Rep McLain's February Newsletter!

You can read our previous newsletters here



The 2020 short session has arrived! It's been a fast-paced first week. This session, each Representative has brought two personal bills and each Senator has brought one. We have a lot of important work to do this month, and I am excited to dig in. I want to give a short overview of my two bills and what has been going on in my committees before sharing some fun pictures, events, and updates with you. 

Rep McLain w Students

Advocates from Portland Community College, including PCC President Mark Mitsui, in the Capitol for Career Technical Education Day.

Around the Capitol

My Bills: I have introduced two bills for the short session: HB 4146 or Part Time Faculty Health and HB 4155 or Channel Maintenance Fix. They are assigned to Committees, and have had public hearings or work sessions. They’ve passed the first week’s deadline!

Part Time Faculty Health will make health insurance affordable to essential faculty at universities and college campuses who work part-time for low wages at multiple institutions. They qualify now for insurance, but have to pay the full cost of the premium. Under this bill, employees will pay 10% and the state will cover the other 90%, making health insurance accessible and affordable. This bill had a public hearing in the House Education Committee, and will have a work session next week, then move to Ways and Means. The public hearing was on Wednesday Feb 5, where I testified with Senator Wagner, Senator Dembrow, House Minority Leader Drazan, Representative Evans and two part-time employees who would finally get affordable insurance.

Channel Maintenance Fix is a technical fix for a bill from last session, which established a notification program with the Department of Agriculture, along with the Department of State Lands, and the Department of Fish and Wildlife for maintenance of traditionally maintained channels. This helps farmers care for their land and prevent flooding, while also establishing and enforcing strong environmental protections. This fix will make the regional roll-out of this program more effective.  HB 4155 had a public hearing and work session in the House Agriculture and Land Use Committee. It’s on its way to the House Floor!

This past week, Committees held public hearings, listened to testimony, scheduled and conducted work sessions, and voted on the bills assigned to them. To move forward, all bills need to have a Committee work session on the schedule by Friday, February 7th. Things move quickly in the short session!

Testimony on HB 4146



My testimony with Representative Evans and House Minority Leader Drazan in support of HB 4146.


My Committees: In House Agriculture and Land Use, I testified on my Channel Maintenance Fix bill on the first day of session. We are assigned eight other bills about policies ranging from Hemp, land use studies, meat processing, and dog training facilities. You can read and track the bills assigned to this committee, and watch previous committee meetings here. 

The House Economic Development Committee has eleven bills. The bills cover programs to support small business owners from under-served communities and regulatory policy for kratom, medical marijuana, and low-proof spirits. You can read and track the bills here.


House Agriculture and Land Use Committee, listening to public testimony.

Ag & Land Cmte


Joint House and Senate Committees have different timelines than regular Committees. Their deadline for scheduled work sessions is February 14th. In the Joint Transportation Committee, we are working on six different bills from both the Senate and the House with topics such as speed limit setting, the Willamette Falls Locks, and a variety of technical transportation fixes. Read up on them and track their progress here.

The Joint Ways and Means Committee has been meeting in their subcommittees to hear bills and reports. In the Subcommittee for Education, we heard a report about the progress of the Student Success Act. Click the links to learn more about the Full Committee and the Education Subcommittee. 

Climate Bill Update: This week, the Senate Committee for Environment and Natural Resources heard testimony about House Bill 1530, and will continue to hold hearings over the weekend. HB 1530 is aiming to meet Oregon’s carbon reduction goals and invest in renewable energy. 

I am not on this Committee, but I am monitoring this legislation’s progress closely, and welcome any thoughts or concerns. To read the bill in its current form and to monitor its progress yourself, use this link

Advocacy Days in the Capitol

COSA meeting

The Confederation of School Administrators of Color came to see me during the first week of session. We had a great discussion about the implementation of Student Success Act, my work on the Educator Advancement Council, and Grow Your Own, a program for recruiting and training teachers and administrators of color from within the communities.

Moms Demand Action meeting



Over 100 advocates from Moms Demand Action were around in the Capitol this week! They fight for common sense measures to reduce gun violence and keep our families and schools safe.

Moms Demand Action Group Shot




Habitat for Humanity wants to make the cost of a home something we all can afford. Affordable Housing is a priority this session, and everyone deserves a safe place to call home.

Habitat for Humanity meeting
Oregon Food Bank


No one should go hungry. The Oregon Food Bank is working to change that. They don't just distribute food: they fight to eliminate hunger and its root causes by advocating for policy and providing gardening and nutrition education programs.

Around the District

Town Halls: We had two successful and engaging town halls in January in Hillsboro and Cornelius. The turnout was great at both. I first did an overview of my two bills, the Technical Fix for Channel Maintenance and Part Time Faculty Health. After an overview of my bills, I did a bird’s eye view of what to expect in the short session in regards to a variety of issues, and a summary of Legislative Days from January. Among other things, we discussed safety issues on TV Highway; plans for other transportation goals; and  questions, concerns, and comments about the upcoming climate bill in the Senate. Both town halls were packed with productive conversation, and I hope to see even more people at our next one!

On March 11th, 2020, I’ll be at the Hillsboro Civic Center from 5:30pm - 7pm for our post-session town hall with Representatives Sollman and Neron. This will be a great opportunity to discuss the outcomes of this Short Session.

McLain speaking at Pacific Uni

Pacific Student-Teacher Alumni Reception: I spent the evening celebrating with alumni and current students at Pacific University College of Education at the Student Teacher Alumni Reception. As fellow teachers, we had a lot to talk about together: the implementation of the Student Success Act, efforts to diversify the education workforce, early-education needs, teacher shortages, and better prep for teachers. Of course, I told everyone about my personal bill for the short session that we call Part Time Faculty Health. It was great sharing my passion for teaching.

Guests at Pacific Uni




Students and Alumni at Pacific University from the Department of Education.

AFT Conference

AFT Annual Conference: At the AFT Annual Conference in January, many of my colleagues and friends gave an update on what we have ahead of us in the short session. I was happy to share the progress on the Part Time Faculty Health Bill, which AFT supports and which will affect many of their members. I had a great time mingling and talking with guests and community members.


Tualatin Valley Highway: I’ve heard from many of you about the safety of TV Highway, and our community has shouldered too many tragedies on unsafe roads. Improving TV Highway’s safety is a high priority for me. I’ve been talking to the Oregon Department of Transportation about designating TV Highway between Hillsboro and Forest Grove as a Safety Corridor. Representative Sollman, Senator Riley, and I sent a letter to both ODOT and Trimet, urging this designation and other improvements, so we can improve the safety and standard of living around this highway.

The 2020 Census is Coming! Time to be counted. Every ten years, The Constitution mandates that the government counts everyone who lives in the country. Not just registered voters or taxpayers or even US citizens, but everyone. This data is used for allocation of Federal funding to the states and for calculation of how many Representatives each state gets. What’s at stake here in Oregon? A possible new Representative in Congress and $13 billion in federal funding for housing, education, healthcare, roads, food programs, other programs for seniors and veterans. Every community deserves to be adequately represented and adequately funded, and this is how it happens. 

Some communities are hard to count and have a hard time trusting the government with their information, so I wanted to make it very clear: your personal data collected from the Census is totally confidential. It is illegal to share this data even with other government agencies, including police and immigration agencies. If you’d like to help all of Oregon’s communities get counted, you can help out by going to 

Student Success Act: The Student Success Act has started its implementation across the state, and our school districts will be seeing those funds soon! Hillsboro schools will be receiving around $16 million in new funding, and Forest Grove schools $5.16 million! That’s millions of dollars investing in our children’s future, starting at early-education. I’ve always believed that when we invest in our kids early and often, we all thrive.

Student Success Act Graphics


TSA’S Real ID: Starting October 1, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will require you to have a kind of identification called Real ID to board a plane. A standard driver’s license doesn't qualify, so if you’re traveling soon, TSA recommends you bring a passport, U.S. military ID, permanent resident card, or federally recognized tribal photo ID. On July 6, Oregon DMV will start offering a Real ID driver’s license option, but be advised, the process will be slow. If you aren’t planning on flying, your regular ID is still valid, and you won’t need a new one. If you’d like more information, you can go here.

Upcoming Events

Bienestar will be holding an open house on February 13 from 4pm to 6pm. They’ll be serving snacks and drinks and showing off their new office and 2020 plans. RSVP to Nathan Teske at, and head to 448 S First St Suite 100, Hillsboro, OR 97123.

Remember: I will be holding a town hall with Reps Sollman and Neron on March 11th at the Hillsboro Civic Center at 5:30pm until 7pm. I hope to see you there!

Yours Truly,


Representative Susan McLain

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