believe their loved one is a risk to themselves or others. Family members or law enforcement officials can petition a judge and ask them to remove the firearms of someone who is deemed a danger to themselves or others. I supported this bipartisan effort because I believe this could be life-saving measure.
  • Tobacco Age - According to the Oregon Health Authority, 9 out of 10 smokers began smoking by the age of 19. We know that tobacco use has a devastating impact on the body, and it can be costly to our healthcare system. Oregon is now the 5th state to raise the minimum age required for purchasing tobacco products from 18 to 21. We hope this will reduce smoking rates and reduce tobacco-related deaths.
  • Updating IDs - Starting on the 1st, the process to update your name or gender on government IDs will be streamlined. This was brought forward by Basic Rights Oregon after recognizing how Oregon Statute failed transgender Oregonians. The Oregon Health Authority now has a process to change gender and name on a birth certificate, and some outdated public posting requirement have been eliminated.  I am proud that Oregon is on the forefront of LGBTQ equality nationally, and I will continue to support all Oregonians!

Legislative Work

Quality Based Selection (QBS) Bill - One of my two bills deals with contracting of high-skill professionals (engineers, architects, land surveyors, etc) by local and state agencies. In 2011, Oregon created a new QBS system that prevented a contracting agency from inquiring about the costs of a service. The process requires an agency to rank vendors based on qualifications and negotiate with them in the order they are ranked. Many cities have said this process is not working for them, and they cannot ensure best use of taxpayer dollars.

The City of Hillsboro brought this issue to my attention because this process is costing them money and time, and they feel a duty to get the best value for the taxpayer dollar. We are suggesting an edit that creates a two tier process that allows contacting agencies to have more information before selecting a vendor. Agencies will be able to inquire about the cost and scope of a project of the first five most qualified vendors. Of course, every vendor must be qualified before a contracting agency can continue. This will save public dollars and could increase access to government contracts for smaller, less established firms.


Household Hazardous Waste Bill - I first introduced this concept in 2017. To remind you, the bill would create a household hazardous waste (HHW) stewardship program. HHW is a term applied to products many of us have sitting in our garages, basements or other storage areas in need of special handling and disposal. This can include items like batteries, garden supplies, flammable liquids, and other products. These products are dangerous to human health and to the environment.

The stewardship program would be similar to the paint stewardship program established by the Legislature in 2009. Under product stewardship, the makers of products share in taking responsibility for their products’ leftovers to prevent harm to human health and to protect the environment. This legislation would require producers to establish a stewardship programs for HHW products that need to be collected at special facilities, we have amended the bill to allow manufacturers to contact the work to another organization. We also removed the phasing-in of products that made the bill more complex. I am excited to bring this legislation back because it is an important step to protect consumers and the environment by ensuring dangerous HHW products are properly disposed.


Committees - I am excited to serve on five committees this Session! I am the Chair of the Transportation Committee, the Co-Chair of the Audits Committee, a Vice-Chair of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, a member of the Joint Transportation Committee, and a member of the Education (K-12) Committee. I know that we have a lot of work to do in 2018, but I am confident in my colleagues in each committee.

The Joint Transportation Committee will be working on technical fixes to the transportation package that passed last session. In my House Transportation Policy Committee, we will work on autonomous vehicles, DMV issues, and issues related to seismic preparation of roads and bridges that are consequential to travel in the region.  In the Audit Committee, we will continue to clarify our procedures and processes in requesting and reviewing audits.

Autonomous Vehicles I have been working on this issue for a year, and there are a lot of components to examine when looking at autonomous vehicle policy. I attended a conference in California last month that spend a day diving into the components of the policy and the duties of state governments. My House Transportation Committee may introduce a bill that takes care of some of those basic state duties and corrects Oregon Statutes to allow for fully autonomous vehicles to operate on Oregon roads, so long as they meet the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s standards and Oregon Department of Transportation standards.

Important Information

Public Alerts - Recently, a Cornelius woman received a public alert that there was a gas leak in her neighborhood. As her and her family evacuated, she noticed that her neighbors were not leaving. Many of her neighbors were not signed up for these alerts and were unaware of the danger. Luckily, the gas leak was taken care of without incident. Let this event be a reminder to all - SIGN UP FOR PUBLIC ALERTS. You can do so at this link:

January Special Election - You should have received your ballot for the January Special Election in the mail. There is only one issue on the ballot, Measure 101, and it is so important that you vote! Ballots can be dropped off at a variety of places and you can find them here. If you have not received your ballot, please reach out to Washington County’s Election Division at (503) 846-5800.


Center for Women's Leadership’s NEW Leadership Oregon 2018 - I have been impressed by the NEW Leadership Oregon, and I want to encourage all college students to apply!  NEW Leadership Oregon is a six-day, residential leadership development program that educates and encourages outstanding college women to develop paths towards leadership. Trainings on networking, public speaking, organizing, how to get involved in your community,  and more. Applications are due on February 21st, apply today.

Upcoming Events


Student Speaks Forum - Rep. Janeen Sollman and I are inviting high schoolers to attend and share their thoughts! We know how important the thoughts of the next generation are, and we are excited to hear from students. The event will take place Wednesday, January 17th at 6:30 PM, doors open at 6:00 PM and refreshments will be available. Meet us at the Hillsboro Civic Center next week!

Pre-Session Town Hall - On February 1st, Rep. Sollman, Sen. Chuck Riley, and myself will meet at the Hillsboro Civic Center to hear the community's thoughts and priorities for the upcoming session. We will begin at 6 PM. I hope to see you there!

Please let me know if you would like me to attend an event of yours, or if you would like to talk! You can always reach me at or (503) 986-1429.

Yours truly,


Representative Susan McLain

House District 29

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