Welcome to the 2021 Legislative Session

Senator Wagner

Opening the 2021 Legislative Session

Last week, my colleagues and I gathered at the Capitol in Salem to begin Oregon’s 81st Legislative Assembly with the swearing in of old and new senators, and the adoption of rules that will govern the operation of the Senate until 2023. The incoming class of Senate Democrats brings critical voices and representation to our team and the work we do for Oregonians. To learn more about them, read my statement here.

In my speech about the adoption of the new Senate rules on the floor, I was frank about how I will miss seeing my colleagues and constituents around the Capitol as we conduct our business remotely. In the midst of a global pandemic that continues to threaten the lives of Oregonians, we must be ready to adapt as we seek to carry out the people’s business. Clicking the images below will take you to my opening and closing speeches, respectively, on how these new rules are the right choice for the Oregon Senate and for Oregonians.

RW Floor Speech - Rules

Hear my opening speech on the new Senate rules

RW Closing Speech 2021 Senate Rules

Hear my closing speech on the new Senate rules

Although this session looks unlike previous regular legislative sessions, there are some elements that will be familiar to you from last year’s special sessions. In large part, this is due to the shift to virtual meetings and engagement that preserves public health, and empowers Oregonians around the state to participate in our legislative process without the burden of traveling to Salem. If you want to know how to make your voice heard this session, please consult the links below:

Senate Democrats Release Session Agenda

This morning, I was so excited to release the Oregon Senate Democrats' agenda for this legislative session. Please see my statement below and click here to see the full agenda.

2RW Press Release 2021 Agenda

Town Hall Recap & My Legislative Agenda

Thank you to everyone who attended my town halls last week! Your questions and enthusiasm for democratic engagement was a great way to kick off this year's legislative session. You can learn more about Tuesday's town hall and the topics discussed in this write up from the West Linn Tidings.

In addition to championing the Oregon Senate Democrats' agenda, I am working to pass legislation on a range of crucial issues for our communities. Some of the bills I'm supporting are described below:

  • Senate Bill 572 - Helping immigrant youth fleeing violence safely stay in Oregon with a trusted guardian.

  • Senate Joint Memorial 2 and Senate Joint Resolution 10: Supporting U.S. Senator Merkley's efforts to reform the 13th amendment of the U.S. Constitution to ban slavery or involuntary servitude as a punishment (see LO review article from last week) and working with State Senators Manning and Frederick to change the Oregon Constitution in the same manner.

  • Senate Bill 704 - Many LGBTQ+ individuals across Oregon have reported being physically attacked because of their sexual orientation or gender identity and it has caused a ripple effect of fear throughout the community. This legislation will ban the use of the LGBTQ+ panic defense, so that claims that the discovery of gender identity or sexual orientation provoked violence are unacceptable in our courts.

  • Senate Bill 554 and House Bill 2510 - The last month has shown us that we must continue the work to keep our communities safer from gun violence. I'll be working to pass sensible gun safety legislation to make public buildings safer and require safe storage of firearms.

  • Senate Bill 334 - Building on my service as a Lake Oswego School District school board member 2017 - 2020, this legislation will require local school leaders to receive training on anti-discrimination, equity and inclusion, and various transparency and ethics requirements.
  • House Bill 2564 - Working to authorize the Willamette Falls Locks Authority; in both 2019 and 2020, this bill was close to passage. I know that it will help us to strategically assume control of the locks from the federal government and achieve the bold vision for improving the Willamette Falls area.

  • House Bill 2417 - Building on the success of CAHOOTS (Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets) as an alternative to police response for non-violent 911 calls in Eugene, I've joined a group of legislators sponsoring legislation to support similar programs across the state.
  • Finally, I'll also continue to monitor the implementation of Adi’s Act, which requires Oregon’s schools to develop and implement suicide prevention plans. I know that so many local leaders across the state are concerned about improving our mental health response at all levels. 

Condemning Hate In Our Community

Last week, I joined my colleagues in condemning comments made by Clackamas County Commissioner Mark Shull and calling on him to resign. Click on the image below to read our statement in its entirety.

We must continue to call out harmful and dangerous rhetoric when we see it in our community, or else we risk demonstrating that hate and discrimination is welcome in our community. It is not. All Clackamas County residents deserve to be represented by officials who eschew prejudice and who take responsibility for their words and actions.

ClackCo Letter - Shull Resign

State of the Possible - Monday, Jan. 25

On Monday, January 25, I will be joining the City Club of Portland to discuss the State of the Capitol, as part of their State of the Possible lecture series. House Majority Leader Barbara Smith Warner and I will be discussing the possibilities and challenges facing Oregon and how smart policy and problem solving will help us build back better after a difficult 2020 and carry us forward into a brighter future for all Oregonians.

For more information about the event and how to RSVP, visit the event page here. If you are interested in other events in the State of the Possible series, you can view the schedule here.

Covid-19 Vaccination Update

This week, the Oregon Health Authority launched a new website on the statewide Covid-19 vaccination effort. I encourage you to visit it for any questions you might have about the vaccines or the order in which Oregonians will be vaccinated. 

COVID Vaccination Information

Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment - Now Through March 31

The 2021 Medicare Advantage open enrollment period is happening now through March 31. Beneficiaries who take advantage of this open enrollment period will have coverage that starts the first day of the month after an enrollment action. Beneficiaries must have an existing Medicare Advantage plan on January 1 to use this enrollment period.

SHIBA provides free and objective statewide counseling services to help your constituents understand the complexities of the Medicare program. This includes understanding enrollment options, wading through plan choices, and assisting with enrollment into private Medicare insurance health and drug plans.


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.


RW Signature

Senate Majority Leader Rob Wagner
Senate District 19

email: Sen.RobWagner@OregonLegislature.gov I phone: 503-986-1719
address: 900 Court St NE, S-223, Salem, OR, 97301
website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/wagner