The 2020 Short Session Ends with Heavy Hearts and Unfinished Business

REMINDER: Tomorrow is Rep. McLain’s Small Business Coffee


It is with heavy heart that I announce to all of you, my friends, neighbors and constituents that we have closed the 2020 Short Session.  The Oregon Legislative session ended today following an 11-day walkout of House and Senate Republicans, and the refusal of House Republicans to respond to a legislative subpoena. Listen to Speaker Kotek's speech from the dais for a powerful explanation of that decision. Legislators and staff have worked diligently to make a difference in the lives of their constituents this session, and it was difficult to watch this important session end this way.  We passed 56 bills across the House floor, nearly all with bipartisan or unanimous support.


Team McLain Interns


I was very lucky to have a dedicated group of staff and interns working in my office for the short session.  Despite the unusual nature of this session, Team McLain worked hard to move our bills as far as they could go.  While I wish these enthusiastic young people had gotten to see the legislative process work, I think they all learned a lot about the way the system works, the ways it breaks down, and the heartbreaking consequences important bills die because of obstructionist tactics.  I look forward to see the amazing things these students will do in the future.  

Pictured from left to right, Interns Tess, Justin, and Edgar & Staff Roxy and Claire

This session saw so many important bills introduced, so much work and compromise in committees, so many passionate members of the public coming to testify, and some very engaged floor debate.  One of my bills made it nearly to the finish line this year.  My Technical Fix bill, HB 4155, would have allowed the Dept. of Agriculture, Dept. of State Lands, and Dept. of Fish and Wildlife to implement the traditionally maintained channel program regionally, as the Wetlands Work Group intended.  This bill had unanimous support in the House Committee, House Floor, and Senate Committee. Sadly, it was scheduled for a floor vote on the first day of the walkout.  My other bill, HB 4146, the Part-Time Faculty Health Bill, did not make it through Ways and Means, but it had bicameral and bi-partisan support and I look forward to continuing to work on the issue going forward.  

Floor Speech 2020

While the session is coming to a close, my work will continue.  As a member of the Emergency Board, I will be back in the capitol on Monday to do the important emergency budget work that we did not get to complete this session.  This is work that will benefit all Oregonians, like funding Oregon's response to Coronavirus and Emergency Funding to assist with flood repairs in the Umatilla Basin.  

I'd like to thank everyone who worked hard to make this short session a success, from the many Oregonians who came to visit me and other Representatives, to everyone who came and testified on bills they cared about.  It is the hard work and engagement of those who show up for democracy that make Oregon work for everyone.  

I hope to see many of you at my Town Hall with Reps Sollman and Neron at the Hillsboro Civic Center.  The event will be from 6pm - 7:30pm on Wednesday March 11th.