We must invest in our schools

Representative Smith Warner

Hello everyone,

It’s been a busy few weeks: Oregon turned 160 years old, bills are moving forward, and the subcommittees of the Joint Committee on Student Success are preparing recommendations for revenue, policy, and accountability proposals. Since my last newsletter, my staff and I have visited neighborhood associations, attended education forums, and met with constituents who came to the capitol to talk about education, healthcare, Clean Energy Jobs, affordable preschool, housing, services for people with disabilities, and much more.

Renew constituents

Constituent Events and Opportunities

SAVE THE DATE: Constituent Coffee Sat. 3/16, 10:30am-12pm.

Rm. 305, Maywood Park MHCC Campus

10100 NE Prescott Portland, OR 97220

Please join me for coffee and conversation on the morning of March 16. Kids and families are welcome, and I look forward to hearing your questions and ideas. More information on parking and maps of the campus will be available closer to the date.

Page Program Invitation

Are you a student age 12-17 or do you know someone that is? My office would love to host you as an Honorary Page for the Oregon State House and give you the chance to experience the legislative process firsthand.

As a page, you will have an official swearing-in ceremony, a classroom session about the Legislative process, perform courier services for the Chief Clerk's Office, work on the House chamber floor with the Legislators, observe Committee meetings, take a tour of the capitol building, and participate in any special events happening that day. Apply and get more info here: bit.ly/2S3L6rE

Capitol Updates

The Cindy Yuille and Steve Forsythe Act – HB 2505

This important public safety bill now has sixteen house co-sponsors! HB 2505 has been referred to the House Judiciary committee, where we are working to schedule a public hearing. As Speaker Kotek said in recent news coverage, this bill has a lot of momentum. If you would be interested in sharing your opinion or submitting testimony in support of this concept, please reach out to my office by phone or email.

Full and Stable Funding for Oregon’s Public Education System

We are going to create new, significant revenue for education, and we are going to do it this session.


The Joint Committee on Student Success has divided into three subcommittees to focus on the next stage of our work: Revenue, Early Childhood, and Accountability & Transparency. These groups are discussing funding mechanisms, policies, programs, and reporting procedures to create a system that better supports Oregon students and families while allowing education professionals to innovate and invest in outcomes-driven programs. I am primarily involved in the Revenue subcommittee, which is focused on corporate revenue, but as co-chair of the full committee I am thinking broadly about the entire system. The subcommittees will report their recommendations in early March, at which point the full committee will finalize policies, funding levels, and put all of the pieces together. Sign up to follow the progress of the committee by clicking “e-subscribe” on the full committee OLIS page as well as the subcommittee pages (Accountability, Early Learning & Revenue).

Suicide Prevention in Oregon Schools – SB 52 "Adi's Act"

Too many families in my district, and across the state, have lost kids, students, and friends to suicide, and young LGBTQ Oregonians are especially at risk. That’s why I’m a Chief Sponsor on SB 52, which will require every school district to adopt suicide prevention plans for students. This bill had a public hearing on 2/6, and is scheduled for a Work Session (vote) in the Senate Education Committee on 2/20, where it is expected to pass with strong support.

Clean Energy Jobs – HB 2020

Since the “Clean Energy Jobs” bill was made public, the Legislature has scheduled multiple listening sessions, from Medford to The Dalles to Springfield, to gather input from people across the state. Here is more information about the public hearings, if you are interested in getting involved. I am proud to be a strong supporter of this legislation and will fight to make it the strongest piece of environmental policy possible. You can follow the progress of the bill here.

The Soul Box Project & Constituent Support

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Soul Box Project

The public health crisis of gun violence has been one of the motivating issues for my service in the Legislature. Across the country, 36,000 people were killed by gunfire in 2018, including 22,000 who died by suicide.

The Soul Box Project is an effort to create a visual representation to honor and acknowledge the thousands of American lives lost to gunfire in 2018. Some of my constituents are involved in this work to build an interactive art installation made of origami, folded Soul Boxes that are displayed beautifully and creatively.

Each hand-folded “Soul Box” represents a life cut short by gun violence. These are children, parents, passersby, members of law enforcement, and so many other members of the Oregon and American experience.

Last Friday, February 15, participants in the Soul Box Project, led by a drummer, respectfully carried one Soul Box for each of these lives lost into the Capitol building in a moving, powerful display. Congratulations and thanks to all the organizers and volunteers who pulled off this wonderful installation.

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Constituent casework

Remember that my office can connect constituents to services and help navigate state agency systems. In the past we have helped people schedule meetings with the BOLI commissioner, work through health insurance coverage gaps, and get answers to their questions about housing resources. Please don’t hesitate to call or email with any questions or problems you are experiencing. My office may be able to help, or connect you to someone who can.



Representative Barbara Smith Warner
House District 45

email: Rep.BarbaraSmithWarner@oregonlegislature.gov I phone: 503-986-1445
address: 900 Court St NE, H-286, Salem, OR 97301
website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/smithwarner