Digging out from under the snow and ice!

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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

The inclement weather certainly brought everything to a stop, including the Legislature!  Committee meetings were canceled, as was Tuesday's floor session, but thankfully we are all experienced now at the world of online legislating.  Whether working from the Capitol or home, we are working hard to hear your concerns and to explore bills and issues that matter to you.

Thank you to all the utility companies that are working around the clock to get power back on for Oregonians.  We need to make sure we check in on our neighbors and friends to see how they are doing.  If you can, please consider giving food and donations to your local homeless shelters and food banks.  The weather has really upped the need for shelters, warming centers, and food stores.  Thankfully, Spring will be here before you know it. 

It’s an important week for Team McLain, as HB 3007, one of my most important bills, has a hearing this Thursday.  For more information on the bill and how to watch the hearing, please see below.

Capitol Building

Rep. McLain at the Capitol


Committee Assignments 

Joint Committee On Ways and Means

Joint Committee On Transportation - Co-Chair

House Committee On Agriculture and Natural Resources

Joint Committee On the Interstate 5 Bridge - Co-Chair

Joint Committee On Ways and Means Subcommittee On Education - Co-Chair

2019-2020 Joint Emergency Board 


Watch all Oregon State Legislature Live-Streams and Meetings HERE


Track all 2021 Session Bills HERE



Cartoon of a bill

Instructions for how to testify on a bill:


English instructions here

Aquí están las instrucciones

2021 Top Bills

HB3007 (Part-Time Faculty Health Bill)

Part-time faculty at Oregon Universities and Community Colleges do not have access to healthcare benefits.  Many part-time faculty in Oregon teach enough total hours that they should qualify for state health care coverage under current requirements, but the simple fact that they teach at multiple institutions disallows them from coverage even though their colleagues who teach the same amount at one institution receive coverage.  HB 3007 provides access to health care coverage under OEBB for part-time faculty who qualify for PERS (600-1800hours of work in a year) and teach more than a half-time course load, whether at one institution or multiple

Public Hearing Scheduled: February 18, 2020 at 1:50pm - watch here.


HB2835 (Student Benefits Navigator bill)

This bill requires each community college and public university to hire a benefits navigator to assist students in determining eligibility and applying for federal, state and local benefits programs. It requires community colleges and public universities to establish a statewide consortium to enable the benefits navigator to coordinate with benefits navigators at other institutions and to develop best practices. It requires community colleges and public universities to develop internal processes to enable students to provide feedback and recommendations on how institutions can better assist students in determining eligibility for benefits programs and applying for assistance under benefits programs. 

Public Hearing held on 2/11 and testimony can be found here.


HB2006 (Emergency Housing Bill)

This bill defines and expands the definition of “emergency shelter.”  It expands the description of transitional housing accommodations to include motor-vehicle camping, and removes the three-vehicle limit on motor-vehicle camping on religious institution properties.  It expands uses of the Emergency Housing Account to include developing technical assistance regarding emergency shelters or transitional housing accommodations.  It also authorizes the Housing and Community Services Department to use the Emergency Housing Account to fund grants and technical assistance for organizations to develop or operate low-barrier emergency shelters, develop supportive facilities or provide rapid rehousing services and support. 

Public Hearing scheduled: February 23rd at 8:00am - watch here.


Please join us at our Virtual Town Hall Meeting on Thursday, February 25th at 6pm to hear about Session updates and upcoming legislation! The floor will be open to any questions and concerns. 

Click the following link to register for our zoom town hall: REGISTER HERE

Town Hall Flyer

Updates from Salem

Governor Brown Issues Statement on Continued Severe Winter Weather and Power Outages in Willamette Valley

*This information was taken from a 2/15/21 press release from Governor Brown’s office.

  • With more than 330,000 Oregonians without power, utility crews are working hard to make progress but the weather is leading to new outages faster than the pace of restoration, with the tri-county area now being the hardest hit.
  • According to Governor Brown, “utilities in our region have never experienced such widespread outages, including during the September 2020 wildfires.  The state of emergency I declared on Saturday will ensure that all necessary state resources are available on the ground to help Oregonians impacted by this winter storm.”
  • Oregonians in impacted communities should remain home as much as possible, and check on your neighbors and loved ones when you can do so safely.

Warming Shelter Resources

Severe weather shelters and warming spaces are available in Multnomah County for Oregonians in need. More information is available at 211 or 211info.org. In Washington County, call 211 or Community Connect at 503-640-3263. Information on Clackamas County warming centers is available here.

Sign up for Public Alerts

Please use 911 for life-safety emergencies only; instead call 211, sign up for Public Alerts for updates, or call non-emergency lines for assistance:

  • Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office: 503-655-8211
  • Hood River Sheriff’s Office: 541-386-2711
  • Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office: 503-823-3333
  • Washington County Sheriff’s Office: 503-629-0111
  • Marion County Sheriff’s Office: 503-588-5032
  • Oregon State Police: 800-442-0776

Report Power Outages

Please also do not call 911 to report downed power lines and outages. Please call your electric company or cooperative instead:

  • PGE: 800-544-1795
  • Pacific Power: 1-877-508-5088
  • Hood River Electric: 541-354-1233
  • Salem Electric: 503-362-3601
  • West Oregon Electric: 503-429-3021

Road condition updates are available at ODOT's Trip Check page. More information about Governor Brown’s state of emergency declaration is available here.


Measure 110 Oversight and Accountability Council meets February 19 via Zoom

What: The public meeting of the Measure 110 Oversight and Accountability Council.

Agenda: Introductions; Measure 110 Overview and Reflection; Structure for Engagement; Context and Decision Making: Reviewing the Timeline; Next Steps and Considerations.

When: Friday, February 19, 10 a.m. to noon.

Where: View the livestream​ (YouTube) 

Purpose: Ballot Measure 110, the Drug Addiction Treatment and Recovery Act, requires the formation of a grant program to fund Addiction Recovery Centers and an Oversight and Accountability Council to determine how the grant funds will be distributed. The council will also oversee the implementation of the centers. 


Staying safe at home without power

These past few days have been rough for many people in Oregon. Not only are we all coping with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, now many people are dealing with power outages, and limited mobility due to snow, ice and fallen trees. Here are some ways you can stay safe during this emergency.  

Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning 

With a loss of power, you may be thinking of using alternate heating and cooking sources, some of which come with the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. During a power outage, keep these things in mind: 

  • Use caution with kerosene or gas space heaters; use vented space heaters whenever possible and make sure they are clean and inspected. 

  • Never use a gas range or oven to heat your home. 

  • Do not use charcoal grills or camp stoves indoors. 

  • Never run a portable generator or any gas-powered engine in a basement, garage or other enclosed area, even if doors and windows are open. 

Common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain and confusion. Exposure to carbon monoxide can cause loss of consciousness and death. If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, seek fresh air and consult a health care professional right away. 

For more information on carbon monoxide safety including fact sheets in multiple languages, visit the OHA website.  

Flyer on what to do in a power outage.

Vaccine Updates

**Winter storms have disrupted access to vaccination sites and slowed vaccine distribution throughout the state and country. If you have questions about how your COVID-19 vaccine appointment might be affected, reach out to your vaccine provider.


Oregon Health Authority says Winter storms delay vaccine shipments across the country

Vaccine shipments may be delayed due to severe weather here in Oregon and across the country.  

This slowdown and the effects of local winter weather may impact your access to vaccines. If you have questions about how your COVID-19 vaccine appointment might be affected, reach out to your vaccine provider. Visit our COVID-19 webpage to get details about your county

Oregon Health Authority (OHA) is in contact with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to make sure that our doses are safe.  

OHA is also assisting Oregon COVID-19 vaccine sites that have lost power to their freezers by moving doses to powered sites to avoid spoilage. We are evaluating the situation and expect to learn more in the next few days.   


vaccine information


People 75 and older will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine starting Monday

Starting Monday, Feb. 15, people in Oregon who are 75 years of age or older become eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations.

Adults who are eligible can use the following resources to get linked to vaccine information in their communities. Tools that allow scheduling will be available with new appointment slots at 9 a.m. on Mondays and Thursdays:

  • Get Vaccinated Oregon: Find answers to basic questions to learn if you are eligible and get linked to information about vaccinations in your county. You can also sign up for alerts to get notified about upcoming vaccination events or find out when you may become eligible. Find this tool at covidvaccine.oregon.gov or getvaccinated.oregon.gov
  • Vaccine Information chat bot on the covidvaccine.oregon.gov website is available to find out if you’re eligible for a vaccine in Oregon or to get answers to other questions about vaccines. If you live in Clackamas, Columbia, Marion, Multnomah or Washington counties you can schedule vaccine appointments by using the Vaccine Information chat bot. The friendly Vaccine Information chat bot tool is an orange box that appears when you open the covidvaccine.oregon.gov website. 
  • 211: Text ORCOVID to 898211 to get text/SMS updates about vaccination clinics in English or Spanish 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, 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.
  • Local pharmacies that will receive 100 doses a week:


5 things to know before getting a vaccine

COVID19 Updates

National Numbers: 

    • Confirmed Cases: 27,542,421 (up 56,384 from yesterday)
    • Deaths: 485,070 (up 1,217 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.


Map of the U.S.

Oregon Status Report: 

  • Oregon now has 150,875 total cases (confirmed and presumptive) of COVID-19. 
    • Today we have 1,319 new confirmed and presumptive cases, and 44 new deaths. 
    • A total of 2,138 Oregonians have died from COVID-19.

         (previous daily case updates from OHA here)

  • Washington County still has one of the highest case counts at 20,678 confirmed cases, including 207 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 stats in Oregon


CDC provides tips on how to improve your mask fit

Most people know now that masks are one of the primary tools we have of keeping ourselves and others safe from getting COVID-19. Even as more people are getting vaccinated, masks will continue to be a regular part of our lives.

Masks work best when everyone wears them consistently and correctly. The CDC has updated its guidance on how well your mask fits and filters the air, and how many layers it has.

Two ways to help your mask protect you

  1. Make sure your mask fits snugly against your face
  2. Pick a mask with layers or wear a disposable mask underneath a cloth mask
How to wear your mask

Hillsboro/Forest Grove school news

Group of people

Latino Parent Advisory Meeting 

Hillsboro School District’s Latino Virtual Parent Meeting takes place on Wednesday, Feb. 24, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. via Google Meet (dial +1470-655-0305 PIN: 462795800#). All families of students identifying as Latino and/or Mesoamerican Indigenous are welcome to attend these monthly meetings to learn more about what is happening in the District and to share thoughts and concerns for how to best support students in their education. Join us and learn about new ways to get involved in the school system. For more information, call 503-844-1475. The meeting will be held in Spanish. Interpretation available in other languages is available upon prior request.

Forest Grove School District Logo

Expanded Meal Services

Forest Grove School District has a 7-Day Meal Kit program for families that are unable to attend the daily meal pickup. Families will need to fill out an online survey in advance each week and will be able to pick up their meal box at any of the four walk-up sites (Forest Grove High School, Joseph Gale Elementary School, Harvey Clarke Elementary School and Echo Shaw Elementary School).  

Link to Pre-order form


Click the image below to see where schools are starting to reopen.

School opening stats in Oregon

Benefits Update

Federal Food Security: What’s Changed

Opinion piece by Etta O’Donnell-King 

*Please visit Partners for a Hunger-free Oregon for more information.

While federal changes in leadership can have limited effect on our communities, there certainly have been a lot of changes to benefits for low-income people and families.

Even before the new president took office, Congress passed a COVID relief bill that included a 15% boost to SNAP benefits during the pandemic, an expansion of Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) to all children under age 6 receiving SNAP and expansions of SNAP eligibility for college students, which would make students eligible if they are awarded work study or have a family contribution of $0 on the FAFSA. These are basic changes that we are all entitled to that will continue for the rest of the pandemic emergency declaration. We hope that this opens the door for these changes to be available outside of this pandemic.

In the first few days of this new presidency, we have also seen some truly harmful SNAP rule changes be reversed. President Biden has halted the rollback of broad based categorical eligibility and standard utility allowances.

If you don’t remember, the Trump administration filed an administrative rule change in July of 2019 on broad based categorical eligibility that would have restricted states’ ability to streamline how people apply for assistance and lower the income level at which someone is eligible for SNAP and block people with very modest assets, like a used car, from qualifying. This rule would have cut nearly 500,000 Oregon households off of SNAP and made it much harder for families to access free and reduced-price meals. We wrote more about this rule back in 2019.

The administrative rule change on Standard Utility Allowances had a similar but different intent by reducing costs for the administration by directly reducing benefits for families. Introduced in October 2019, this rule changed how states take households’ utility costs into account in determining the amount of SNAP benefits for which they qualify. This rule would have reduced food assistance from four out of every nine (43%) Oregonians participating in SNAP. For more information, we wrote about it in 2019, when it was introduced.

Another step towards a big change has come most recently. President Biden signed an Executive Order on February 2 reviewing the Trump administration Public Charge rule. This rule would block documented, tax-paying immigrants and their families from going through the official immigration process for receiving benefits for which they are legally eligible, including SNAP (food stamps), Medicaid and housing assistance to help make ends meet. This rule was enacted, and it has weaved through courts, getting struck down and reinstated and all that time, families were not getting what they needed, because of the fear this rule has caused. This rule combined all of the base elements of the previous administration; needless cruelty, open hatred of poverty and virulent racism. See our original response to this rule in 2019 here.

We are happy to see these changes from the new administration, they have a positive effect for people and families. But they just bring us back to where we were. We want to think bigger about how we can bring more to families. Especially now, people need more and new benefits. We are going to keep thinking big and finding new pathways from poverty for families and we hope, and will demand, that those in the Capitol do too.

SNAP Benefits Flyer

Tax Resources

2021 Tax Season Hot Topics 

  • Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) - The EITC is a federal and state tax credit for people earning up to $56,844 per year. Individuals  with low to moderate income who have a Social Security number may qualify for the EITC. For tax year 2020, the federal Earned Income Credit can be based upon income that is earned  in either 2019 or 2020. Individuals may elect to choose the year that allows for the largest  refund. Oregon’s EITC is a percentage of the amount allowed on the federal return. Taxpayers  can use the IRS EITC Assistant (available in English or Spanish) to check their eligibility  further. 
  • Unemployment Benefits - Unemployment benefits are taxable to Oregon. Funds received through the Pandemic  Unemployment Assistance Program are also taxable to Oregon. Unlike W-2 wages,  unemployment benefits do not automatically have amounts withheld to pay taxes at the end of  the year. Individuals who did not elect to have withholding on their unemployment may see  an increased tax bill. Individuals receiving unemployment compensation in 2021 may submit  Form 1040WH to the Oregon Employment Department to authorize withholding. 
  • Stimulus Payments - Economic Impact Payments received during 2020 and early 2021 may impact the amount of  federal tax subtraction that can be claimed on the 2020 Oregon personal income tax return. The  federal tax subtraction is based on the amount of federal tax paid in the 2020 tax year.  Individuals should reduce the amount of federal tax paid in 2020 by the payments received to  determine the amount of federal tax subtraction they are allowed. The federal tax subtraction  is limited to $6,950 ($3,475 if married filing separately). 
  • Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES)/Charitable Donation - Oregon is automatically tied to changes made to taxable income under the federal CARES Act.  The CARES Act permits individuals who do not itemize their deductions to claim a deduction  of up to $300 for cash donations ($150 if married filing separately) to a qualifying charitable  organization for tax year 2020. While this deduction is claimed on the federal return, the  decrease in adjusted gross income will reduce Oregon taxes as well.
  • Disaster Relief (COVID-19, Wildfires, Straight-line Winds) - The Department of Revenue recognizes not all individuals will be prepared to pay their taxes  in full this year. The department is offering penalty waiver relief for individuals impacted by  COVID, wildfires, or straight-line winds.
  • Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) - Funds received through the PPP that are forgiven will not create taxable income for 2020.  However, after Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act on December 21, 2020, business expenses paid with funds received from the PPP loan program are tax deductible.  Oregon’s current law is tied to these changes. 
  • Business Use of Home - Oregon is automatically tied to changes made to taxable income under the Tax Cuts and Jobs  Act (TCJA). Employees who receive a paycheck or a W-2 exclusively from an employer are not  eligible for the business use of home deduction, even if they are currently working from home.  Along with other changes, the TCJA suspended the use of employee business expenses for  employees through 2025. Visit the IRS for more information on business use of home. 
  • Free-File - All Oregon taxpayers preparing their own returns can file electronically at no cost using  Oregon’s free fillable forms. There are many free or low-cost preparation options available for  both federal and Oregon tax returns. Some software companies offer free software use and e filing for eligible taxpayers. Visit the Department of Revenue website to take advantage of the  software and free offers and get more information about free tax preparation services. 
  • Filing Tips - E-filing is the fastest way to get your tax refund. Taxpayers who e-file their returns and  request their refund via direct deposit receive their refund sooner on average than those who  file paper returns and request refund checks. A refund hold is part of our tax fraud prevention  efforts and allows us to confirm that the amounts claimed on tax returns match what  employers report on Forms W-2 and 1099. Filers can check “Where’s My Refund?” online to  see the status of their refund. Oregon will begin issuing refund checks after February 16.
  • Revenue Online - The Department of Revenue continues to expand the features available through Revenue  Online. Individuals can view letters sent to them by the department, initiate appeals, make  payments, and submit questions. Visit Revenue Online to learn more.

*Call: 503-378-4988 or 1-800-356-4222 | Email: questions.dor@oregon.gov | Website: www.oregon.gov/dor 

Wildfire Resources

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


Pictures of Rep. McLain


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