2/10/2021 House District 30 Newsletter

Rep. Sollman

Friends and Neighbors,

Washington County Updates

Health Officials Thank Community for Diligence as Region Moves From “Extreme” to “High” Risk

From Washington County Health and Human Services

Regional health officials Tuesday thanked communities for their efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. Personal choices — to wear masks, keep physical distance and stay close to home — led to fewer cases and fewer people being hospitalized with serious illness. 

The drop in case rate below 200 per 100,000 people for 14 consecutive days led Gov. Kate Brown to announce yesterday morning that Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties will move from “Extreme” to “High” risk. The move eases restrictions on businesses and gatherings. 

Beginning Friday, Feb. 12, restaurants may allow limited indoor dining, fitness studios and entertainment venues can expand capacity, and long-term care facilities may allow limited indoor visits. 

“We can take these incremental steps because people have stepped up and done hard work. Our numbers have been dropping to reflect that,” said Regional Health Officer Dr. Jennifer Vines. “And even as we celebrate our successes, and our numbers are heading in the right direction, that trend is fragile.”

In counties considered at “High” risk, the following activities are allowed, with health protocols in place:

  • Indoor dining: restaurants can operate at 25 percent capacity or 50 people, whichever is smaller. 
  • Outdoor dining: increases to a maximum of 75 people, including individual dining pods.
  • Indoor recreation and fitness: increases to 25 percent capacity, or 50 people, whichever is smaller.
  • Indoor entertainment: increases to 25 percent capacity or 50 people total, whichever is smaller.
  • Outdoor recreation and fitness: increases to a maximum of 75 people.
  • Long-term care facilities: can allow indoor and outdoor visitors.  

“The Metro region is still in the high-risk category, which means the virus is still circulating widely in our communities. Although we have started vaccinations, the supply is limited and most of our population remains unvaccinated,” said Washington County Health Officer Dr. Christina Baumann,. “Until more people are vaccinated, we must continue to practice safety measures to protect our most vulnerable residents.” 

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s reopening plan went into effect Dec. 3 following a statewide “Freeze.”

That framework was developed before a more contagious strain of the virus was identified in Oregon. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention projects the UK variant will become the nation’s predominant strain by spring, leading health experts to fear new waves of disease.

The framework was also developed before shipments of vaccine began arriving in Oregon, before the state could predict the slow pace of immunization. As restrictions ease, many of the residents most likely to be hospitalized and to die from the disease —including people 65 and older and people of color — are still waiting for their first dose. 

The ability to move toward in-person learning is also contingent on controlling community spread. For all of those reasons, officials are asking residents to continue taking the precautions that have controlled the spread in 2021, to give public health time to get vaccine to those most likely to be hospitalized and die from the virus.

While the Metro counties will shift down to “High Risk” beginning Feb. 12, the state will continue to monitor disease trends and return counties to “Extreme” risk if case counts and test positivity increase.

“Don’t stop now,” said Clackamas County Public Health Officer Dr. Sarah Present. “What we have been doing —wearing face coverings and keeping our distance, among others—is working. We don’t want to yo-yo back into ‘Extreme Risk,’ which would be unfortunate for the community.

COVID-19 Vaccine Updates

New Options Are Available to Help Ages 80 and Older Find Vaccine Information

From the Oregon Health Authority

Approximately 168,000 adults age 80 and older are now eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccination. While this is a welcome increase in vaccine eligibility for one of our most vulnerable communities, it is important to note that there is still not enough vaccine supply for everyone 

Oregon Health Authority (OHA) Director Patrick Allen said, “My promise to older Oregonians is this: If you want a vaccination, you will get one. But it may not be tomorrow, this week or even two weeks from now. But you will get one. And every Oregonian will get a vaccine sooner and more easily if we are patient, wait our turn and make sure others who go before us get their chance.” 

Today, OHA piloted and launched a new tool to provide older adults information about COVID-19 vaccinations. The “Get Vaccinated Oregon” tool is in addition to other methods that are already available to help people in Oregon get connected to vaccines. With the new tool, older adults in Oregon have four primary ways to get linked to local vaccine information: 

  • Get Vaccinated Oregon is an eligibility and notification tool developed by Google, in partnership with the state of Oregon. You can find it at covidvaccine.oregon.gov or getvaccinated.oregon.govUsers can answer basic questions to learn if they are eligible and get linked to information about vaccinations in their counties. Users can sign up for alerts to get notified about vaccination events or find out when they may become eligible. 
  • Vaccine Information chat bot on the covidvaccine.oregon.gov website allows anyone to find out if they’re eligible for a vaccine in Oregon or get answers to other questions about vaccines. The Vaccine Information chat bot also enables vaccine-eligible users who live in Clackamas, Columbia, Marion, Multnomah or Washington counties to schedule vaccine appointments through scheduling tools hosted by local health care providers. OHA developed and offered this scheduling feature in direct response to requests from health care providers in the region. The friendly Vaccine Information chat bot tool is an orange box that appears whenever a user accesses the covidvaccine.oregon.gov website. 
  • 211You can also text ORCOVID to 898211 to get text/SMS updates about vaccination clinics (this option is available in English and Spanish only) or email ORCOVID@211info.org. If you can’t get your COVID-19 vaccine question answered on the website, by text or by email, you can call 211 or 1-866-698-6155, which is open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, including holidays. Please be aware that wait times may be long due to high call volumes. As Governor Brown announced on Friday, the Oregon National Guard will help 211 answer phone calls, starting by the end of today. 

Licensed senior facilities: Residents and staff at most licensed facilities for older adults and people with disabilities are receiving on-site vaccinations through pharmacies enrolled in federal vaccination programs. Residents (or family members) can ask their facility operator when their residence is scheduled for a vaccination clinic.

Sign up here to receive newsletters and future updates from the Oregon Health Authority.

Education Updates

Career and Technical Education Month (CTE)

February is Career and Technical Education (CTE) month! The Hillsboro School District (HSD) has 31 CTE programs in high school to help prepare our students for career and college. Many paths lead to internships, apprenticeships, technical schools or into one of the programs at Oregon’s 17 Community Colleges. 

Throughout February the Oregon Community College Association (OCCA) will be conducting CTE Workforce Wednesday.  Each week will feature students, teachers and administrators highlighting different campuses and areas of instruction. Find out more information or join the Zoom sessions at noon each week!

CTE Webinars

Return-To-School Q&A With Hillsboro School District Superintendent Scott

From the Hillsboro School District

Superintendent Graphic

Superintendent Scott and members of his executive team will host two Return-to-School Q&A sessions this week: Today, Wednesday, Feb. 10, at noon; and Thursday, Feb. 11, at 6:30 p.m. (this session is for Spanish speakers). 

Each session will begin with a brief presentation and continue with open Q&A. Please submit your questions in advance, if possible, using this Google form

Wednesday’s session will be shown live at www.hsd.k12.or.us/livestream, and will be posted to our website afterward, along with the Q&A. 

Thursday’s session in Spanish is accessible through Google Meet.

Evento destacado: Preguntas y respuestas sobre el regreso a la escuela con el superintendente Scott
Esta semana el superintendente Scott y los miembros de su equipo ejecutivo ofrecerán dos sesiones de preguntas y respuestas sobre el regreso a la escuela: el miércoles, 10 de febrero al mediodía y el jueves, 11 de febrero a las 6:30 p.m. (esta sesión es para hispanohablantes).

Cada sesión comenzará con una breve presentación y continuará con preguntas y respuestas abiertas. Por favor, envíe sus preguntas con anticipación, si es posible, utilizando este formulario de Google.

La sesión del miércoles se transmitirá en vivo en www.hsd.k12.or.us/livestream, y posteriormente se publicará en nuestro sitio web, junto con las preguntas y respuestas. 

Se puede acceder a la sesión en español del jueves a través de Google Meet.

House District 30 - 2021 Legislative Session Concepts

In order to provide information and updates on the policies that I am working on for the 2021 Session, this is a continuation of that series.

HB 3020: Ensuring Justice for All Oregonians

Oregon, like most states, acknowledges that an emotional disturbance can cause people to act in irrational ways that they would never normally act. Our laws allow reasonable emotional disturbances to be used as a defense in certain crimes. Unfortunately, we have seen this defense abused nation wide by claiming that merely finding out that someone is not the gender or orientation someone expected is enough of a “reasonable” emotional disturbance to justify their violent, even deadly, reaction. This sends the message that LGBTQ+ lives are worth less than the lives of other Oregonians.

House Bill 3020 would bring Oregon in line with California, Washington, Colorado, and eight other states in passing bipartisan legislation clarifying that learning someone’s gender or sexual orientation is not a reasonable emotional disturbance. Oregon had the 11th most hate crimes in the 10 days following the 2016 election. Oregon already places limits on what can and cannot be a reasonable emotional disturbance and what force can and cannot be justified. House Bill 3020 will help ensure that LGBTQ+ victims are able to get the same justice any other Oregonian has the right to.

2021 Session Bill Highlights – For your information

SB 555: Helping Oregon’s Families and Farmers

One of the biggest concerns families on SNAP have when it comes to their groceries is how expensive it is to feed their family the healthy foods they know they need. Too often, it is simply cheaper to feed their family junk food. In 2019 the Legislature approved funding for the Double Up Food Bucks program that SNAP recipients can participate in. When families make the choice to spend their SNAP benefits on healthy, Oregon grown produce at farmers markets or approved, locally owned grocery stores, Double Up Food Bucks gives them a matching amount, up to $10 per shopping trip, that can also be spent on more Oregon grown produce at that same farmer’s market or grocery store. The COVID-19 pandemic has meant that even more Oregonians have needed to use SNAP benefits to feed their families, 1 in 4 Oregonians are food insecure. The Double Up Food Bucks program simply does not have the funding to meet the demand. At the same time, Oregon farmers are being hit with canceled contracts from restaurants and other venues that were closed due to the pandemic, leaving them with produce that has no buyers and without the money they had been relying on. 

Senate Bill 555, along with its twins, SB 440 and HB 2292, would increase funding for the Double Up Food Bucks program, allowing more Oregonians access to the fresh fruits and vegetables our farmers work so hard to grow.  The Double Up Food Bucks program lets Oregonians help Oregonians, and COVID-19 has taught us the importance of strong communities that support each other.

*You can support these and other bills in the Oregon legislature by signing up to give testimony. Visit here for information on "How to Testify at the Oregon Legislature."

*Follow along with the progress of a bill by clicking the bill link and then clicking on "Follow this Bill: e-Subscribe Email" in the top right corner of the bill's page.

Tax Updates

From the Oregon Department of Revenue

DOR Graphic

OSU College of Business Offers Free Tax Preparation Services Through IRS Partnership

From Oregon State University

The Oregon State University College of Business Center for Advancing Financial Education is offering free tax preparation services to low- and middle-income individuals and families through a partnership with the IRS.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, or VITA, program is an IRS initiative to support free tax preparation service for those who qualify. Volunteers including IRS-certified accounting students, university staff and community members, prepare taxes for participants.

The service is available in February and March, and appointments are now being taken, said Shannon Dolan, an accounting instructor overseeing the program. To qualify for the service, individuals or families must make less than $72,000 annually and meet other eligibility guidelines.

Participants will undergo an initial interview appointment via telephone or online via Zoom to confirm they qualify, ensure they have their tax documents and go over intake forms. Appointments will be scheduled after that, with most tax preparation taking place virtually after documents are received.

A limited number of face-to-face tax preparation appointments also are available, following COVID-19 health and safety protocols including wearing masks and use of plexiglass dividers.

To learn more about eligibility or to register for an appointment, visit https://beav.es/vita or call 541-737-7962. Assistance is also available in Spanish.

At Oregon State, VITA is supported by the IRS, the College of Business accounting department and the Center for Advancing Financial Education. The center provides equitable access to financial education, advice and support to elevate financial well-being within the OSU community and across Oregon.

Community Outreach

Break Up With Plastics Virtual Event

Friday, February 12th at 12:00pm. Join Environment Oregon, Oceana and Surfrider Foundation, along with myself, State Rep Sheri Schouten, OSPIRGOspirg Students and more to learn how you can break up with plastics and how to support these policies in the legislature. Visit here for more information.

Break up with Plastics graphic

Lasagna Love


Thank you to a House District 30 newsletter reader for writing in to let us know about Lasagna Love here in the Portland Metro area!

"Lasagna Love is a non profit organization helping families in the Portland Metro area.  A whole bunch of awesome people are making and delivering home-cooked lasagnas for families who are struggling as a result of the pandemic.  Lost income, lost childcare, whatever the reason, we have volunteers ready to help take the load off for the night. One meal isn't going to change the world, but it may change a day. I would love it if you could help spread the word to families that could use help. They can request a lasagna at lasagnalove.org.  It's a free meal, made with love, no strings attached."  

If you know of a local organization accepting donations or volunteers to help our community during the pandemic, feel free to let us know and we will include their information in an upcoming newsletter.

Additional Resources

 House District 30 Links

Federal Delegation Links

Education Links

Utilities Assistance

Food and Housing Assistance

Be good to yourself and each other. ❤

Onward & Upward,


Capitol Phone: 503-986-1430
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE, H-487, Salem, Oregon 97301
Email: Rep.JaneenSollman@oregonlegislature.gov
Website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/sollman