July Newsletter & COVID-19 Update


Senator Floyd Prozanski
South Lane and North Douglas Counties
District 4

900 Court St. NE, S-413, Salem Oregon 97301
Capitol phone: 503-986-1704
E-mail: sen.floydprozanski@oregonlegislature.gov
Website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/prozanski
e-Bulletin                     July 2020

If you're having trouble viewing this message, please visit my legislative web page at http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/prozanski/, click on "News" in the lower left-hand column and scroll down.

Dear friends,

    I hope everyone had a safe and happy Fourth of July! We were fortunate in June to enjoy mild temperatures and occasional rains, but warmer weather is drying fuels quickly. Fire season is now officially upon us. Just as we all use caution these when out and about to help limit the spread of COVID-19, please also use caution when using open flames outdoors. The last thing we need is a bad fire season fueled by human causes.

    This week, the Legislature's newly formed Joint Committee on Transparent Policing & Use of Force Reform, on which I'm a member, will hold several meetings to begin considering new policies beyond the progress made during last week's special session. The meetings are scheduled for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. –– noon. You can watch the meetings and view materials here.

    The Spreading Kindness Campaign, in coordination with other local organizations, shared the below graphic with me. I find it both timely and important as we navigate a challenging new reality. Please feel free to pass it on and help keep each other safe!


    Below you will find information on:

- Latest Oregon COVID-19 Infection Data
        - Updates from the Oregon Employment Department
        - Scam Alert: Hackers Targeting Mobile Banking Apps
        - Territorial Highway Construction: What to Expect This Summer
        - Primary Resource Links

    I hope this information is helpful and informative for you or someone you know. As always, feel free to share your comments, questions or concerns with me by phone, mail or e-mail.

                                                               Sen. Prozanski signature

Latest Oregon COVID-19 Infection Data

    As of July 7, our state has experienced the following number of positive cases and deaths attributable to COVID-19, as reported by the Oregon Health Authority:

  • 10,605 cases in Oregon
  • 271,387 people tested for COVID-19 in Oregon
  • 220 deaths reported in Oregon


Updates from the Oregon Employment Department

    I continue to hear from constituents who are facing challenges or delays in dealing with the unemployment benefit process. I share their frustrations. I'm sorry people are not receiving responses or payments in a more timely manner. We've been working with the department to get answers. Here is the latest update from the Oregon Employment Department (OED) to legislators:

  • OED has paid out almost $2.5 billion in unemployment benefits since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The department will continue to hire more staff to get more money to more people.

  • Last week, OED hired 114 employees. Some (35), are internal promotions to adjudicators but most are new employees. More than 90 of those employees started last week in various stages of training.

  • Prior to the pandemic, OED had about 80 adjudicators. As of this week, the department has more than 125 and is planning to double that number. They now have at least 85 people processing Work Share applications. In March, they had 2-4 at any given time.

  • Since the pandemic's start, 1,379 employers have signed up for Work Share, with more than 15,000 people getting Work Share benefits last week. OED's goal for this week is to process 7,500 applications.

  • OED is close to launching a new Google application for PUA, which will allow the department to more quickly input applications into its system for processing, and will improve its reporting capabilities.

  • By the end of this week, OED is adding 150-200 phone lines to improve capacity for both the regular unemployment and PUA calls.

Scam Alert: 
Hackers Targeting Mobile Banking Apps

    As many of us use mobile banking apps while spending more time at home, the Oregon Attorney General and the Oregon Bankers Association are warning Oregonians to be on high alert for cyber actors exploiting these platforms using app-based banking trojans and fake banking apps.

    Last month, the FBI issued a warning that specifically pointed to the threat of banking "trojans," which involve hiding a malicious virus on a user's mobile device until a legitimate banking app is downloaded. Once the real app is on the device, the banking trojan then overlays the app, tricking the user into clicking on it and inputting their banking login credentials.

    Fake banking apps were also cited as a threat, where users are tricked into downloading malicious apps that steal sensitive banking information. 
In order to combat these threats, Oregon's Attorney General is sharing the following tips to keep Oregonians'  personal information protected:
  1. Obtain apps from trusted sources. Only download apps from trusted sources. Many financial institutions provide a link to their mobile banking app on their website. You can also scan a QR code that will direct you the official app store where you can download and install the corresponding app.
  2. Use two-factor authentication. Cyber security experts have stressed that two-factor authentication is a highly effective tool to secure accounts against compromise and enabling any form of two-factor authentication will be to the user's advantage. For more information on how to use two-factor authentication, visit OnGuardOnline.gov.
  3. Use strong passwords and good password security. Cyber criminals regularly exploit users who reuse passwords or use common or insecure passwords. To mitigate these attacks, create strong, unique passwords, and be sure to make passwords or passphrases 15 characters or longer. For more information on using strong passwords and password security, visit OnGuardOnline.gov.
  4. If a banking app appears suspicious, call the bank. If you encounter an app that appears suspicious, do not download it before confirming it is legitimate. To confirm, call the bank at the customer service number posted on their website.

    For more tips on how to avoid mobile banking fraud, visit https://www.aba.com/advocacy/community-programs/consumer-resources/protect-your-money/protecting-your-mobile-device. If you have been a victim of an app-based banking trojan or fake banking app, file a complaint online at www.oregonconsumer.gov or call 1-877-877-9392 and ask that a complaint form be mailed to you.

Territorial Highway Construction: What to Expect This Summer

    Construction has begun along Territorial Highway between Gillispie Corners and Lorane. The first phase of construction includes stabilizing Stony Point, softening the sharp curves along this segment of road, and widening the road. As such, Lane County is sharing a detailed project update:

    Lane County is contracting with Marcum and Sons to stabilize the road near Stony Point to prevent future sliding and shifting of the road. This will require addressing three different landslides in a 2,500-foot section of road and installing a retaining wall across the largest slide area. A second contractor will excavate and replace the landslides with soil and flexible mesh (geotextile) material to create reinforced soil. The new road will be constructed on top of the reinforced soil and retaining wall.

    During construction, the road will remain open for at least one lane of bi-directional travel. The available travel lane will be a gravel/dirt surface. There may be short intervals of very limited traffic delays while construction work is in progress. A mixture of approaches will be used to navigate traffic through the work site. These will likely include the use of flaggers (people who use hand signals, signs, and/or flags to communicate if and when it is safe to proceed through a construction site), pilot cars (aka escort cars), and temporary traffic signals.

    Please note that it is recommended that people traveling on bicycles use alternative routes as the work zone will likely be steep and hard to navigate on a bicycle.

    Soil replacement and wall construction is expected to be completed by late fall 2020. While we are hopeful that road widening and paving will be completed this year, it is possible that it may take additional time to complete. The leading factor that will determine the final construction period is the weather – a wetter than usual summer or an early start to the rainy season could potentially extend the total construction period.

Construction Phases:

  1. 2020 — Stony Point
  2. 2021 — Gillespie Corners
  3. 2022 — Easy Acres to Hamm
  4. 2023 — Lorane

    ODOT wants to hear from you! In the world of COVID-19, however, they are hesitant to schedule a public meeting but tentatively hope to be able to hold an in-person open house during fall 2020 (subject to change). In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact Lane County staff to share your thoughts and questions about the project. For more information about possible traffic impacts from construction, contact Matt Young at 541-682-6929 or Matthew.Young@lanecountyor.gov. For comments or questions about the project in general, contact Sasha Vartanian at 541-682-6598 or Sasha.Vartanian@lanecountyor.gov.

Primary Resource Links

    Here's a list of government resources that you may find useful:


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