Welcome to the 81st Legislative Assembly!

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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Opening Day of the 81st Legislative Assembly has come and gone.  Despite the challenges that COVID presents, we were able to complete important organizational duties.  We re-elected Tina Kotek Speaker of the House, updated our House Rules and Conduct Committees for this session, and did our first reading of bills.  Please keep in touch throughout the session - it's going to be a great one!

Opening Day of the 81st Legislative Assembly


Statement on Opening Day of the 81st Legislative Assembly by Majority Leader Barbara Smith Warner

  • “We open this legislative session somberly, remembering the more than 1,600 Oregonians who have died from COVID-19, and committing ourselves to continuing to do everything we can to help the small businesses and low-income and BIPOC Oregonians who have been hardest hit by this pandemic”.

  • “In the weeks and months ahead, we will both follow COVID-19 health safety precautions and provide unparalleled levels of access for Oregonians to participate in the legislative process.  For the first time ever, people can give testimony to legislative committees on a bill from the comfort of their own home.”

Vaccine Updates

Vaccine sequencing: Frequently asked questions

Many people in Oregon are wondering when they will be able to get their vaccines, and how they will know when it’s their turn. It can be frustrating to wait, but right now, people in Phase 1a are being vaccinated. We will share new information as it becomes available. In the meantime, here are answers to some frequently asked questions: 

I am in a Phase 1a group, where do I go?  

We don’t have a central phone number yet, but Oregon Health Authority (OHA) is working with local public health, health care partners and 211 to determine the best contacts in each community. We will post the community contacts on our COVID-19 website as soon as we have them. Check your local public health website to see if they have additional information.    

I don’t know if I’m in Phase 1a; how do I check?  

Please check the Oregon COVID-19 Vaccine Sequencing Plan. For additional questions, you can email COVID19.vaccine@dshoha.state.or.us.  

Do I need to show any proof I’m in Phase 1a?  

OHA does not require proof and does not plan to request verification from vaccinating providers. Vaccine providers themselves may require an individual to declare in some way they are in a Phase 1a group.  

I’ve been turned away from getting a vaccine by a COVID-19 vaccine provider. What do I do now?  

If you think you fall under Phase 1a, please contact your local public health department to be connected to a vaccine provider.   

I’m an education worker. When will I get vaccinated? 

Childcare, K-12 school and school district staff will be in the first group of Phase 1b, after Phase 1a is complete. Information on where and when to get vaccinated will be provided as soon as it’s available. 

To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine situation in Oregon, visit our webpage (English or Spanish), which has a breakdown of distribution and other information, including this graphic on vaccine sequencing (English or Spanish). 

Vaccine categories

Oregon Statewide Vaccination Trends Oregon Counties Vaccination Trends

Daily COVID-19 Updates

  • National Numbers: 
    • Confirmed Cases: 22,522,749 (up 199,793 from yesterday)
    • Deaths: 375,124 (up 1,957 from yesterday)
    • These national numbers come from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  You can view their national and state by state data here
Covid numbers by state
  • Oregon Status Report:  Oregon now has 126,607 total cases (confirmed and presumptive) of COVID-19. 
    • Today we have 939 new confirmed and presumptive cases, and 10 new deaths. 
    • A total of 1,613 Oregonians have died from COVID-19.

         (previous daily case updates from OHA here)

  • Washington County still has one of the highest case counts at 17,819 confirmed cases, including 160 deaths.  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. 


COVID Demographic Data

Around Washington County

Virginia Garcia approved as vaccination site

  • Three Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center locations have been approved as vaccine distribution sites and will begin providing vaccinations as outlined by the state once they receive their first shipment of vaccines.
  • Virginia Garcia’s five primary care sites and the mobile CoRe (Covid Response) Team applied for site status.  At this time, McMinnville, Hillsboro, and the CoRe Team have been approved.
  • Hundreds of staff members at Virginia Garcia have already received their COVID vaccination.  Many Virginia Garcia primary care clinics closed early Friday so frontline staff could get vaccinated.

Metro counties partner with health systems to ensure Phase 1A workers have access to COVID-19 vaccine

  • Washington, Multnomah, Clackamas and Columbia counties have joined with the Metro region’s large hospital systems including Kaiser Permanente, Legacy Health, Oregon Health & Science University and Providence Health & Services, as well as Health Share of Oregon and CareOregon, to increase access for everyone in the state’s Phase 1A priority group.
  • To speed this process, county public health departments are matching health care providers and employers with hospital systems that have agreed to provide these vaccinations. Public health officials are asking each employer to identify one person to fill out a short survey with the name of their organization, the health care sector they work in, the number of employees who need vaccination, and a point of contact. Solo practitioners should fill out the survey themselves. 
  • Within a week, public health will notify providers and employers about their eligibility and match them with a hospital system. The hospital system will then notify the provider or employer about where they can go to receive the vaccine. 

Hillsboro Schools Foundation Grants Teacher Wishes!

The Hillsboro Schools Foundation (HSF) has stepped up big-time to support students, teachers, and schools to address the unique challenges presented by the pandemic and Comprehensive Distance Learning.

They came through again at the end of 2020 when they announced a special round of mini-grants for teachers that would fund up to 25 requests of $1,000 or less.  Click here to see a list of the awarded requests.

Call for Student Artwork

Hillsboro’s Cultural Arts Division is looking for student artwork to adorn reusable tote bags.  The bags will be distributed at the new Hidden Creek Community Center.

Students in grades 7-12 are eligible to submit black and white, line drawn artwork that conveys the theme “Stronger Together.” One willing design will be selected to receive $100 and their artwork featured on this year’s tote bags.  Two runners-up will receive $25 cash prizes. Submission deadline is Feb. 4. Learn more here.

Updates from Washington, D.C.

The Department of Education Announces Distribution of Pandemic Relief Aid for K-12

  • The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 (CRRSA), was signed into law on December 27. 2020, and provides an additional $54.3 billion for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund.
  • Similar to the ESSER funds made available through the CARES Act, awards are made to states based on their proportional share of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act Title I-A funds.
  • This additional funding can be used to address learning loss, improve school facilities and infrastructure to reduce the risk of transmitting the coronavirus, and purchase education technology.
  • How much each state will receive can be found here and the fact sheet on the new ESSER funding can be found here
  • The legislation also provided an additional $4.1 billion for the Governors Emergency Relief (GEER) Fund.
  • Approximately $2.75 billion will be set aside by Congress to support disadvantaged students at non-public schools.  
  •  Funds are limited to COVID-related needs and cannot be used for vouchers or scholarships for parents.

Benefits Updates

Updates from the Employment Department

The Employment Department has been, and remains, busy implementing the many new provisions of the federal Continued Assistance Act (CAA) that was signed into law on December 27, 2020.

  • About 72,000 Oregonians faced a looming “benefits cliff” last week without federal action. Although the Continued Assistance Act was signed after the prior benefits expired, there is no gap in coverage. There is no break in weeks covered by the benefit programs between when the Cares Act expired and the Continued Assistance Act became effective. The benefits cliff was averted.
  • Last week, the Employment Department was able to start issuing payments to more than 59,000 Oregonians who faced a benefits cliff, without any interruption in the benefits they rely on. 

The Employment Department will be taking the following actions under ORS 657.895 to make additional federal funds created by the CAA available for Oregonians:

  • Waiving the normal ‘waiting week’ for the period of March 8, 2020, through the week ending March 13, 2021. Although March 13, 2021 is beyond the current emergency period, this action will provide more benefits for Oregonians. The CAA will fund 50% of those benefits.
  • Suspending the requirement to wait 13 weeks to turn Extended Benefits (EB) back on, after a period when a falling unemployment rate turns EB off. Federal and state laws require that EB turns on and off, based on a state’s unemployment rate.


Temporary increase to SNAP benefits continues in January

  • The Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) will continue to offer increased food benefits in January 2021 to help Oregonians struggling as a result of the pandemic.  
  • This benefit increase applies to folks currently enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) who are receiving less than the maximum allotment. Additionally, in response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, there is also a temporary increase in SNAP benefits of approximately 15% for everyone enrolled.  
  • SNAP recipients do not have to take any action, additional benefits will be placed directly on  Oregon EBT cards. Learn more in a news release: https://go.usa.gov/xARdt 

Wildfire Recovery Updates

FEMA Temporary Housing comes to Linn, Marion Counties

  • Working to keep wildfire survivors as close as possible to their communities, schools, and places of worship, FEMA’s Direct Temporary Housing provides vital support for families in need.
  • FEMA has begun site construction for the placement of temporary housing units for qualified survivor families from Linn and Marion counties.  
  • The new site in Mill City is expected to accommodate up to 16 units.  In addition to Linn and Marion counties, this mission is providing temporary housing to qualified disaster survivors in Jackson and Lincoln counties.  
  • To date, 47 Jackson County families have been placed in temporary housing units in commercial parks and at one group site – similar to the one now under construction in Mill City.
  • While there are currently 250 survivor families approved to receive FEMA Direct Temporary Housing, this number fluctuates as many households find alternative housing on their own.  
  • Direct Temporary Housing is provided to survive for up to 18 months from the date of the disaster declaration (until March 2022).

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: www.uscis.gov
  • Medicare cards: Phone: (800)-772-1213; (TTY) (800)-325-0778 Website: www.medicare.gov
  • Military records Phone: 866-272-6272 Website: www.archives.gov/contact/
  • Passport Phone: 877-487-2778; (TTY) 888-874-7793 Website: travel.state.gov
  • Social Security card Phone: 800-772-1213; (TTY) 800-325-0778 Website: www.ssa.gov
  • U.S. Savings Bonds Phone: 844-284-2676 Website: www.treasurydirect.gov
  • U.S. tax returns Phone: 800-829-1040 Website: www.irs.gov
  • Birth, death, marriage, domestic partnership, divorce certificates Phone: 888-896-4988 Website: www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/Birthdeathcertificates
  • Driver’s license, auto titles and registration, ID cards Phone: 503-945-5000 Website: www.oregon.gov/odot
  • SNAP (Oregon Trail Card) Website: www.oregon.gov/DHS/Assistance/Food-Benefits
  • State taxes (Oregon Dept. of Revenue) Phone: 503-378-4988 or 800-356-4222 TTY: All relay calls are accepted. Website: www.oregon.gov/dor
  • 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: www.annualcreditreport.com
  • 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

Hillsboro School District (en inglés y español) 

Forest Grove School District (en inglés y español) 

Oregon Department of Education

COVID-19 Resources for Oregon Higher Education Partners

Local Government

City of Hillsboro (en inglés, español y más idiomas) 

City of Cornelius (en inglés, español y más idiomas)

City of Forest Grove (Personal que habla español disponible en este número: (503) 992-3221)

Washington County

Utilities Assistance

Portland General Electric (en inglés y español) 

NW Natural

City of Hillsboro Utility Billing 




City of Forest Grove

Food and Housing Assistance

Community Action.org

Oregon Food Bank

Meals on Wheels



Oregon Health Authority


Opening session at the Capitol


Yours truly,

Representative Susan McLain

Representative Susan McLain
House District 29

email: Rep.SusanMcLain@oregonlegislature.gov I phone: 503-986-1429
address: 900 Court St NE, H-376, Salem, OR 97301
website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/mclain