August 11th Update: Second Special Session, Case Data and more

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Dear Friends and Neighbors, 

Yesterday, we held the Second Special Session of 2020, and it was a very long day! 15 hours of work at the capitol! Overall, the results of the session were good, we passed important bills to rebalance the state budget, while maintaining our most essential services.  I believe our budget is a reflection of our values, and we put our money where our hearts are, with education, healthcare, housing, and serving the many Oregonians currently waiting for unemployment benefits.  We will still face even tougher choices and budget challenges during the 2021 session, but between our reserves and the hard work of my colleagues on the Ways and Means Committee, I believe we are prepared to face those challenges.  In addition to budgeting, we passed an another measure to ensure we have safe, accountable and anti-racist policing in Oregon, this bill was brought to us by the Joint Committee on Transparent Policing and Use of Force Reform and passed with broad bi-partisan support.  We passed one bill to improve the speed of processing PUA unemployment benefits, and another to make it easier for part-time workers to continue accessing some benefits while workers and businesses adjust and scale up operation gradually.  Finally we took action to improve workplace culture and accountability within the capitol, to make it a safer and more welcoming place for all.  Much like the 1st Special Session, we remained in our offices and wore masks most of the day, visiting the floor to vote and speak on bills, and watching proceedings on OLIS.  The masks definitely got pretty hot by the end of the day, but I appreciated how seriously all my colleagues took these important safety measures.  They might be annoying and cumbersome, but they made it possible for all of us to gather and get to work!

  • HCR 221: Modifies obligation to make conduct reports under rule.
  • HB 4302: Establishes and modifies fees and requirements relating to permits for mineral exploration, mining operations, exclusion certificates, gas and oil drilling and exploration and geothermal well drilling operation.
  • HB 4303: Directs State Treasurer to transfer monies from Education Stability Fund to State School Fund.
  • HB 4304: Modifies requirements relating to certain fiscal reports
  • HB 5221: Modifies amounts of lottery funds allocated from Administrative Services Economic Development Fund to state agencies.
  • SB 1701: Provides that unemployed individual receiving unemployment insurance benefits who has earnings from less than full-time employment may earn greater of $300 or one-third of individual's weekly benefit amount before individual's weekly benefit amount is reduced.
  • SB 1703: Provides that during statutorily declared emergency Governor may authorize Director of Department of Revenue to disclose certain information set forth in tax report or return to any state agency if director determines that administration of any federal or state law or program, including, but not limited to, administration of unemployment insurance laws and programs by Employment Department, requires disclosure to enable agency to verify identity or income level of any person for purposes related to emergency or any consequences of emergency.
  • SB 5721: Modifies amounts and purposes authorized for issuance of general obligation bonds and revenue bonds for biennium. 
  • SB 5722: Modifies limits on payment of expenses from specified funds by certain state agencies for capital construction.
  • SB 5723: Appropriates moneys from General Fund to Emergency Board for allocations during biennium.
  • SCR 221: Adjourns sine die 2020 second special session of Eightieth Legislative Assembly

Maintaining our State School Fund:

HB 4303 Education Stability

For me, the highlight of this Special Session was maintaining our State School Fund. As we have worked to face and plan around budget shortfalls, a primary objective for myself and my colleagues has been to ensure that we do all we can to protect Oregon students from harmful program cuts amid the uncertainty of the pandemic and holding critical investments in public education harmless at a time of such widespread unpredictability.  In this moment, we are seeing too many around the country call for cuts to education funding. This would have horrible consequences for our students as they work through the challenges of learning during a worldwide pandemic that has turned their lives upside down.

The budget rebalance we passed yesterday ensures that the State School Fund, the major source of funding for K-12 school districts across Oregon, remains intact. It also prioritizes funding from the Student Success Act for early learning programs and programs in the Statewide Education Initiatives account, including full funding to expand opportunities for young Oregonians in career and technical education.  

In Oregon, we are recognizing that education cuts at this time would be devastating. We are working to keep education whole at all levels, from early learning to K-12 to Higher Education.  It’s clear that many districts will need to conduct some form of distance learning for at least the near future. This is far from ideal, even if it is necessary to protect our public health.  This is why our school districts will need our support. The digital divide is real. It particularly impacts communities of color and rural communities. We must preserve funding to support these communities. It will also be costly for districts that do return to a hybrid model or in-person education to take necessary safety and hygiene measures in order to protect the health of our students and teachers, as well as their families.

While there is a lot of uncertainty ahead, it is essential our state provide some much-needed stability by maintaining our State School Fund to allow districts the funding and flexibility they need to provide students at all levels with safe and effective learning environments this year.  That is why I was proud to carry HB 4303 to the floor yesterday, and was delighted it passed.  

House Chamber

New Developments

  • Shout out to Forest Grove Daybreak Rotary for their service to our community! "Right now, by no fault of their own, a lot of people have found themselves in difficult circumstances, and here's an organization with the wherewithal in terms of donations, volunteer time, and enthusiasm to help their community." Said President Mitch Taylor.  I am so proud of the way out community is stepping up for each other, and taking action to help those hit hardest by this pandemic.  Read more in this article by the Forest Grove News Times.  
  • Fire Season Report: As of last week, Oregon had experienced 871 fires for 10,057 acres burned. This includes fires and acres burned across all fire jurisdictions in Oregon, such as ODF protected lands, federal lands, tribal lands and the rangeland in southeastern Oregon. The ten-year annual average is 1,983 fires and 517,270 acres burned. 
Fire Report

Current large fires in Oregon - all lands (Defined as 100+ acres timber or 300+ acres grass

  • School Enrollment and Transfer Options: As families make plans for the start of school, it is important to know that regular rules and policies regarding student enrollment are still in effect for the 2020-21 school year. These options include Intradistrict Transfer, Interdistrict Transfer, Tuition, Contract, Homeschool, and Enrollment in public charter schools. Please take the time to review these policies to familiarize yourselves with all the options available.
  • Free Masks and PPE for Farm Workers at Tualatin River Farm from noon to 5pm on August 20th.
Free PPE for Ag Workers

Case Data

  • National Numbers:
    • Confirmed Cases: 5,064,171 (up 40,522 from yesterday)
    • Deaths: 162,407 (up 565 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 21,774 total cases (confirmed and presumptive) of COVID-19.  
    • Today we have 302 new confirmed and presumptive cases, and 11 new deaths. These 11 deaths include 8 Oregonians who died in June and July, but whose deaths were recently determined to be caused by COVID-19 through new work by OHA to review death certificate information for cause of death and to reconcile them with previous county reports of COVID-19 related deaths. 
    • Monday: 277 cases, 1 death
    • Sunday: 263 cases, 1 death
    • Saturday: 376 cases, 7 deaths
    • A total of 368 Oregonians have died from COVID-19.  
  • Washington County still has one of the highest case counts at 3,161 confirmed cases, including 41 new cases today.  You can review on-going updates from OHA by clicking on the table below.
  • The Oregon Health Authority recently provided 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. 
Daily Update August 11th

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

Safe Shopping

If resources like curbside pickup are not available or will not work for you, please follow the safety measures above to protect yourself, staff, and other shoppers!

Health Resources

If you are struggling with mental health or addiction whether it is long standing or caused by COVID-19, you are not alone.  There are resources, loving peers and trained professionals who can help you get through difficult times.  Rep Sollman and her staff put this wonderful list of health resources together, please check out these resources and share them widely.  

Mental Health Resources

 Other Resources:

  • Dial 2-1-1 or visit for help connecting to a wide variety of services
  • Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and press 1 for support specific to veterans.
  • Alcohol & Drug Helpline: 1-800-923-4357
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
  • Military Helpline: 1-888-457-4838
  • Oregon Youthline: 1-877-968-8491 or text teen2teen to 839863, chat at

Addiction & Recovery Resources

Lines of Life

National Vaccine Awareness Month!

While making or keeping medical appointments can seem nerve wracking or low priority at this time. It is important that we don’t emerge from COVID-19 only to be met with a wave of vaccine preventable illnesses! That’s why this month, OHA is working to be sure Oregon families get up-to-date immunizations! Health providers have been modifying their practices to make well-patient visits low-risk and easy! Check out the information and videos below from Oregon Health Authority to learn more about the safety practices and resources available.  

Before rescheduling any upcoming childhood vaccination or well visit appointments, call your child’s health care provider to find out if the appointment can remain as scheduled and what precautions they are taking to keep everyone safe from COVID-19.

  • Many health care providers’ offices are taking special precautions such as ensuring children who are well are kept separate from sick children.
  • Many providers are limiting the number of people who can go with a child to their appointment and are taking temperatures of all family members before allowing them into the building.
  • Some providers are providing drive-up vaccine programs.

With so many people out of work and without health insurance, it’s important to know you can still keep your child safe. The Vaccines for Children (VFC) program offers free vaccines to families who cannot afford to pay for their children’s vaccines. Call 211 to find out more about VFC.

If your children need health insurance, they may be eligible for the Oregon Health Plan (OHP). It is open to all children and teens younger than 19, regardless of immigration status, who meet income and other criteria. Trained community partners across the state can help you fill out an application. Visit to find community partners in your area.

Vaccine Awareness-English

Vaccine Awareness Month

Vaccine Awareness-Spanish

Agosto es el Mes Nacional de la Vacunación

Unemployment Updates

As you may know, earlier this summer the Legislative Emergency Board passed a funding measure to help people who are still waiting for employment benefits.  Progress is being made in implementing that measure, and funds should be available soon. I do not have all the details on how individuals can apply for funds, but I do have an update about eligibility: 

To be eligible, a person must:

  1. Be a current resident of Oregon and 18 years or older.
  2. Be able to prove their identity and that they are an in-state resident.
  3. Attest that they are experiencing severe financial hardship due to the Governor’s executive orders 20-07 and/or 20-12 or indirectly due to these orders.
    1. These are the “Stay Home, Save Lives” orders that closed many restaurants and personal services to slow the spread of COVID-19. Many sectors – like personal transportation services – were indirectly affected by the orders and may have resulted in a significant loss of income.
  4. Have earned $4,000/month or less pre-tax prior to their income loss due to COVID-19.
  5. NOT be current on their unemployment payments:
    1. Current simply means they have received all payments for all weeks claimed except for their current claim week. Applicants should count base payments for traditional Unemployment Insurance and the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program – not the $600 enhanced payment that ended July 31, 2020.
    2. They may be eligible if they never applied for or were denied unemployment or are stuck in adjudication.
    3. They may be eligible if they are not current on unemployment benefits and have since returned to work.

Employment Department Updates: 

OED recently got clarity from the US Department of Labor that they can define “gross earnings” which should help some PUA filers.  Last week the department had a webinar on the topic of “gross earnings” and their new “Benefits While You Wait” program, you can watch that webinar here.  

OED will be holding another Webinar on the PUA “gross earnings” change on Thursday August 13th.  You can register here.

PUA Webinar

Additional Resources

Employers and Employees

Oregon Secretary of State’s business resources can be found at or you can email questions to Education Links

Local Government

Utilities Assistance

Food and Housing Assistance



Oregon Health Authority


View Past Updates, Share and Subscribe: 

If there was COVID-related information in a past newsletter that you want to go back to, but find you’ve deleted it, you can always go to my legislative website (, click on “News and Information,” and you’ll find them all there. You can also share this site with your friends and loved ones, so they can view past newsletters, and subscribe to future updates.  

Susan after Session

It was a super tiring 18 hour day, but I’m proud of the work my colleagues and I accomplished yesterday!

Yours truly,

Representative Susan McLain

Representative Susan McLain
House District 29

email: I phone: 503-986-1429
address: 900 Court St NE, H-376, Salem, OR 97301