June 26th Update: Special Session, COVID-19, Unemployment and Other News

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Dear Friends and Neighbors, 

For the first time since February, I am back at the capitol! However, this Special Session is unlike any previous experience.  My colleagues and I wear masks whenever we are beyond the closed doors of our offices, we watch committee meetings and floor sessions from our offices and only venture out to cast our votes or carry bills on the floor.  This session is unique and not just because we are practicing physical distancing, but because of the historic challenges to which we are responding.  I am honored to be representing you in the Oregon House through this historic Special Session, and I look forward to continuing to work hard on all of the issues we are facing. 

Special Session 1, 2020, Floor

Special Session

Today was the third and last day of the 1st Special Session of 2020.  We got a lot of great work done this week, including wrapping up unfinished business from the short session, much needed relief for renters and property owners, addressing other COVID-19 issues and needs, and beginning the work of improving police accountability.  There is much more that will need to be done on all of these issues in future special sessions and in the 2021 long session, including the difficult budget decisions we are facing.  That being said, we did a lot of great work in this strange Special Session.  Before I dive into everything we have accomplished in this Special Session, I want to share some history and background about Special Session: 

  • This is the 42nd special session in Oregon history.
  • The first occurred in 1860, the most recent in 2018.
  • The longest ever special session lasted 37 days in 1982.
  • The record for the most held in one year was five in 2002.
  • There have been three special sessions since the implementation of annual sessions in 2010 (2012, 2013, 2018).
  • Learn more about the history of special sessions in Oregon here

Special Session Bills: A Few Highlights

Joint Committee on Transparent Policing and Use of Force Reform – HB 4201A: Establishes a Joint Committee on Transparent Policing and Use of Force Reform, composed and co-chaired by both Senate and House members. The committee is directed to examine policies to improve transparency in investigations and complaints regarding use of force by police officers; increase transparency in police protocols and process to build public trust; examine policies that reduce the prevalence of serious physical injury or death caused by use of force, the authorization of use of force under state law, and the disparate impact on communities of color; determine most appropriate policy for independent review of deadly force; and make recommendations to the Judiciary committees by December 31, 2020.

Duty to Report and Intervene – HB 4205A: Requires police and reserve officers to intervene to prevent or stop another officer from engaging in an act they know, or should reasonably know is misconduct.  Misconduct is defined as “unjustified or excessive force that is objectively unreasonable under the circumstances or in violation of the law enforcement agency's use of force policy; sexual harassment or sexual misconduct; discrimination against a person based on protected class; committing a crime; or violation of the minimum standards for fitness for public safety personnel.” The bill requires the officer to report the misconduct as soon as possible, but no later than 72 hours after the misconduct; failure to report is grounds for discipline. The Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) will provide an annual report to the legislature on the rule adopted for implementation.

COVID-19 Response Omnibus – HB 4212A

  • Emergency shelter siting: Temporarily waives all siting, design, and zoning regulations for local governments to develop low-barrier shelters and navigation centers to provide support for Oregonians experiencing unsheltered homelessness, who are at high-risk of virus transmission. Siting provisions are limited to 90 days.
  • IDA funds for pandemic relief: Provides flexibility for individual development accounts to be used for necessary medical expenses, to avoid eviction and for living expenses after the loss of a job during the pandemic.
  • COVID-19 race and ethnicity data: Requires health care providers to collect data on race, ethnicity, preferred spoken and written languages, English proficiency, interpreter needs and disability status (REALD) during the provision of health services related to COVID-19. Directs OHA to adopt rules requiring providers to collect and report data, specifies timelines for data collection, and allows OHA to provide incentives to health care providers to comply with requirements. Data is confidential and used for public health purposes.
  • Safe public meetings: Allows local governments and other public bodies to hold virtual meetings so they can continue to provide essential services and make decisions in a public and transparent manner, while preventing the spread of COVID-19 and protecting public health. The language specifies notice, quorum, social distancing, and recording requirements.
  • CARES Act payment protection: Protects vulnerable Oregonians who receive CARES Act Recovery Rebate payments having portions of those payments withheld, so all relief money can be used to pay for essential needs like housing, food and medical needs. Payments are protected until September 30, 2020.

Indian Child Welfare Act – HB 4214A: Aligns Oregon dependency proceedings with the requirements of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA). This bill provides critical support to Indigenous children, and ensures children remain connected to their culture, family, and tribe while they are in the care of the state.  This bill mirrors language from HB 4148 (2020 session) which passed the House 56-0-4 and was awaiting a vote on the Senate Floor upon adjournment.

Transportation STIF Fix and Drivers’ License Immunity – SB 1601A: Provides flexibility for transit providers by allowing Oregon’s Statewide Transportation Improvement Fund (STIF) to be used to maintain existing service. Previously, the STIF was reserved for transit expansion or improvement. Additionally, SB 1601A merges the Elderly and Disabled Transportation Fund with the STIF and requires the Oregon Transportation Commission to dedicate a portion of the fund to transit for older adults and individuals with disabilities. SB 1601A also prevents citations from being issued for expired driver licenses, permits, and vehicle registrations and further directs courts to dismiss any citation for specified offenses between March 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020. 

Full List of Legislation:

  • Outlaw use of respiratory restricting restraints – HB 4203A
  • Foreclosure protections – HB 4204A
  • Duty to report and intervene – HB 4205A
  • Joint Committee on Transparent Policing and Use of Force Reform – HB 4201A
  • Transparency of police discipline records – HB 4207A 
  • Protecting freedom of speech and assembly from excessive force – HB 4208A 
  • COVID-19 Response Omnibus – HB 4212A 
  • Commercial and residential eviction moratorium extension – HB 4213A 
  • Indian Child Welfare Act – HB 4214A 
  • Transportation STIF fix and drivers’ license immunity – SB 1601A
  • Forestry Memorandum Of Understanding – SB 1602A 
  • Broadband – The Rural Telecommunications Act – SB 1603 
  • Discipline guidelines and arbitration decisions – SB 1604 
  • Out of state placement and Family First – SB 1605 
  • Hospital support for people with high needs – SB 1606A 
  • Small rural schools formula – SB 1607 
  • Budget Bill – SB 5711A 
  • Debt-based drivers’ license suspensions reform – HB 4210 
  • Student Success Act budget fix – HB 4211 
  • State-run meat processing plant inspection program – HB 4206 
  • CAT technical fixes and dairies – HB 4202 
  • Eastern Oregon Border Board grant fund limitations – HB 4209 

New Developments

  • Today, The Oregon Department of Education released their LGBTQ2SIA+ Student Success Plan. LGBTQ2SIA stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender/Non-binary, Queer/Questioning, 2S/Two-Spirit, Intersex, Asexual and the “+” recognizes that there are myriad sexual and gender identities and countless descriptors that may be preferred.  LGBTQ2SIA+ students have a right to a safe, supportive and inclusive education free from violence, harassment and discrimination.  The plan provides strategies and goals to create educational and social-emotional support for Oregon’s K-12 LGBTQ2SIA+ students who are at significantly high risk for bullying and harassment, suffering violence while at school, sexual assault, chronic absenteeism and suicidal ideation.  The plan addresses:
    • The need for professional learning among Oregon educators.
    • Equitable access to appropriate educational curriculum, facilities and activities.
    • Necessary data collection through an annual climate survey and student advisory group to inform future decision making regarding this student population. 
    • You can read the full plan here, and a statement from ODE Director Colt Gil here
  • Big Changes to DMV Appointment Scheduling System: Beginning this evening at 5pm, DMV is temporarily halting its appointment scheduling process through July 5, 2020 as they switch over to a new IT system (that’s been in the works for several years now; “DMV Service Transformation Program”). This new system will go live Monday July 6 and will offer expanded online services including online appointment scheduling. This new system will allow customers to go online and schedule their appointment in real time, rather than submitting a request form and waiting for a call-back from DMV
  • Drive-up VIN Inspections: VIN inspections for new-to-Oregon vehicles were halted by field office closures. Beginning Wednesday, June 24, DMV began drive-up VIN inspections at select DMV field offices. You do not need an appointment for these VIN inspections. Individuals can drive up to these field offices, a DMV employee will inspect the VIN, and the DMV employee will provide all necessary paperwork. Subsequent title and registration paperwork can then be conducted through the mail.  Find information about drive-up VIN inspections and locations here
  • Rental Relief and Energy Assistance Funds Available: Earlier this month state lawmakers unanimously allocated $95 million in Coronavirus Relief Funds to Oregon Housing and Community Services for housing stabilization, rent assistance and energy assistance. The rental relief funds were distributed to Community Action Agencies (CAAs) across the state. Eligible tenants must have had their ability to pay rent impacted by the current pandemic and live at or below 80% in area median income (AMI) of the county for which they reside. To access these resources in Washington County you can do the following: 
    • CALL: 211 or 1-866-698-6155 (Language interpreters available by phone)
    • TTY: dial 711 and call 1-866-698-6155
    • TEXT: your zip code to 898211 (TXT211) (text and email in English and Spanish)
    • EMAIL: help@211info.org 
    • WEB: search for resources online: https://www.211info.org/search-resources 
    • You can visit 211info.org or call 2-1-1. 
    • The full list of Community Action Agencies, funding allocation amounts and service territories with contact information can be found HERE.
  • Oregon Health Authority Increases Contact Tracing Statewide: The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) released an update to the number of COVID-19 case investigators and contact tracers statewide. As of June 15, the current statewide total of county and state contact tracers is now about 600 people, an increase of 359 from a prior survey conducted in late April. Funding opportunities are available for community based organizations (CBOs) throughout the state to aid COVID-19 response efforts, including contact tracing and strategies that are most responsive to the needs of people of color, people with disabilities, immigrant and refugee communities, Tribes, Migrant and Seasonal Farm Workers and LGBTQIA+ communities. For more information on what you can expect if contacted by local public health staff, and other important information please visit healthoregon.org/contacttracing or healthoregon.org/rastreodecontacto 
  • Metro Regional Transportation Measure Update:  The final region wide program descriptions are now available on the Get Moving website. Find them in the Project Library at getmoving2020.org under “Identifying Investments” and new interactive maps of each of the corridors and their recommended investments are available under the “Draft Plan” tab.  At Council’s direction, staff worked to deepen funding commitments to Community Stability programs, including working with community to develop corridor-based anti-displacement strategies, investing in affordable housing and supporting Main Street small businesses struggling through economic difficulties and the threat of displacement.  Additionally, Council directed us to work with partners at TriMet to broaden the vision of the Youth Transit Access program to provide free bus/MAX passes for all high-school aged youth and continue to expand the program in subsequent phases with the goal of serving all youth 18 and under across the region.  On Thursday, July 9 at 5:30pm there will be a Washington County listening session regarding the proposals.  Sessions will be accessible by phone and video conference, and interpretation will be available.
Get Moving 2020 Map

Case Data

  • National Numbers: 
    • Confirmed Cases: 2,414,870 (up 40,588 from yesterday)
    • Deaths: 124,325 (up 2,516 from yesterday)
    • These national numbers come from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  You can view their national and state by state data here
  • Oregon Status Report:  Oregon now has 7,444 total cases (confirmed and presumptive) of COVID-19.  Today we have 175 new confirmed and presumptive cases.  Tragically we have had a total of 195 Oregonians die from COVID-19.  Washington County still has one of the highest case counts at 1,214 cases.  You can review on-going updates from OHA by clicking on the table below. 
Daily Update June 26th

Table showing Oregon case, testing and demographic data, link to more information

  • The Oregon Health Authority provides a Public Health Indicators Dashboard to enable communities across Oregon to monitor COVID-19 in the state.The dashboard, which will be updated weekly on Thursdays, provides a transparent report that presents complex epidemiological data in an interactive, easy-to-understand way on a state and county level. 
  • New Modelling of the COVID-19 virus shows that COVID-19 is spreading more rapidly in Oregon, according to the latest model released today by the Oregon Health Authority and the Institute for Disease Modeling. This is a very sobering report, and reinforces the importance of making smart choices and prioritizing the safety of our community as we reopen and being careful and safe in our private decisions to socialize and interact with our communities.  The entire report can be found here, broadly it outlines three likely scenarios for COVID-19 in Oregon:
    • The optimistic scenario with those assumptions suggests the previous modeling increase of June 11 was the result of higher testing and that case counts would remain stable at about 180 per day over the next month. This is the least likely scenario to occur because it assumes diagnosis of all new cases and presently about one-third of new infections cannot be traced to a known source.
    • The moderate scenario suggests the rise in cases in the last modeling report was due to increased transmission and expanded testing -- and that daily infections of COVID-19 could rise over the next month to more than 900 per day, with daily hospitalizations rising from 8 to 27.
    • The most pessimistic scenario suggests the rise in cases in the last modeling report was due entirely to increased transmission and not expanded testing -- and that infections could rise to more than 4,800, and hospitalizations could increase to 82 per day.
Modeling Graphs: June 26th


I am committed to providing you with as much information as possible about the status Unemployment Insurance as possible.  So many Oregonians continue to wait for benefits, and are struggling financially and emotionally while they wait.  Earlier this week I shared information on the new “Focus PUA” effort at the Employment Department.  Click on the image below to view a media briefing from Interim Director Gerstenfeld, on that effort and more.  

Media Briefing Unemployment June 24

Regular Unemployment Benefits-FAQ

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance-FAQ

Additional Resources

Employers and Employees

Education Links

Local Government

Utilities Assistance

Food and Housing Assistance



Oregon Health Authority


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Virtual Committee Special Session 1, 2020

Strange new world, watching committee and floor from my office.

Yours truly,

Representative Susan McLain

Representative Susan McLain
House District 29

email: Rep.SusanMcLain@oregonlegislature.gov I phone: 503-986-1429
address: 900 Court St NE, H-376, Salem, OR 97301
website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/mclain