Mid Session Update

Sheri Schouten

    Mid Session Update

    Hello Friends,

    It has been a busy month here in the legislature. We have passed the half way point of the 2019 Legislative Session. I wanted to take a moment to update constituents on the important work being done in and out of Salem.

    Legislative Priorities

    I have two very important updates about some of my bills.

    HB 3273: Drug Take Back Program

    House Bill 3273, would create a statewide program to safely dispose of unused and unneeded medications passed out of the House Healthcare Committee this week with strong bipartisan support.

    HB 3273 would follow Washington, California and New York in establishing a statewide drug take-back program to help Oregonians dispose of unused prescription and over-the-counter medications, and at no cost to the state’s general fund. Specifically, this legislation would:

    • Require pharmaceutical manufacturers selling medicines in Oregon to cover the costs of collection, transportation, safe destruction of collected medicines, program promotion, and administration. 
    • Include an outreach program to educate consumers on the safe and secure storage of medications, the risks of improperly storing and disposing of opioids or opiates, and discourage disposal of drugs in the garbage or sewer system; and
    • Create a mail-back option for sparsely populated counties.

    Many of you know that I first introduced the Drug Take Back Bill in 2017, where we were able to pass HB 2645 from committee on a party line vote, but that the bill ultimately did not move forward. I am proud of the work that my office, in tandem with public safety, water quality, and environmental advocates, were able to accomplish by sitting down with industry and ultimately coming to a consensus bill that will put a safe drug disposal program in every city and town in Oregon.

    You can watch the public hearing of the bill here:


    You can follow the bill on OLIS. HB 3273 is currently in the Ways & Means Committee.

    House Bill 2883: Single Use Polystyrene Ban

    House Bill 2883, would prohibit food vendors from using polystyrene containers in selling, offering for sale, serving or dispensing prepared food to the public. It passed out of committee this week and is on its way to the Oregon House floor for further consideration.

    Over the last several weeks I met with my colleagues who had concerns regarding timelines for our small, local businesses, and we were able to amend the bill to delay the operative date until January 1, 2021, to allow Oregon businesses the ability to adjust their business model and work through current stocks of single-use polystyrene before the policy goes into effect.

    I want to give a special shout out to my two Co-Chief Sponsors, from our Washington County Legislative Delegation, Representative Susan McLain and Representative Janeen Sollman for their support and hard work.

    Watch the Public Hearing:


    Constituent Coffee Recap & Update

    We held a constituent coffee at the end of March. State Representative Margaret Doherty and I held our coffee at the Nordic Northwest Center in Garden Home. The center focuses on the language and cultures of Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden, and support Portland State University Nordic language programs.


    Over thirty constituents from House District 27 and House District 35 attended. Representative Doherty and I spent the hour covering education funding, mental health equity, and the Clean Energy Jobs legislation. Constituents then took turns asking questions about a variety of issues from the National Popular Vote to the housing crisis.

    Our next constituent coffee will be on May 11th


    Constituent Highlights

    I sometimes hear about the good issues constituents are working on from our district. Many times, this work goes unnoticed by the greater community. So from time to time, I am going to highlight these otherwise unsung heroes. 

    Amy Shapiro and her family have lived in the Greenway neighborhood of Beaverton since 1982. She and her family are musically inclined. So its not surprising that Amy brought the lyrics of the state's official "Oregon, My Oregon" to my attention.

    “Some of the lyrics of the state song make me uncomfortable. I found some of the words to be insensitive to Oregon’s Native Peoples, praising the “Empire Builders” who “conquered” them. I am looking to the legislature to make a change. I feel very strongly that anything we can do to fight against hatred, and to foster inclusion and unity will benefit us all”.

    Amy has not only been able to convince me, but now we have other legislators working on an update to our state song to make it more inclusive. Amy has made a Facebook page about her efforts (which have even gotten some media attention) to update the song. For Facebook Users: Change the State Song

    Better Know the District

    The Beaverton School District serves most of the students in Oregon House District 27. On May 21, 2019 there will be an election for the Beaverton School Board.

    The district was formed in 1876 and over the years, through mergers with other districts now serves over 40,000 students in over 40 schools. While much of the funding for local schools now comes through the Oregon legislature, your locally elected school boards still largely determine how that funding is spent.

    Every May in odd numbered years, many of you get the chance to weigh in on what you think of the school district and those that make those decisions. I’ll be voting. I hope you will, too.

    Warm Regards,



    Capitol Phone: 503-986-1427
    Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE, HS-280, Salem, Oregon 97301
    Email: Rep.SheriSchouten@oregonlegislature.gov
    Website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/schouten