State of the Capitol & Agency Updates

Senator Wagner

State of the Capitol - City Club of Portland


Last week, House Majority Leader Smith Warner and I discussed the 2021 legislative session with the City Club of Portland. We reviewed our policy priorities and explained how we’re working on legislation that benefits all Oregonians.

If you weren’t able to watch the discussion live, you can click on the image above to see a recording of the event. You can also read this summary from the Portland Tribune.

If you want to know how to participate in the legislative process, please consult the links below:

Community Spotlight: Ida B. Wells-Barnett High School


Click the image to learn more about the process of renaming Wilson High School to Ida B. Wells-Barnett High School.

With so much happening in the world every day, it’s important to take time to celebrate the positive action happening in our communities. As we kick off Black History Month, I’m pleased to highlight the news that Wilson High School in Senate District 19 has been renamed in honor of Ida B. Wells-Barnett.

Last summer, students in our community challenged Portland Public Schools to rename Wilson High School. Students had been pointing out that former President Woodrow Wilson’s racist and segregationist views made the affiliation inappropriate and harmful. 

Last week, Portland Public Schools announced that Wilson High School would now be named for Ida B. Wells-Barnett – a Black woman who was a journalist and publisher, and an influential figure for civil and women’s rights. This is just one step forward in our pursuit to confront racial and other forms of social injustice, but it's an important one for our students and our community.

Thank you to the Ida B. Wells-Barnett High School student activists, Portland Public School Board and community members who put the work and support into making this a reality. For more on the name change, read this article from KOIN 6 News. You can also read more about Ida B. Wells-Barnett's life here.

Oregon Health Authority Vaccine Update


As of Monday, January 25, public and private K-12 educators and staff, early childhood educators and staff, and childcare providers and staff are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine.

If you work in a public or private K-12 school setting, your school district will contact you about scheduling a vaccination. If you are a childcare worker, your employer will connect you with information about scheduling a vaccine. More information on COVID-19 vaccination for educators and staff is on the OHA COVID-19 webpage, including a list of eligible Oregon educators and staff

The Oregon Health Authority is working hard across agencies to develop the systems and structure needed for the vaccination effort. Although President Biden has plans to increase the number of doses sent to states by 16% beginning next week, local providers will need a little time to implement new directives. Please be patient and keep trying back.

The chart below explains the sequencing of vaccine distribution and more information is available at the Oregon Health Authority's vaccine website.

Categories for vaccination

Unemployment Insurance Updates from the Oregon Employment Department

The U.S. Dept. of Labor recently clarified that claimants can only receive a maximum of 50 weeks of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits. PUA is a weeks-based program, so even if you have funds remaining on your claim, you can only receive PUA benefits for 50 weeks. 

If you had exhausted your Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) and Extended Benefits (EB) and were receiving PUA, you will be moved back to PEUC for the 11-week extension. Your weekly benefit amount may be lower, but this will not create an overpayment for the weeks you were on PUA.

More information is available on the Oregon Employment Department's website.

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.


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Senate Majority Leader Rob Wagner
Senate District 19

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