Summer Legislative Update from Senator Findley

Senator Findley

Ashwood School


I hope you are doing well, staying safe and enjoying your summer. There has been a lot of activity since we last connected so here’s an update on what we’re working on in Salem for you. 

By now it is no secret that the Oregon Employment Department has failed to serve the Oregonians who have lost their jobs since the outbreak of COVID-19. I have been calling for accountability and action by the department for months to get the backlog of unprocessed claims handled and there are now people who have been waiting for nearly six months to even get a response from the Employment Department to find whether or not they are eligible for Unemployment Insurance benefits.

In the continued failure of the Employment Department, I was proud to vote yes on an emergency legislative proposal to issue 70,000 in checks for $500 to Oregonians who have still not heard back from the Employment Department. While $500 is not a lot of money for people who have been waiting months for their claims to be processed, it was a step in the right direction to help people who are most in need at this time. The 70,000 checks were issued within the first three days of the program. Thank you to our community banks and credit unions throughout the state for being a part of an immediate solution in issuing these checks. I hope more funds are available soon to help the people who did not get an emergency check in the first round.

I have also been appointed and have served an active role in Governor Brown’s Healthy Schools Reopening Council. The council is a group of elected officials, members of the Oregon Department of Education and Oregon Health Authority, and other state and local education leaders. The purpose of the council is to set attainable metrics for schools to safely open as quickly as possible.

We have been able to work with this council and Governor Brown to get rural schools in Eastern Oregon to open in the fall. We need to all continue to do our part so that we can ensure our schools stay open and our students can get back to learning.

I have also been participating on the COVID liability protection workgroup in the legislature to try to provide insurance protection for schools and businesses who are following all public health guidelines. Without proper protection, these schools and businesses could be sued by people who contract COVID, even if causation cannot be proven. We need to protect those who are following the guidelines and helping protect the public from the spread of COVID. This has been an ongoing discussion since the first special session and continues to be a priority for me as we look at other possible special sessions.

Lastly, I wanted to let you know that I will be hosting another Joint Virtual Town Hall with Representative Owens and Representative Bonham on Thursday, September 10th at 5:30pm (PDT). If you are interested in registering for the Town Hall, please click here to register.

It is a pleasure serving the people of Senate District 30. If you have any questions or comments, please reach out to my office.

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Lynn P. Findley Oregon State Senator, District 30

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