December 1st: Governor's Recommended Budget, Thanksgiving Reflections, and New Metrics and Restrictions

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Dear Friends and Neighbors, 

I hope your Thanksgiving was meaningful, and that you had time to reflect on your blessings.  I was grateful to have my social bubble with me, my daughters Melissa and Emily, and Emily’s husband Tom.  We had a lovely and chilly fresh air dinner in my garage with the doors and bay open.  We ate delicious food from local restaurants and spent lots of time in the yard with Emily’s sweet dog, Ruthie.  It was hard not to be able to see my sons and their families, but we all got together on zoom.  It was a full day, with lots of love and family, even if it was different from previous years.  I hope your holiday was also full of joy and love. We will need to continue to think about the safety and risk of our social interactions, and remember that your bubble includes everyone you see, and everyone they see.  

Rep McLain Thanksgiving Family Photos

New Developments

  • Giving Tuesday: Today is “Giving Tuesday” which kicks off the start of the giving season.  I am always proud and touched by the ways in which our communities dig deep and support their communities at this time of year.  There is so much need in our state and the world right now, and it is more difficult than ever to make decisions about how to spend limited funds.  If you are making decisions about what organizations you’d like to support, consider using the Willamette Week’s Give Guide, and the Oregon Department of Justice’s Wise Giving Guide.  
  • New Metrics and County Risk Levels Beginning Thursday, 12/3:The new framework has four risk levels based on counties' current COVID-19 spread, to take effect after the "freeze” ends on Dec. 2. The graphic below for counties in the “extreme risk” category has been updated and reflects a change in the faith venue guidance. Effective Dec. 3 through Dec. 17, 25 counties will be in the Extreme Risk level, five counties will be High Risk, two counties will be Moderate Risk, and four counties will be Lower Risk. A complete list of counties and their associated risk levels is available here. The Oregon Health Authority will examine and publish county data weekly. County risk levels will be reassigned every two weeks. The first week's data will provide a "warning week" to prepare counties for potential risk level changes. The next assignment of risk levels will take effect Dec. 18. More information on the new risk assessment metrics and restrictions is available here.  
What is open and closed in Extreme Risk Counties, link to more information
  • Who is really in your Bubble? (From Oregon Health Authority): While social bubbles can help lessen the risk of spreading COVID-19, they can also give people a false sense of safety. It's still safest to limit socializing to the people you live with. If you do choose to gather with another household, consider the risks involved.  To understand what your actual risk of COVID-19 exposure is, it’s a good idea to take the time to consider what interactions each bubble member might have outside of the bubble.
    • Example: Ellen thinks her bubble merely includes her brother Greg and her friend Geneva. But Greg attended a birthday gathering with three other people over the weekend and had an in-person work meeting with a colleague. So Ellen's potential exposure is wider than she thought.   
  • Right now, COVID-19 is surging and threatening hospital capacity in Oregon, but we can still flatten the curve if we stay home, wear a face covering when we go out, and maintain physical distance of at least six feet from people we don’t live with. Please help keep people in Oregon healthy and safe this holiday season.   More information on COVID-19 bubble considerations is available on the Indiana Department of Health website.  
Graphic-Who is really in your bubble?

State Budgeting:

In Oregon, we have a two year budget cycles that begin in July of odd numbered years.  The budget process starts with the Governor’s recommended budget, which outlines her policy and spending priorities, and the Tax Expenditure Report, which outlines the various tax credits and deductions that are available to Oregonians.  

These reports are submitted to the Legislature for us to review and use to inform our budget process.  The Ways and Means Committee is divided into subcommittees that hold hearings and meetings to get input from the public and agencies about budget proposals.  We will pass a collection of budget bills that fund different state agencies and programs, and these bills make up the final budget for agencies to implement.  As a member of the Ways and Means Committee and Co-Chair of the Education Budget Subcommittee, I will take part in much of the work to develop and pass the Legislatively Adopted Budget.  If you’d like to learn more about the budgeting process, you can do so here.  

Today, Governor Brown released her Recommended Budget and Policy Agenda for 2021-2023, and the Department of Revenue released their Tax Expenditure Report.   The Governor’s Recommended Budget for 2021-23 proposes $100.2 billion in total funds spending. The budget includes over $293.8 million in increased revenues and leaves $243.3 million in the General Fund. In addition, by the end of the 2019-21 biennium, the Rainy Day Fund is projected to have a balance of $942.3 million to help us continue to weather the uncertainty that has characterized 2020.  

Highlights from the Governor’s budget included in her press release

  • K-12 education. After a year in which historic disparities in education have been exacerbated by a pandemic and wildfires, the Governor’s budget keeps Oregon’s commitments made to Black, Indigenous, Latino, Latina, and Latinx, Asian, Pacific Islander, Tribal and students of color by fully funding Student Success Act programs and initiatives, as well as grants to schools under the High School Graduation and College and Career Readiness Fund, and funding the State School Fund at $9.1 billion. The Governor’s budget stabilizes education funding by drawing $215 million from the Education Stability Fund for public schools.
  • Broadband expansion. An investment of $118 million in broadband expansion statewide will connect an additional 50 urban and rural communities that currently lack access. During a pandemic that has necessitated both distance learning for students and remote work for workers, equitable broadband access is critical for educational outcomes and economic opportunity.
  • Early learning and child care. Recognizing that the first years of a child’s life are critical to lifelong success, the Governor’s budget expands high-quality early care and education programs for 8,000 children through Oregon Pre-K, Early Head Start, Preschool Promise, and the Early Childhood Equity Fund. 
  • Housing and Homelessness. The Governor’s budget invests in housing and homelessness at $65.9 million over the 2019-21 investment levels, and calls on Congress for $350 million in rent assistance. The Governor’s budget also includes $20 million in homeowner assistance, and $250 million in affordable housing development funds.
  • COVID-19 pandemic response. In addition to applying federal funds towards pandemic response, the Governor’s budget invests $30 million in public health modernization to better prepare Oregon’s public health system to respond to events like the current pandemic. Other pandemic-related investments are included throughout the budget.
  • Long-term care. The Governor’s budget includes $17.9 million in investments in a range of strategies to protect se­niors living in assisted living and nursing homes from COVID-19.
  • Health care. The Governor’s budget also addresses the challenge of adequately, sustainably, and equitably funding our health care system during a once-in-a-hundred-year public health emergency. Largely due to the pandemic, Oregon faces a $718 million budget gap for the Oregon Health Plan––coverage which provides an essential bridge to reducing health disparities by improving access to care and protecting low-income families from financial ruin. In addition, Coronavirus Relief Funds that have been used to fund COVID-19 response efforts will expire on December 31. The Governor’s budget helps close that gap through cost savings and an expected extension of enhanced Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) funding.
  • Behavioral health. The Governor’s budget also makes investments in behavioral health and substance use disorder resources, informed by the recommendations from the Alcohol and Drug Policy Commission (ADPC) Strategic Plan, the Tribal Behavioral Health Strategic Plan, the Governor’s Behavioral Health Advisory Council, and the Racial Justice Council. 

Case Data

  • Cases on the rise: Cases continue to rise in Oregon.  Last week, new cases rose by 15.5% to  8,838 reported cases. Oregon is doing better than many other states, ranking 44th among states in a recent Johns Hopskins report comparing that rate of spread. Within Oregon, some cases are seeing more rapid spread than others, and Multnomah, Marion and Washington Counties have seen the highest number of new cases.  You can read more from the Statesman Journal, here.  
  • National Numbers: 
    • Total Cases: 13,447,627 (up 152,022 from yesterday)
    • Deaths: 267,302 (up 1,251 from yesterday)
    • Cases in the Last 7 Days: 1,114,190
    • 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 76,654 total cases (confirmed and presumptive) of COVID-19.  
    • Today we have 1,233 new confirmed and presumptive cases, and 24 new deaths. 
    • Monday: 1,314 cases, 7 deaths, 202 cases in Washington County
    • Sunday: 1,599 cases, 9 deaths, 206 cases in Washington County
    • Saturday: 1,669 cases, 11 deaths, 164 cases in Washington County
    • Friday: 826 cases, 3 deaths, 297 cases in Washington County
    • Thursday: 1,514 cases, 15 deaths, 283 cases in Washington County
    • A total of 936 Oregonians have died from COVID-19.  
    • Washington County still has one of the highest case counts at 10,554 confirmed cases, including 158 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. 
OHA Daily Case Update

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

Wildfire Recovery Resources:

OEM has put together this list of contacts to help speed up the process of replacing these documents:

  • Green cards: Phone (800)-375-5283; Website:
  • Medicare cards: Phone: (800)-772-1213; (TTY) (800)-325-0778 Website:
  • Military records Phone: 866-272-6272 Website:
  • Passport Phone: 877-487-2778; (TTY) 888-874-7793 Website:
  • Social Security card Phone: 800-772-1213; (TTY) 800-325-0778 Website:
  • U.S. Savings Bonds Phone: 844-284-2676 Website:
  • U.S. tax returns Phone: 800-829-1040 Website:
  • Birth, death, marriage, domestic partnership, divorce certificates Phone: 888-896-4988 Website:
  • Driver’s license, auto titles and registration, ID cards Phone: 503-945-5000 Website:
  • SNAP (Oregon Trail Card) Website:
  • State taxes (Oregon Dept. of Revenue) Phone: 503-378-4988 or 800-356-4222 TTY: All relay calls are accepted. Website:
  • Real estate and property - Contact your county government.
  • Credit cards - Contact your credit card company directly.
  • Credit reports from Equifax, Experian, TransUnion Phone: 877-322-8228 Website:
  • Insurance documents - Check with your insurance agent.
  • Medical records - Call your doctor or your medical insurance company; medical and prescription records are tracked electronically.

The Governor’s office has put together a Wildfire Resources page that you can access from the Governor’s home page.  It has links to many of the most important updates about the status of fires and resources for evacuees.  This website will be updated regularly.  

Legal Resources: Oregon State Bar’s Lawyer Referral Program, Oregon lawyers, through the Oregon State Bar, are partnering with FEMA and the American Red Cross to provide legal assistance on FEMA claims, contract claims, insurance claims, landlord-tenant matters and more.

The Department of Forestry’s Wildfire Response and Recovery Overview has ongoing updates about firefighting efforts, damage reports, and more.  

FEMA Updates: FEMA has provided several different Fact Sheets and resources for accessing benefits, determining eligibility and avoiding scams.

Additional Resources

Employers and Employees

Education Links

Local Government

Utilities Assistance

Food and Housing Assistance



Oregon Health Authority


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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.  

Christmas Cactus in Bloom

My Christmas Cactus is blooming! Starting to feel the holiday spirit!

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