Happy Independence Day and The First Special Session of 2020

Representative Christine Drazan

Highlights from the First Special Session

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Late last week, the Oregon Legislature concluded a three day special session. I served on the Joint Committee On the First Special Session of 2020, which received public testimony and reviewed all of the legislation passed during the session.

I went into this session to support a balanced budget, unify our state and do all I could to protect public health while getting our economy going again. This week's newsletter aims to explain in more detail a few of the key policies the legislature passed, and what I believe Oregon's future looks like as a result.

It is an honor to serve our community. Please reach out to my office anytime.



committee screenshot first special session 2020

Protecting Supports for Vulnerable Oregonians

Coronavirus restrictions in care settings left vulnerable patients without loved ones or supports to advocate for their care. Thankfully this will change with the passage of SB 1606, which requires support persons to be present for end of life decisions and next steps in care. For my constituents who shared your stories of pain and loss during this time, this legislation is a response to your needs and experiences. We must balance precautions with unintended consequences, during this health crisis. We all depend on our loved ones and support systems, and SB 1606 ensures they will be there when we need them the most.


Ending the Timber Wars

I am grateful that we were able to pass Senate Bill 1602, which writes negotiations between both forestry and environmental interests into law.

The agreement signed between timber interests and environmental groups focuses on finding a process for Oregon to update its timber practices, supporting legislation on aerial spraying of pesticides, and expanding forest stream buffers in the Rogue-Siskiyou region to further protect fish.

The recent changes incorporated give the timber industry a stronger voice in both mediation and execution. I look forward to seeing how this mediation process works in future conversations around Oregon's abundant timber resources.

This is a good step in the right direction to ending the environmentalist's war on timber, that has plagued our state and decimated rural communities for far too long.

Curbing the Governor's Authority

Many of you have reached out to me over the last several months via email and facebook on the issue of gubernatorial overreach. I have heard you, I agree with you and I take your concerns seriously. For those reasons, I brought forward an amendment to House Bill 4212 that would have created a more transparent and accountable system to the emergency declaration process in Oregon. This amendment would have protected Oregonians from government overreach, and required all extensions of the governor's executive orders to be approved by the legislature prior to implementation. Requiring legislative approval of executive orders would add a layer of checks and balances to the process that is not currently in place.

I will continue to work hard to add accountability to the Governor's power in emergencies.

-39 amendment hb 4212

Legal Certainty to Reopen Schools and Businesses

I have been diligently supporting the establishment of limited liability protections for schools, nonprofits and businesses who need certainty to reopen their doors in the COVID environment.

Businesses and schools have faced relentless challenges adapting to changing expectations for customer, worker and student safety. As they have worked to meet these guidelines the chance for ongoing community spread of COVID-19 is still present. The potential for lawsuits in this environment have added risk and uncertainty that could prevent some organizations from reopening or remaining open. As I work to support a robust recovery I am committed to providing a safe harbor for those entities which are doing all they can to follow state and federal public safety guidelines. I will be co-chairing a bipartisan workgroup in the weeks ahead and supporting legislation to address this concern in the next special session.

Remote Online Notarization Now Legal in Oregon


Have a Safe and Happy Independence Day!


Have a wonderful fourth of July weekend as we celebrate who we are as Americans, at what it means to live in the land of the free.

Capitol Phone: 503-986-1439
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, H-395, Salem, OR 97301
Email: Rep.ChristineDrazan@oregonlegislature.gov
Website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/drazan