News from HD 19

Representative Raquel Moore-Green

News from HD19

Hello Friends,

First and foremost a thank you to everyone who participated in our first virtual Your District-Your Voice listening session last week. The feedback was positive, the questions broad and the participation active – a success all the way around! Our topic was COVID19. We covered a whole range of questions including the constitutionally of the Governor’s executive orders, why the growing number of cases in northern Marion County seem to persist, to what actions are being taken around mental health service delivery and domestic abuse and violence that is on the rise. Were you unable to attend? No worries, we have two more sessions planned for May, more details to come.

As we look forward it is likely a special session of the legislature will take place in late May or early June, after the state revenue forecast on May 20th.  The forecast is anticipated to be bleak, possibly showing shortfalls of more than $2 billion for the 2019-21 two-year budget. Once we receive the forecast, we can start to think more long-term about filling the gaps in the budget and the difficult task of re-prioritizing state programs and expenditures.

Oregon is unique in that its revenue is collected primarily through income tax, and when people aren’t working, they’re not paying income taxes. Similar to 2010 and 2011 the next couple years could be tough. The sooner we are able to have the private sector businesses up and humming the faster our recovery will be from this health and economic crisis. Funding goals will need to be set, and decisions made about priorities with a slower recovery process in mind. It may be years before state revenues recover to pre-COVID-19 levels. We have the Rainy-Day Fund which has $2.5 billion currently. However, that will not be enough to cover the shortfalls in the coming years. It will be time to “tighten our belt” as my mother used to say and find ways to stimulate the economy.

Governor Brown announced that starting May 1st the order delaying non-urgent medical procedures will be lifted. Hospitals, surgical centers, medical offices, and dental offices will be able to resume non-urgent procedures if they demonstrate they have met new requirements for COVID-19 safety and preparedness. She is also working on a plan to reopen outdoor recreation in pieces - Officials said the soonest they'll have a plan in place to reopen recreation sites, such as state parks, is the first week of May. And it won't happen all at once. We are all anxious to get back to the beautiful Oregon scenery.

In the interim I encourage you to send your ideas and reasoning for reopening Oregon. We have been very successful in flattening the curve and have demonstrated that we have the hospital bed capacity for a public health crisis. As a note of success and preparedness - of the nearly 800 ventilators we have statewide, no more than 50 have been used at any one time for patients with confirmed COVID19.

The framework to reopen Oregon unfolds on a daily basis from the Governor’s office. We anticipate the guidelines surrounding the general public, employers, restaurants, childcare, and retail to be completed early next week. The path to reopening remains painfully slow, many small business owners continue to struggle as they are facing their bills for a second month of the outbreak.

As we enter this second month of staying home – staying healthy, I remind myself that this unique time calls for a continued delicate balancing act. We seem to have leveled the curve of infection and death. We must continue to do as much as possible to flatten the curve of small businesses dying and continued unemployment. It also calls for calm and patience. We learn daily of the increased pressures on all of us to work, educate and recreate within the parameters of social distancing, isolation, and uncertainty.

Our office receives literally tens of emails daily updating information on unemployment, testing, and relief for small businesses. These updates are federal and statewide.   Be sure to visit my website for a one click listing of resources. Below you will find several updates which seem to be the most frequent inquires / questions over the last several days.

I remain committed to listening, responding, and leading. We as Oregonians can and will weather this crisis and return to our daily routines. Thank you for engaging with your state government. Please know my door is always open and my staff, Pam McClain, Lena Prine, and I welcome your participation.

All my best, rmg


Representative Raquel Moore-Green
House District 19 serving South Salem, Turner & Aumsville

Capitol Phone: 503-986-1419
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, H-385, Salem, OR 97301