Special Session Debrief Tomorrow

Senator Wagner

Town Hall Tomorrow

Dear friends and neighbors,

I hope you join me, Representative Salinas, and Representative Prusak tomorrow at 6:30 pm to look back at our very unique Special Session. Please send your questions in advance to Sen.RobWagner@OregonLegislature.gov. 


Please register for the town hall at this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUqfuGhrTItHNynamO50tg7iQLy19kJi7jT. I look forward to seeing many of you on the Zoom call!  

First Special Session of 2020


Masked, sanitizer available, and ready to do the people's work.

On Wednesday, June 24th, the Oregon Legislature convened for the first special session of 2020. Thank you to all of the dedicated staff who worked diligently to improve the safety of the Capitol while creatively finding ways to ensure accessibility to the public. I know my colleagues and I were all there with a mutual motivation – to serve Oregonians.

This Special Session was like one we have never seen before. Not only were we challenged to create unique ways to engage the public, we took on the needs of struggling Oregonians during a global pandemic and took necessary first steps to address long overdue police accountability measures.

I am incredibly proud of the Oregon Senate Democrats. They put in long hours and adapted to a new way of doing business to bring relief to Oregonians during a public health crisis. We gave renters greater housing security, provided protections against foreclosures, passed vital regulations to protect vulnerable COVID-19 patients and safeguarded Oregonians’ CARES Act relief dollars.

Most notably, we centered the work and lived experiences of the Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) Caucus to make necessary police accountability reforms and to say, unequivocally, that Black Lives Matter. The dedicated and unceasing efforts of the BIPOC Caucus have been instrumental in the progress we made to advance justice in Oregon and act against centuries of institutional racism. The leadership of Senator Lew Frederick (D- Northeast Portland) and Senator James I. Manning Jr. (D-Eugene) within our caucus was a direct reason for our success. I cannot thank them enough. I encourage you to watch Senator Manning's remarks on police accountability as the session concluded.

The progress we made during this last special session marks the beginning of critical change for Oregon and within the Legislature. I will ensure this effort is sustained and this work is ongoing. The Oregon Senate Democrats are committed to a better future for all Oregonians.

Police Accountability Legislation

The Oregon Legislature passed six police accountability bills during the Special Session. These policies are a necessary first step in our ongoing work to address systemic racism. I will continue to engage in this crucial work at the state level, and within the communities of Senate District 19. Below is a description of the policies we passed to provide greater accountability for law enforcement:

Senate Bill 1604 strengthens disciplinary action against officers who break the rules by making it much more difficult to overturn or reduce consequences. You can watch Senator Frederick's explanation of the legislation at this link.

House Bill 4201 establishes a joint legislative committee to look at policies on use of force by police officers.

House Bill 4203 limits police officers' use of physical force that impedes breathing, including choke holds. 

House Bill 4205 requires police officers to stop another officer from engaging in known misconduct. 

House Bill 4207 requires a statewide database of records for police officers whose certification has been revoked or suspended and requires law enforcement agencies to request and review each applicant's personnel files.

House Bill 4208 prohibits law enforcement from using tear gas for crowd control, except during a riot. In the event of a riot, the legislation requires sufficient notice and ability for individuals to evacuate an area before tear gas is deployed.

COVID-19 Response Legislation

Earlier this year, the Legislature’s Emergency Board approved hundreds of millions of dollars to provide relief to struggling Oregonians. That included creating the Oregon Worker Relief Fund, allocating funds for rental relief and survivors of violence, investing in mental health care, and providing support for rural hospitals and small businesses.

Oregonians have been waiting for another round of much-needed relief from the federal government. Oregon leaders must continue to put pressure on the federal government to do two things: 1) provide additional support to individuals, and 2) provide financial relief to the states so that we can continue to provide vital services to Oregonians.

During the first special session, we passed significant legislation to help Oregonians struggling during the coronavirus response.

House Bill 4204 provides protection from foreclosure if an inability to pay is a result of the government response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

House Bill 4212 ensures that CARES Act funds cannot be taken away from Oregonians due to unpaid debts.

House Bill 4213 prohibits residential and commercial evictions under specified conditions until September 30, 2020. After the moratorium, tenants will have a six month grace period, ending on March 31, 2021, to pay any rent owed to their landlord.

There is still a lot of work ahead, and the Oregon Senate Democrats will continue to respond and provide assistance and support to Oregonians throughout this public health emergency.

Mask Mandate and Coronavirus Update

Statewide Mask Requirement

Effective last Wednesday, July 1, masks are required for all people in public indoor spaces across the state.The recent uptick in Coronavirus cases across Oregon is a reminder to remain considerate of those around you by maintaining physical distance in public spaces, wearing a mask if you can, washing your hands, and limiting non-essential travel. 

The mask requirement does not apply to children under 12, people with disabilities that prevent them from wearing masks, and people who have medical conditions that prevent them from wearing masks. If you’re able, you can help protect others by wearing a mask. 

COVID-19 Wear a Mask


We are all in this together. Thank you for your hard work and sacrifices throughout this pandemic. Please continue to protect yourself and your neighbors by following physical distancing guidelines.


Please let me know if you need any assistance in these difficult times. My office and I will work to connect you with resources and get answers as quickly as possible.



Senate Majority Leader Rob Wagner
Senate District 19

email: Sen.RobWagner@OregonLegislature.gov I phone: 503-986-1719
address: 900 Court St NE, S-223, Salem, OR, 97301
website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/wagner