The Epilogue aka Post 2nd Session Wrap Up

Representative Raquel Moore-Green

August 12, 2020

Hello -

Late Monday evening we completed the 2nd Special Session.  This session was called by the Governor with the primary purpose of rebalancing Oregon’s budget.  We had an approximate $1 billion deficit which required us to rebalance the budget for the remainder of the current biennium.  The framework provided by the Co-Chairs was used to reach agreement on budgetary issues.  Some of the programs and services that were prioritized for preservation in the budget rebalance were:

  • EDUCATION: The K-12 State School Fund, funding for the Student Success Act’s early learning programs.
  • HEALTH: Support for Oregon Health and Science University, the Oregon Health Authority, and the Department of Human Services
  • HOUSING: Housing stabilization programs and Emergency Housing Assistance, Homeless Assistance, and affordable housing preservation.
  • VETERANS: Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs positions to support veterans, including the Veterans Crisis Line.
  • SOCIAL SERVICES: Child support and domestic and sexual violence services.
  • FIRE SERVICES: Fire Protection and sudden Oak Death programs.

One of the bills passed was SB 5721.  It modified the amounts and purposes authorized for issuance of general obligation and revenue bonds for the biennium. I am pleased that this bill includes general obligation bond funding for the City of Salem’s drinking water project.  The improvements will also help Turner with their water project as the two cities draw water from a shared reservoir.  The original ask was higher but a significant investment of just over $20 million will go a long way towards completion of these projects.  Clean water is essential for the continued health and growth of our cities.

We were called into this session to balance the budget.  However, policy bills were added to the agenda late Friday evening.  We worked just over 15 hours with little if any input from the public – this is not the way our system of governance was designed to work.  Public meetings were not held on any of the bills.  In a post session interview printed in the Statesman Journal Senate President Courtney commented: “I don’t want to say we overreached, but we did…. We went in with three major bills and we didn’t have a plan.”

My hope is that this does not happen again.   It is disappointing that the leadership did not provide opportunities to hear from the constituents we represent.  Oregonians expect more and deserve more from their legislature.   Regardless of the COVID19 culture we need to provide more access and greater transparency for the public.

Along with my fellow colleagues we are grateful and honored to have performed our primary duty as legislators - rebalancing the budget considering the economic fallout of the COVID19 pandemic. With the work accomplished in June at the first special session: addressing policy issues directly created by COVID-19, the police accountability work, and now with the second special session to balance the budget our work should be complete for the year.  During this time of governance under executive orders our role as the legislative branch has been accomplished.  At a cost of approximately $24,000 for this one day of special session, it would be prudent for our governor not to call us in for a third session.

Department of Education

  • The Oregon Department of Education has released new guidance with an updated document on metrics to reopen schools.  It is worth noting that several changes have been made to allow the opening of in-person learning for Oregon’s special education and English-learning students.
  • Guidance for K12 sports has been posted on OHA’s website. Separate guidance for club sports is in conversation.

Child Advocacy Centers

My colleagues Ron Noble and Anna Williams wrote an op-ed in support of, the urgent need for legislative leadership and the Emergency Board to address the needs of Oregon’s children’s advocacy centers-CACs, and I was able to sign on as well. CACs are required by law to perform medical examinations on victims of child abuse in order to collect evidence to assist law enforcement, yet the state government that passed that law offers them little in the way of funding. Our local CAC, Liberty House, provides essential services and  during the pandemic, their need for state funding has increased dramatically (along with the number and severity of child abuse incidents),The op-ed in the Oregonian was printed past weekend.

YOUR DISTRICT - YOUR VOICE:  Aumsville, Turner, and Salem

  • Monday, August 17th from 5:30-6:30 PM at the Aumsville Skate Park,
  • Wednesday, August 19th from 5:30-6:30 PM in Burkland Park in Turner and
  • Thursday, August the 27th from 7:30-8:30 AM at Rudy’s Encore cafe, 2800 Pringle Rd SE, in Salem; Senator Denyc Boles and I will be available to hear from you. 

We hope to see you at one of these three Your District – Your Voice gatherings.


In the interim if we can be of help to you as you navigate your state government please call or email.  My door is always open and my staff, Pam McClain, Lena Prine, and I welcome your participation. As your state representative, I am here to listen, respond, and lead.

All my best,


Raquel Moore-Green
Representative House District 19, South Salem, Turner & Aumsville

Capitol Phone: 503-986-1419
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, H-385, Salem, OR 97301
Website:   |  FB @reprmghd19