COVID-19 Updates 8/25/2020

Rep. Sollman

Friends and Neighbors,

Employment Department Updates

$500 Emergency Check Program Conclusion

Thank you to the staff at all the credit unions that helped all the people across Oregon with the $500 emergency funding. Due to the overwhelming response, the program has ended to walk-in recipients. However, funds have been obligated to remaining appointments through Monday, August 31. If you have an appointment, do not cancel, as you should still receive funds.

I especially thank the staff of the OnPoint Community Credit Union in Hillsboro. I loaded up my car with water bottles and granola bars to hand out to the crowds of people there. The lines were long, the stories were hard, the frustration was building as word got around that funds were drying up. Seeing the people waiting in their chairs, from the young to the elderly, that are needing resources to help fill a gap before receiving Unemployment Insurance benefits was emotional. COVID-19 has negatively impacted so many. If you need help, contact for connection to local services.

Lawmakers have been clear from the start that these were limited funds and we know it’s not enough given the desperation people are feeling. This was a critical opportunity to make a difference for 70,000 Oregonians who badly need more help. This program has put a spotlight on the level of desperation Oregonians and Americans are facing due to an inadequate federal response to this public health and economic crisis.

Lost Wages Assistance Program

The Oregon Employment Department is applying for the federal Lost Wages Assistance program. These benefits amount to $300 per week for an estimated three to five weeks.

The Employment Department is working quickly to move forward with this temporary measure. The agency will have an estimate of when payments to Oregonians could start after the application is approved by the federal government. Meanwhile, many significant issues need to be resolved, including how how much state money may be required for FEMA to provide these benefits.

Once payments can begin, they will be given automatically and retroactively, going back to the week ending August 1, for each week someone received other unemployment benefits. For some people, no further information will be needed; federal requirements mean the Employment Department will have to get a certification from some others. The Employment Department will share more information about the timing and process as it becomes available. Regular updates are available at, and through the agency’s Twitter and Facebook pages.

Read the full statement from Oregon Employment Department Acting Director David Gerstenfeld here.

Unemployment Information for School Employees

Federal and state unemployment insurance benefit laws entail some of the most complicated processes for school employees, both public and private. The Oregon Employment Department has answers to some of the most frequently asked questions on this topic here. There is also a school webinar scheduled for this Thursday, August 27th, that will be broken into two parts:

  • Part 1: School Employees and Reasonable Assurance
  • Part 2: Parents unable to work due to schools being closed

Register here.

Governor Updates

On Friday, Governor Kate Brown warned that failure to bring down our COVID-19 cases could delay the opening of schools. We must continue to do our part to protect our communities from the spread of COVID-19. Watch her full press briefing here. Remember, wear a face covering, socially distance and wash your hands regularly. Together, we'll get through this. 

Governor Updates

Emergency Board Updates

Oregon Cares Fund

Last month, the Oregon Legislature's Emergency Board allocated $64 million to support the Oregon Cares Fund for Black relief and resiliency. This fund was created to support Black individuals and families, Black businesses, and Black community-based organizations statewide in weathering the health and economic storm that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused. Learn more about the fund and how to apply here.

Community Outreach

Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education

Please see the following announcement from the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education.

The Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education is proud to have been selected by the Council of American Jewish Museums (CAJM) as one of 10 Jewish museums to record and collect our community’s stories of this moment in history. This project will provide a snapshot for researchers and future generations of being Jewish in Oregon in 2020—how we have collectively and individually experienced the pandemic, the Black Lives Matter protests, struggles for justice, and the 2020 presidential election.

We are looking for Jewish community members of all ages and backgrounds to be interviewed. Please step forward and contact us if you are willing to have an interview conducted. And reach out to your friends and relatives who might not get this letter. We want to cast a wide net throughout the state. Additionally, perhaps you would also like to be trained as an interviewer for the project? We would love to hear from you! Please email Alisha Babbstein,, to sign up or ask more questions. Thank you for your continued support of our mission and work.


Additional Resources

 House District 30 Links

Federal Delegation Links

Education Links

Utilities Assistance

Food and Housing Assistance

National Anthem

I was so moved by the beautiful sounds of the voices from across our nation singing our National Anthem last week. Please take a moment to focus on the music, the talent and the unity of song.

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