Reporting For Duty

Senator Wagner

Here Working for Oregon

Today is day five of the Senate Republicans' walkout and day four of the House Republicans' walkout. 

Yesterday, The Lake Oswego Review, The Tigard Tualatin Sherwood Times, and the West Linn Tidings published my guest opinion on why the current Republican walkout is an attack on our democracy and is inconsistent with the principles of representative government.

Serving as a state senator is a job I take seriously. I view it as a great honor and a great responsibility. Walking out on the job is irresponsible. Shutting down the legislature is irresponsible. Accepting a paycheck while refusing to work is unethical and it's disrespectful.

It's time to take climate action, and we have a strong mandate from the voters to pass SB 1530, the Oregon Greenhouse Gas Initiative. From our warming coastal waters to devastating floods in Umatilla, it's becoming more clear that the climate crisis has arrived in Oregon. We must take action to stop the increase of wildfires impacting the air our children breathe and putting lives at risk. We must stop the reduction of the snowpack we depend on for drinking water and nourishment of our crops.

The Oregon Greenhouse Gas Initiative puts a cap on emissions and creates a system of investments to transition Oregon to a clean energy economy. Oregonians across the state are calling upon the Senate to pass this bill now before the climate crisis takes an even more disastrous toll on the beautiful place we call home.

I respect this institution, and the honor bestowed upon me by my constituents. I will show up for work every day of the session and any day I am called upon. I am confident that my Democratic colleagues will do the same. I am committed to my job and committed to Oregonians. I am committed to my oath of office.   


Capitol Update

Even without my Republican colleagues, we continue to move the conversation forward in each of our committees, advancing ideas crucial to Oregon's future.

As Chair of the Senate Education Committee, we held three important informational hearings this week.

We heard about House Bill 4160, the "Student Voice Bill." It establishes a taskforce on Student Success for Underrepresented Students in Postsecondary and Higher Education. The taskforce will investigate access, affordability, student retention, graduation statistics, and workforce pathways. I'm proud to be a Chief Co-Sponsor of this legislation with Representative Alonso Leon, and I hope that we can get Republicans back to the building to pass this bill.


Second, the committee heard about financial literacy and education in Oregon. State Treasurer Tobias Read and Representative Courtney Neron discussed the importance of financial literacy, and Junior Achievement of Oregon and SW Washington and the Northwest Credit Union Foundation provided an update on current programs for students. I'm excited to continue this crucial conversation this year in preparation for the 2021 legislative session.

Finally, we discussed career and technical education and pathways to apprenticeship programs. It is important that we provide our students with experiential learning opportunities so that they're aware of the many routes to career success. There is great work happening at the intersection of education and workforce development in our high schools, so it was nice to highlight exceptional programs in the Hermiston School District and at Reynolds Learning Academy.

Meeting With SD 19 Constituents


CAUSA and PCUN visited my office to discuss protections for agricultural workers from pesticide exposure, the need for strong climate policy, and my priority bill to extend the age range for vulnerable youth guardianships.


The American Association of University Women (AAUW) of Oregon  spoke with me about a broad range of issues, including civics education in Oregon schools.


I discussed emergency medical services and funding to help veterans with severe mental health disabilities with The Alzheimer's Association.

Parting Thoughts

Today during the Senate floor session, Senate President Peter Courtney delivered an emotional plea to Oregon's Republicans to return to work. As one of the longest serving legislators in the history of the state, he has seen many political battles as a member of the majority and the minority party. His historical perspective on the current walkout shows that Republicans' actions this session are harmful to the issues that we care about - supporting our firefighters and police, access to health care, and protecting our foster children.


I also want to thank Senate Majority Leader Ginny Burdick for her tireless leadership to defend our democracy, especially during this difficult week. She continues to stand strong in the face of obstructionist tactics. It is such a privilege to work with Senator Burdick and the rest of Democratic leadership team to serve you in the Capitol.

Thank you to all of you that have reached out to share your support for the legislators that continue to do the people's work!


State Senator Rob Wagner 


email: I phone: 503-986-1719
address: 900 Court St NE, S-215, Salem, OR, 97301