COVID-19 Updates 7/31/2020

Rep. Sollman

Friends and Neighbors,

Joint Committee on Transparent Policing and Use of Force Reform Updates

This week the Joint Committee on Transparent Policing and Use of Force Reform continues to hold public hearings on addressing systemic problems in policing. The committee met on Wednesday, Thursday and will meet again this morning at 10:00 am to hear public testimony on the legislative concepts that have come out of the last few weeks of work. You can watch previous hearings by clicking on the links below and view the text of the draft bills listed. 


  • LC 742: Relating to the use of tools by law enforcement agencies
  • LC 743: Relating to police officer uniforms and identification


  • LC 744: Relating to police officer misconduct
  • LC 745: Relating to the use of force by police officers


  • LC 746: Relating to arbitration awards
  • LC 748: Relating to records of discipline of police officers

To submit written testimony on any of these concepts, email the committee here:

CSG West

This week, my staff and I were able to virtually attend the CSG West annual conference. The Council of State Governments West (CSG West) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that serves the western legislatures of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, the Pacific islands of American Samoa, the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, and Guam. Associate members include the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia. 

Last year, I was fortunate to attend the conference in beautiful Big Sky, Montana and while this year was very different, CSG West did a great job organizing a wonderful line-up of virtual events that we were able to attend and learn about a variety of topics. We have highlighted a few of them below for you and will share more with you in Tuesday's newsletter.

Improving Community Connections with Broadband


Top: Comcast Cable / Bottom: Comcast Fiber

When the Council of State Governments West (CSG West) moved their annual meeting to a virtual format, it seemed certain that rural broadband connectivity would be an important topic.  In fact, some of the scheduled presenters had to pre-record their sessions because of bandwidth constraints in their local community.  Overwhelmingly rural communities in the region and nationwide are unable to access the internet at speeds that urban and suburban residents take for granted.  You don’t even need to live “that far out of town” before the larger internet providers don’t consider your community “commercially viable.”  (For one example, see the above coverage area maps for Comcast fiber and cable in Oregon).  

The COVID-19 crisis has brought clarity to an idea that had been forming for sometime:  Broadband connectivity is an essential service.  Broadband connectivity is currently linked to prosperity in the way electricity and telephone were in the 1930s. It’s not about entertainment.  Broadband powers public health, telemedicine, remote education, work from home opportunities and more.  When our rural communities aren’t connected at high speeds it limits their ability to be successful in the data driven society we’ve created.  

In the first legislative special session of 2020 both chambers passed, and the governor signed SB 1603, which will provide up to $5 million annually to expand broadband services in rural areas.  It is imperative that state and local governments explore innovative ways to bring these services to rural Oregonians.  

Pros, Cons and In-Between of Bail Reform

Jeffrey Clayton, the Executive Director of the American Bail Coalition, Senator Bob Hertzberg of the California State Senate and Justice Maryann Moreno, Superior Court Judge, Spokane County gave us a lively debate on the pros and cons of bail reform. On one side of the argument, we know that people of color and those from disadvantaged backgrounds have higher rates of incarceration and there is a disproportionate number of people of color that cannot post bail. Senator Hertzberg described our current bail system as a "horse and buggy" process taking place in a breakthrough technological time in our lives. Bail systems should not be set up to ruin people’s lives, create public risks or feed the bail bond insurance companies. People do not show up for court appearances due to leaving for the islands, they do not show up due to simply forgetting. Justice Moreno chimed in that you sit in jail if you do not have the personal resources. The bail system becomes a system for the haves and a system against the have-nots.

On the other side of the argument, Jeffrey Clayton defends the use of money in bail and says that bail is the system that has been in place for over 400 years. He believes the Eighth Amendment lays out a sensible way to deal with this. We should not be spending money to supervise people. The choice should be between bail and release and that’s it. Money needs to be invested in prevention programs to keep people out of the system in the first place.

The Roles of Legislatures in Police Reform

With major current events occurring across the nation in support of Black Lives Matter and against police brutality, Law Enforcement Policy change has re-emerged as an imperative in 2020. The National Council of State Legislatures bill tracker shows 26 different states with over 300 proposed bills on police accountability. While law enforcement policy is inherently local, federal law also has a role to play in interpreting the Bill of Rights, through the Supreme Court, and Congress has indicated some real interest in these issues with both House and Senate introducing omnibus bills to address law enforcement policy.

States however, have been leading the way with the passage of police accountability and reform bills, including Oregon, that recently passed six bills relating to police accountability: HB 4201HB 4203HB 4205HB 4207HB 4208, SB 1604.

We heard from Representative Herod from Colorado, who sponsored one of the most aggressive bills passed so far in 2020 regarding police accountability. She shared that we see the effects of over-policing on our community every single day. As a person of color, her brother, a doctor, gets pulled over on a regular basis, for driving too nice of a car and being in too nice of a neighborhood. There are too many members of law enforcement that have different motives or different view of what their job should be. Many times we see that the officers that commit these acts have a history of complaints, or bad behaviors. That is a problem and that is part of her passion that drives her to continue to seek change.

Representative Hutchings of Utah shared about the recent passage of a bill he co-sponsored that limits the use of chokeholds and prevents law enforcement from being trained to use this method. He said that the bill went through without a challenge. Everybody understands this issue and their hearts are with the national movement. He appreciates that people are getting passionate across the board.

Reviewing Benefits of Electrification in the Energy Sector

There are many positive benefits that electrification of the energy sector can provide, including resource efficiency, consumer costs, infrastructure efficiency, public health and policy compliance. 

Resource Efficiency: Electrification uses less primary energy than direct combustion of fossil fuels.

Consumer Costs: Electric Vehicles (EVs) are already cheaper on a life-cycle basis, and will soon cost less upfront than gas-fueled vehicles. This will mostly be due to future decline in battery costs, thus EVs will be cheaper to build and sell in the future. Electrification is cheaper for new homes than gas-fueled appliances across US climate zones.

Infrastructure Efficiency: EVs allow for better utilization of electric grid infrastructure. Widespread electrification can lower heating, transportation, and electricity costs for all consumers.

Public Health: Illness and deaths from vehicle-related and indoor air pollution are addressed by electrification.

Policy Compliance: Electrification is a critical tool for meeting existing policy goals around carbon emissions reduction. Economy-wide CO2 reductions goals across the 13 Western state cover 79% of regional energy-related CO2 emissions. Electrification is a least-cost and flexible option for meeting economy-wide emission goals.

Policy Opportunities:

  • Revamp energy efficiency policies
  • Coordinate and encourage EV charging network development
  • Promote electricity rate structures that encourage affordable EV charging
  • Remove disincentives for fuel switching from gas to electric heat pump appliances
  • Encourage market transformation to scale home electrification supply chains
  • Enable a safe and affordable transition pathway for gas distribution systems.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, electrification can also be an economic recovery tool as far as job training, workforce development, and building of EV infrastructure.

Trimet Updates


Effective Sunday, July 26th, TriMet is increasing the rider capacity on buses and trains. Buses will now carry 19 passengers, or up to 24 if there are couples or families riding together. A MAX car will carry 22 people, or up to 26 with couples and families. WES will carry 25 to 37 passengers, depending on the type of train.

This change is based on the 3-foot physical distancing guidelines for transit previously announced by Governor Brown and the Oregon Health Authority. We held off implementing 3-foot distancing until we could put in place additional safety measures:

  • Face coverings are available on all our buses and trains and hand sanitizer is available on all buses and some trains.
  • Our enhanced cleaning program is in place. We’re now cleaning every bus with disinfecting fog after it has been in service, we have additional cleaning tools like UV light, and our new team of cleaners is ready to disinfect major touch points on most buses and trains with a goal of a 4 hour interval between disinfection.
  • Face coverings are required on board and most riders are wearing them. Don't worry if you've forgotten your mask — we have dispensers on board. Remember — small children and people who are not physically able to wear them don’t have to.

We will be updating our signs on seats to reflect the 3-foot distance guidelines.

If a bus is already at capacity, it will not pick up new passengers until someone exits. We are monitoring pass-ups and we’ll try to adjust service if buses are consistently full – and ridership remains down about 60% – but you may still want to leave extra time for your trip. Starting in August, most bus lines will resume their regular weekday schedules.

Community Outreach

Community Conversation on Mental Health and Well-Being

CCRegister here

Taking Care of Our Mental Health Needs

As COVID-19 health concerns still loom, it is more important than ever that we take care of our full physical and mental health needs. Without first taking care of yourself, you are not in full capacity to take care of others. I found this article that had some very easy and doable steps to self-care success. Click on the link for more detail of each step.

  1. Have an aligned routine in place
  2. Create a peaceful space/environment.
  3. Establish a self-care routine.
  4. Becoming aware of what your mind is to you.
  5. Name your feelings when you’re feeling anxious.
  6. Check in with yourself regularly.
  7. Know your trusted inner circle
  8. Remember you are not alone.

Your Voice Matters: Safety & Policing in Hillsboro

Share your thoughts and ideas with Hillsboro City Councilors, including a special online City Council meeting on Saturday, August 1, at 10 am.

The Hillsboro City Council continues to gather feedback from community members about what policing and safety means to them. Voices of communities of color are valued and centered in this conversation.

Special City Council Meeting: 

On Saturday, August 1, at 10 am, the City Council will host a special online meeting on Zoom focused on receiving public comments on policing and public safety in our community.

To speak to the Council, you can email your name, Zoom name and/or telephone number to Send an email to City Council.

You can also sign up during the beginning of these online Council meetings by texting the number on the screen. You will have up to three minutes per person to address the full Council. Groups can request to combine time into one speaker.

Listening Session

On Saturday, August 8, two online listening sessions will be led by diversity, equity, and inclusion trainer and facilitator Frances Portillo. Community members who want to speak outside of a City Council meeting can participate on Zoom:

Visit the City of Hillsboro's website here for more information on these upcoming meetings.

Additional Resources

 House District 30 Links

Federal Delegation Links

Education Links

Utilities Assistance

Food and Housing Assistance


This week I was joined by North Plains Mayor Teri Lenahan on my weekly Walk-N-Talk. Want to set up a meeting on the move? Please give me a call 503-986-1430 or email my office at

Walk N Talk

Be good to yourself and each other. ❤

Onward & Upward,


Capitol Phone: 503-986-1430
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE, H-487, Salem, Oregon 97301