Mark Your Calendars

Senator Wagner

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

This first week of 2021 will go down as a disturbing time in history. Both the U.S. Capitol and the Oregon State Capitol endured violent mobs and inexcusable transgressions against the pillars of our democracy. Please see my statement below on accountability and my commitment to defending our democracy and the constitutions of the United States and Oregon. I remain hopeful that our Legislature will continue to look forward with the shared goal of doing what’s best for Oregonians in every single part of this great state.


Join Me Next Week! Pre-Session Town Halls January 12 and 13

All levels of our government - federal, state and local - have important roles to play as we continue to navigate this global pandemic and attacks on our democracy. That's why I'm hosting two town halls next week to ensure your voice is part of the democratic process as we begin 2021.

State Representative Rachel Prusak, Lake Oswego Mayor Joe Buck, and West Linn Mayor Jules Walters will join me online Tuesday, January 12 from 5:00 – 6:00 PM. Register at this link:


U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer, State Representative Andrea Salinas, and Multnomah County Commissioner Sharon Meieran will join me online on Wednesday, January 13 from 5:00 – 6:00 PM. Register at this link:​


I look forward to seeing you at one or both town halls. Space is limited to 100 participants for each town hall, so please register at your earliest convenience.

2021 Legislative Agenda and Committee Assignments

Right now, my staff and I are working hard to finalize details of the legislation we’re proposing for the 81st Legislative Assembly which begins later this month. “Pre-session” filed bills will be introduced at the beginning of the new legislative session, and then assigned to an appropriate committee. I'll be sharing details on my legislative priorities in next week's newsletter and at next week's town halls.

Heading into the legislative session, I'm honored to serve as the Senate Majority Leader, Chair of the Senate Rules and Executive Appointments Committee, and as a member of the Senate Finance and Revenue Committee. I look forward to regularly sharing my work in these committees over the next six months.  

Updates from the Oregon Employment Department

The Oregon Employment Department (OED) is providing new information ‌about‌ ‌the recently enacted Continued Assistance for Unemployed Workers Act (CAUW) and how it applies to you.‌ ‌ ‌

Right now, all states are waiting to receive rules and instructions from the U.S. Department of Labor. That written guidance is needed in order to start implementing changes that will ensure benefits get out the door. In the meantime, OED is doing related preparatory work so that Oregonians can receive benefits as quickly as possible. 

Here is a summary of OED’s latest updates:

  • The department hopes to start paying the additional $300 weekly Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) benefit this week.
  • If you are receiving PUA and still have several weeks of benefits remaining on your claim, it’s possible that you may continue receiving your benefits this week.
  • If you are about to exhaust your benefits or file a new PUA claim, OED doesn’t have an estimate yet for when you’ll begin receiving benefits, but the department will share that information as they learn it.
  • Oregon will be implementing the Mixed-Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) benefit for ‘hybrid-workers.’ This is a brand new program with many rules that the department does not yet have, and OED expects it to be significantly challenging to implement. They will share more information when it’s available.

In the meantime, continue to file your weekly claim, no matter which program you are in.

COVID-19 Vaccine in Oregon


Last month, Oregon received its first shipments of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to prevent COVID-19 infection. Clinical trials show both vaccines to be highly effective and safe, and efforts to vaccinate frontline health care workers and residents of long term care facilities that are highly vulnerable to rapid COVID-19 spread have already begun. To stay up to date with vaccination numbers, please visit the Oregon Health Authority’s (OHA) COVID-19 vaccine page.

We are asking the state to move quicker to vaccinate segments of the population that are most vulnerable. The quicker we vaccinate key populations, the quicker we will be able to reopen our schools and local businesses. Everyone will need to continue to follow the public health guidelines - wearing a mask, keeping physical distance, and limiting non-essential travel and activities - while the state works to vaccinate everyone in the year ahead.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) controls the supply of the vaccine to each state, and has defined a phased vaccine distribution plan. Due to the limited supply of the vaccine, high-risk populations are prioritized to receive the vaccine sooner than lower risk populations. Oregon Health Authority (OHA) must follow the CDC's distribution plan, but has some flexibility to define the prioritization of groups within each phase.

For additional information on Oregon’s vaccination plan, view OHA's prioritization program, the 136-page draft vaccination plan submitted to the CDC, and the Phase 1a sequencing plan.

Legislative Office Team


Photo taken in February 2020

While we won't be together in-person when the Senate organizes next Monday, I'm thrilled to be bringing back my experienced staff from last legislative session. Gordon Levitt continues to serve as my District Director to shepherd my personal legislative agenda. Aleesha Kazi is returning as a legislative assistant and will be focusing on constituent affairs. She is finishing up her final year and thesis at Willamette University, and then will be headed to law school next fall. We’re so glad to have her back!

I'm also fortunate to work with an incredible team in the Senate Majority Office. Collectively, they advise me on legislative procedure, a wide range of policy topics, communications, and help the entire Democratic Caucus function smoothly.

Staff are crucial to all of our success at the Capitol. As we approach the start of a truly unique and unfamiliar session, your patience with new processes and ways to engage with the legislature and staff is greatly appreciated. We will always do all we can to respond to your needs, concerns and feedback.

May this year bring more light into our lives, and may the lessons of 2020 and the first week of 2021 stay with us as we continue to confront the pandemic, racial injustice, climate change, and other critical issues.

As always, please let me know if you need any assistance. My office and I will work to connect you with resources and get your questions answered as quickly as possible.



Senate Majority Leader Rob Wagner
Senate District 19

email: I phone: 503-986-1719
address: 900 Court St NE, S-223, Salem, OR, 97301