Winter Storm Safety, Town Hall, Landlord Compensation Fund and One Year of COVID-19

Senator Wagner

Staying Safe Without Power

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I hope you are all staying safe and warm after last weekend's stormy weather took down power and internet for hundreds of thousands of Oregonians. As we contend with these new challenges, my colleagues and I are continuing our work in the legislature to address the greatest needs of our families and small businesses.

The past week has been rough for so many Oregonians. Due to last weekend’s inclement weather, many people—my family included— endured power outages, and limited mobility due to snow, ice and fallen trees. For future reference (or if you are still without power), below are some ways you can stay safe during power outages. 

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.  

If there are power lines down in your area, it’s always safest to assume they are live and you should avoid them. Please also do not call 911 to report downed power lines and outages. 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

PGE has also launched a comprehensive website with storm restoration updates, which you can find at this link. This site includes detailed information about downed and damaged infrastructure, teams working in the field, impacts of current weather on restoration efforts, and more.

If you’re not sure who to call for help, call 2-1-1 or visit to be directed to appropriate local resources.

Finally, the Governor signed an Executive Order declaring an abnormal market disruption due to the winter storms.  Oregonians who believe they have been subjected to excessive prices on items like hotel rooms due to demands caused by the storms should call the Department of Justice Consumer Protection hotline at 877-877-9392.

FEMA stay safe during power outage

Upcoming Town Hall - February 24

Next week I am co-hosting a virtual town hall with fellow State Senator Ginny Burdick from 5:30-7:00 PM on Wednesday, February 24. Click the image below to register for the town hall (or go to this link), and join us to learn more about the work we're doing for you in Salem. 

Town Hall with Wagner & Burdick February 24

Winter Storms Delay Vaccine Shipments Across the Country

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) is reporting that 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

Latest Updates from the Oregon Employment Department

Some pandemic unemployment assistance (PUA) claims will begin expiring as we near the one-year mark of program creation. Even with an expired PUA claim, you are still eligible to receive up to 11 additional weeks of PUA provided through the federal Continued Assistance Act (CAA). The Oregon Employment Department (OED) has begun paying PUA benefits to people with expired and exhausted claims. Funds should start appearing in accounts by next week.

You may receive a letter from the Employment Department stating your claim has expired and that you need to file for a new claim. These are automated letters. You DO NOT need to file a new claim. Keep filing for PUA every week even if you see in the Online Claim System that your claim is expired.

To find your claim expiration date and claim balance, click Time and Money in the Online Claim System, and you will see how many weeks you have. For more information about PUA, read our updated Frequently Asked Questions.

Landlord Compensation Fund - Applications Open



The Landlord Compensation Fund is now accepting applications. Established during the last special session of 2020, the program provides relief to residential landlords who have been unable to collect tenant rent due to tenant hardships. Landlords whose applications are selected for funding will receive 80% of unpaid rent they are owed by currently qualified tenants (from April 2020 on) and the remaining 20% of unpaid rent is forgiven.

The February application – accessible here – will be open until March 2 at 4PM  and cover rent debt accrued from April 2020 – February 2021. This round of application includes $50 M of the total $150 M available for this program.

Tenants in need of assistance can call or text 2-1-1 or reach out to their local community action agency. Additionally, homeowners in need of support can access assistance through the Oregon Homeownership Stabilization Initiative.

Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace


Click the image to navigate to the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace website.

As of this week, the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace has opened a special enrollment period for 90 days. If you or your loved ones need health insurance, visit this link for more information. Oregonians have from now until May 15, 2021 to sign up and get covered. 

To learn more about this special enrollment period, read this news release from the Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS).

Community Spotlight - Tualatin's "Share the Love" Program


During difficult times, I like to highlight the good happening in our community. This week, I’m celebrating the Tualatin Parks and Recreation Department’s “Share the Love” program. Thanks to a grant from the Washington County Community Mental Health and Psyche program, Tualatin parks and trails will be filled with 150 hand-blown glass hearts this month.

The artwork is produced by Charlene Fort, a retired schoolteacher who taught in schools in Portland and the Columbia Gorge and has been blowing glass for 20 years now. These little works of art will be placed around parks and trails in Tualatin, and those who find them may keep them, share them with loved ones or hide them again for others to find.

Thank you to Tualatin Parks and Recreation for designing this program that lets community members get out for a fun, socially distanced activity, to Charlene Fort for making these beautiful treasures, and to Washington County for making the project possible. 

If you find one of these hearts, be sure to post a photo on social media using the hashtag #sharethelovetualatin to share their discovery with other residents. And make sure to learn more about this program from this article. Happy hunting!

One Year of COVID-19

On February 28, 2021, we will mark one year since the first case of COVID-19 was discovered in Oregon. Hector Calderon, a building engineer for Forest Hills Elementary School in Lake Oswego, would go on to spend more than two months in the hospital, including 60 days on a ventilator. I am so glad that he recovered, and I wish the best for him and his family now that Mr. Calderon has returned to Forest Hills.

This virus has been truly devastating. The past year has required difficult sacrifices from Oregonians, and as of February 17, we have lost 2,143 community members to this disease. My heart is with the families and friends of each Oregonian lost to COVID-19. I am also filled with gratitude for the ways Oregonians have gone to great lengths to keep one another safe, saving an estimated 2,000 additional lives in the Portland area alone.

Time and again, Oregonians have made concentrated efforts to change their behavior and stop the spread of COVID-19. We've canceled regular routines, learned to live by new public health guidelines, and chosen to stay connected virtually so that we are not missing more friends and family members when we can safely spend time face to face again.

With news of a secured vaccine supply and declining case counts in the state, there is more hope than ever that we are approaching a time that more closely resembles life as we knew it. Until then, I am proud to know that we will continue to take care of each other by wearing masks, washing our hands and watching our distance.

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