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Hello Friends,

This week has been consolidated with a dense set of work around Budget conversations, hearings on our Part-Time Faculty Health (HB 3007), and details presented in committees to update us on Agency work in the areas of Transportation, Education, and Forestry.

We have to finish our hearing next week on our Household Hazardous Waste bill (HB 2955), set up Panels for our Mobility Representation bill (HB 2985) and our Structured Housing Bill (HB 2953) that are getting public hearings next week. Have a good week-end!

Representative McLain

Zoom hearing committee


2021 Session 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

2021 Session: Bill Highlight

  • Yesterday at 1pm, we held our first public hearing for House Bill 3007, our Part-Time Faculty Health Bill, assigned to the House Committee on Education for this session.
    • This bill would provide that part-time faculty member at public institution of higher education who qualifies for health care benefits will pay 10 percent of insurance premiums for employee coverage.
  • We heard several powerful testimonies from teachers and representatives from organizations such as the OEA and AAUP. The hearing was a success!

Special Shoutouts!

Snowy trees and construction work around power lines

Special Shoutout and huge thank you to our hundreds of PGE workers who are working around the clock to restore power to the thousands of PGE customers across the state who have lost electricity. We greatly appreciate the hard work you are doing to support our community during this tough time. 

Special shoutout to Bienestar, one of the oldest community-based housing organizations in Oregon, which was originally established as the Housing Development Corporation during a time of activism and advocacy for migrant farmworkers and immigrant rights in Washington County. This coming June will mark the 40th anniversary of Bienestar’s founding. 

biennestar logo
group of masked individuals in forest

As Bienestar prepares to build over 250 new affordable rental homes in Nueva Esperanza (New Hope) in Hillsboro and Plaza Los Amigos (Friends Square) in Cornelius to increase the availability of safe, stable and affordable housing, they are also working to provide services to the most vulnerable in our community – people without a stable home.

Bienestar’s Homeless Services Navigator, Maria Hernandez, has been working for the past 5 months with Washington County’s Housing Authority to serve individuals experiencing homelessness and transition them into stable housing.

We are so grateful for all of the hard work and assistance you provide for our community!

Special Shoutout and congratulations to Forest Grove High School Principal Karen O’Neil on your kind-of retirement! We appreciate all that you’ve done for our teachers and students. Read more about Principle O’Neil’s kind-of retirement  HERE.

Principal offering hand shake to graduating woman in cap and gown

Updates from Salem

Fallen tree on snow covered street

Governor Kate Brown Declares Abnormal Market Disruption Due to Winter Weather State of Emergency

*This announcement is from Governor Kate Brown’s Press Release

  • Governor Kate Brown on Tuesday issued Executive Order 21-03, declaring an abnormal market disruption as a result of the severe winter weather emergency in nine Oregon counties. This order is in response to reports of unusual increases in lodging rates for Oregonians who have sought temporary stays until power can be restored at their homes.  
  • Oregonians who believe they have been subjected to excessive prices for lodging or essential consumer goods and services due to this disruption can report these instances to the Oregon Department of Justice through their Consumer Protection Hotline at 877-877-9392. Oregonians can also visit www.OregonConsumer.gov for more information. The Oregon Department of Justice has the authority to investigate unlawful trade practices.
  • This Executive Order is in addition to, and does not replace, Executive Order 20-15 or Executive Order 20-57, which declared an abnormal market disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Labor Day wildfires, respectively. These orders remain in effect.

Governor Brown Issues Statement on Return to In-Person Instruction

*This announcement is from Governor Kate Brown’s Press Release

Governor Brown issued the following statement yesterday:

  • “Eight weeks ago, I directed the Oregon Department of Education and the Oregon Health Authority to put more schools on track to return students to in-person instruction, with a focus on our youngest learners. Since then, thanks to the incredible work of our superintendents, school board members, educators, parents, and community members, Oregon has more than doubled the number of students learning in-person, to 116,749.
  • “Starting next month, even more school districts across Oregon will begin returning elementary students to the classroom for hybrid instruction––including our second largest school district, Salem-Keizer, with over 17,000 elementary students. By the end of April, most elementary students in Oregon will be learning in classrooms again.
  • “Oregon is committing robust state and federal resources for our schools––including our supplies of Abbott BinaxNOW rapid tests for on-site testing––to get students back into classrooms. We are utilizing $500 million in federal relief to implement safety standards and buy personal protective equipment for staff and students. All educators who want a vaccine will soon be fully vaccinated.

Oregon National Guard deploys as power outages persist a week after winter storm

By KGW Staff

*This article is from KGW8 News. Click the link above to read more

Check your power status:

Vaccine Updates

Guy in blue mask and black work uniform pushing cardboard box

Vaccine Delays Mount After Severe Weather Wallops Oregon and Midwest

By Ben Botkin

*This article is from the Lund Report News

  • The harsh winter weather across the United States delayed delivery of 67,000 doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine to Oregon this week. 

    • The delay has different impacts throughout the state and doesn’t necessarily mean Oregonians cannot get a dose this week. That largely depends on where people are seeking a dose and whether the location already has ample supplies on hand. 

    • Delivery was delayed to dozens of providers, and at least some had to roll back vaccinations.

    • If a vaccination site had previously agreed to accept deliveries on weekends, it’s possible that it could get weekend deliveries of the backlogged doses, though that’s uncertain, Heartquist said. However, providers cannot change that preference now with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to get weekend deliveries, Heartquist said.

    • Officials expect the shipments to catch up, but that may not happen until next week, when locations will get twice the normal number of Moderna doses. Moderna doses usually arrive in Oregon early in the week and were supposed to enter the state on Tuesday.

Pfizer Vaccine Flow Not Affected

  • The flow of Pfizer vaccine to the state has not been affected.

  • The Oregon Convention Center site is open this week after shuttering Friday, Saturday and Sunday due to the weather. Organizers rescheduled appointments for about 10,000 people at the site, which is run by Legacy, Oregon Health & Science University, Providence Health & Services and Kaiser Permanente, said a spokesman.

Need help getting to a vaccine clinic?

*This announcement is from the Oregon Health Authority Press Release

Adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities may be wondering how to get to a vaccine clinic. Here are some options for you: 

  • If you are enrolled in Oregon Health Plan (OHP), you can use Non-Emergent Medical Transportation (NEMT) to get to a clinic and get back home. Here is a map of NEMT brokerages. Generally, NEMT must be scheduled and authorized ahead of time. You can call the brokerages directly to schedule a ride.   

  • If you receive Medicaid-funded in-home support through the Office of Developmental Disabilities Services, you can ask your Medicaid-funded in-home provider to take you to a clinic and to wait with you at the clinic. 

cartoon of woman with long hair coughing into arm

Dr. Fauci weighs in on potential long-term side effects

*This announcement is from the Oregon Health Authority Press Release

  • Some people in Oregon are hesitant to receive the new COVID-19 vaccines. Some don’t want to be “first in line” to receive a new vaccine and may be concerned about long-term side effects. These are good questions and concerns.
  • The COVID-19 vaccines were developed in record time, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t safe. The vaccines went through rigorous testing ─ and included a large cross-section of society including those who have been systemically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic ─ before being offered to the general public. So far, more than 52 million doses have been administered in the United States since mid-December, and adverse reactions have been found to be very rare.
  • In a fireside chat with the National Education Association on Jan. 28, 2021, Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, and chief medical adviser to the Biden administration, was asked about the long-term side effects of COVID-19 vaccines.
    • Dr. Fauci answered, “If you look at the history of vaccines, you know that virtually all long-term adverse effects of a vaccine occur between 15 and 30 days after you get the dose – 45 days at the most. When you get a vaccine allowed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), such as with the emergency use authorization, you have to wait 60 days from the time half the people in the trials got their last dose and observe safety before it can be used on the public. If almost all of the long-term adverse effects occur within 45 days, you’ve gone beyond that if you wait 60 days, so the chances of there being long-term effects are vanishingly small.”

COVID-19 Updates

National Numbers: 

    • Confirmed Cases: 27,737,875
    • Deaths: 491,455
    • These national numbers come from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  You can view their national and state by state data here.

blue shaded map of the U.S.

Oregon Status Report: 

  • Oregon now has 152,000 total cases (confirmed and presumptive) of COVID-19. 
    • Today we have 492 new confirmed and presumptive cases, and 0 new deaths. 
    • A total of 2,149 Oregonians have died from COVID-19.

         (previous daily case updates from OHA here)

  • Washington County still has one of the highest case counts at 20,804 confirmed cases, including 208 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.

daily statewide number data and chart

Governor Kate Brown Provides Updates on COVID-19 in Oregon

*This announcement is from Governor Kate Brown’s Press Release

  • Governor Kate Brown held a press conference today to update Oregonians on the status of COVID-19 in Oregon. The Governor was joined by Oregon Health Authority (OHA) Director Patrick Allen, State Epidemiologist Dr. Dean Sidelinger, Oregon Primary Care Association Executive Director Joan Watson-Patko, and Virginia Garcia Memorial Health System Director of Quality Dr. Sarah Deines. In addition, the Governor shared a video from earlier this morning of former State Senator Margaret Carter getting a COVID-19 vaccine in Portland.
  • "Oregonians continue to make smart choices, and the numbers speak for themselves," said Governor Brown. "As of yesterday, Oregon had the third lowest infection rate in the nation. And while this is great news, we must remain vigilant in the face of challenges ahead with the new variants. We advise Oregonians to continue to follow safety measures and choose your activities wisely so that you are minimizing risk as best you can.
  • "I am pleased to share that we now have more than 131,000 students back in the classroom. That’s 20% of our state’s students, and more than double what it was eight weeks ago when I directed the Oregon Department of Education and the Oregon Health Authority to put more schools on track for in-person instruction. All educators who want a vaccine will soon be fully vaccinated, but we also continue to see the clear science that with rigorous health and safety protocols in place, schools can safely reopen. It is my expectation that more and more schools will bring students back for in-person learning over the coming weeks, and I will continue to do all I can to help make this a reality for our kids.

Around the Region

Hillsboro Superintendent Michael Scott speaking at podium, wearing black suit

Mayor with grey suit jacket speaking into microphone

Hillsboro proclaims March 1 'COVID-19 Memorial Day'

By Max Egener

*This article is from Pamplin Media Group News

  • Nearly one year ago, Oregon's first confirmed case of a little-understood novel coronavirus was detected in Hillsboro.
  • In honor and remembrance of the more than 20,500 Washington County residents who have contracted the virus and the 207 people who have died of it, Hillsboro officials proclaimed March 1 to be "COVID-19 Victims and Survivors Memorial Day."

ballerinas dancing in black leotards and black masks

Forest Grove businesses reopen under revised COVID guidelines

By Wade Evanson

*This article is from Pamplin Media Group News

  • Roughly three months after Oregon Gov. Kate Brown issued a two-week "pause" to slow the spread of COVID-19, local businesses are again opening their doors to customers.
  • Last Tuesday, Feb. 9, Brown announced that 10 counties — including Washington County — had moved out of the "extreme risk" category, meaning restaurants can have limited indoor dining, gyms can increase admittance, long-term care facilities can allow in-person visits, and businesses such as Forest Grove Dance Arts can move back from the virtual world, and into their studio that has been without students since last November.
  • On Monday, Feb. 15, students filtered into the dance studio, each with a mask and fresh from a temperature check as they entered one-by-one.
    • Forest Grove Dance Arts has two 1,400-square-foot rooms, which are cleaned between classes. Each of these large rooms has been limited to a capacity of 15, with the latest social distancing regulations in mind. That allows for two simultaneous classes of 10 students, plus room for instructors and assistants if need be.
    • Each room remains equipped with a sizable television to allow for virtual students who either aren't yet ready to return or are limited due to vulnerable home situations.
    • The Zoom option also allows for parents to monitor their child's progress from home, or simply appreciate the viewing experience on their phone from the parking lot as they await the finish of class.
  • Rainbow Lanes in Forest Grove will open its doors Friday, Feb. 19, and while excited, alley owner Allyn Clark said it's not just as easy as opening the doors after such a prolonged layover.

Agency shows how to lessen disruption to unemployment claims

By Peter Wong

*This article is from Pamplin Media News Group

  • The acting director of the Oregon Employment Department offers advice to people to minimize potential disruptions from the recent winter storms.
  • David Gerstenfeld says people can file their weekly claims for unemployment benefits through the agency's automated claims telephone line at 1-800-982-8920 if they have lost power and access to the internet. Or they can wait until later in the week.
  • This call-in option applies only to claims for regular benefits from the state trust fund, Extended Benefits from federal funds, and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, which offers up to 24 weeks of federal benefits beyond the regular 26 weeks from the state trust fund. Self-employed and gig workers, who are covered by a federal program known as Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, cannot file claims by telephone.
  • The line offers options in English, Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese and Mandarin Chinese. Gerstenfeld said the three latter languages were added recently. He also said people can call at 503-606-6969 or email at unemployment.oregon.gov (use contact button) for free interpretation services.
    • If people do have power and access to the internet, Gerstenfeld says they should continue to file their claims online by the usual deadline of Saturday, Feb. 20.
    • If people miss that deadline, either by failing to call or file online, he said, "They will need to restart their claim next week and backdate their claim. But they can still do that online."
  • Gerstenfeld, in a weekly conference call with reporters, said the agency has received questions about whether federal aid will be available under Disaster Unemployment Assistance, as it was following the Labor Day wildfires that swept the state.
    • He said aid will hinge upon whether President Joe Biden declares a federal disaster as a result of the winter storm. Gov. Kate Brown has declared a state of emergency, but that in itself does not trigger federal aid.
    • Federal disaster aid provided some unemployment benefits for workers as a result of the wildfires, but the number was small.

Firefighters walking around debris

Wildfire Recovery Updates

Beware of carbon monoxide poisoning when using alternate heat sources

*This article is from the Oregon Office of Emergency Management Press Release

  • The severe winter storm this past weekend left thousands of Oregonians without power and with freezing temperatures, some have turned to alternate heating sources. 
  • Without proper ventilation, some of these heat sources can lead to dangerous carbon  monoxide buildup in the home. As many impacted counties are also dealing with wildfire recovery, this is an added risk.
  • Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, toxic gas produced when fuel is burned. Many heat sources such as gas stoves, heaters, and open flames using coal, gas or wood can give off carbon monoxide. Usually, there is a ventilation system that releases dangerous fumes. 
  • But when the usual source of heat is unavailable, many turn to temporary, unstable heating sources. This raises the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are headaches, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and loss of consciousness. If these symptoms are ignored, they can cause death. The only way to know if you are being exposed to carbon monoxide is by using a detector. If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, get to fresh air and consult a healthcare professional immediately.
  • For more information on carbon monoxide safety, visit the Oregon Health Authority website.

Severe Winter Weather Resources

*This article is from the Oregon Office of Emergency Management Press Release

  • As Oregonians continue to recover from devastating wildfires, crews are working around the clock in nine counties to bring utilities back online, clear roadways and remove debris. To help support these efforts, there's something you can do -- know who to call and where to find local resources you need.
    • Reserve 9-1-1 calls for emergencies only.
    • 2-1-1 is a great resource for up-to-date information on food, health care, and shelter assistance. 
    • For more information, call 211 or go to 211info.org.
    • For updates on power outages, visit ready.gov. 
    • Many counties are opening up severe weather shelters and warming centers. Find one near you at https://www.211info.org/em-shelters.
  • Local county emergency management offices may also be able to assist with community needs.


After brief pause, critical debris and hazard tree removal work continues

*This article is from the Oregon Office of Emergency Management Press Release

  • The heavy snow, rain and ice that blanketed Oregon toppled living trees of all sizes throughout the state, severing power lines and damaging homes.
  • While temperatures warm, the latest winter storm underscores the importance of safety and planning ahead along Oregon roadways and communities. 
  • While the weekend weather caused momentary pauses for hazard tree and debris removal efforts, work is quickly underway again.
  • With snow and freezing rain, removing hazard trees on steep, wooded slopes is particularly dangerous, and was paused until temperatures rose above freezing. 
  • Statewide, winter storms added hundreds of additional hazard trees near roads. ODOT tree crews and utility linemen are clearing these hazards while power is restored for tens of thousands of Oregonians.
  • The Debris Removal Task Force is coordinating with everyone working hard to ensure safety and clear roads. Normal operations resumed this week.
  • Travelers and residents in the affected counties might experience additional lane closures as areas recover from the storm. Please slow down, look for flaggers and work signs, and be prepared to stop.


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.

OED logo

Updates from the Oregon Employment Department

  • OED Acting Director Gerstenfeld briefed the media on Wednesday. The audio and video links are available online.
  • Many Oregonians are still recovering from the snow and ice storm that hit our state and we want you to know that we are working hard through this storm and its aftermath to get people their benefits as quickly as we can.

Our website is kept up-to-date with information on our programs. 

Reminder: Keep claiming your weekly benefits, no matter what program you are in.


Storm Update

  • We shared in the media briefing that our offices in Oregon City and Woodburn were temporarily closed on Wednesday due to the storm. Those offices are now both open.
  • Many of our employees are experiencing challenges, dealing with power outages and more, but most are still able to telecommute. We anticipate any disruptions to our work due to the storm will be short-lived.
  • We know that many Oregonians may not have internet access as a result of the winter storm, and won’t be able to file their weekly claims online. For people filing for regular Unemployment Insurance, Extended Benefits and PEUC, we encourage them to use our automated claim phone line to file their weekly claim: 1-800-982-8920. The automated claim phone line cannot take PUA claims.
  • People can also wait to see if their internet access is restored so they can file online, as long as their claim is filed by this Saturday. If someone is unable to file their claim for last week by February 20th, they will need to restart their claim next week and backdate their claim.


Disaster Unemployment Assistance ([Oregon.gov/employ/disaster]DUA)

  • We have been asked this week about the availability of Disaster Unemployment Assistance, or DUA, for people whose workplaces have temporarily closed or who are not able to get to work because of weather conditions.
  • DUA benefits only become available if there is a Presidential Disaster Declaration. While we do not know if there will be such a declaration, we are preparing now for that possibility. If DUA does become available, it will be a major undertaking for us to get that program started. We are looking at what it will take to update our technology and other systems to implement DUA for these storms.
  • However, as we saw after the 2020 wildfires, most people who are unemployed as a result of the winter storm are likely eligible for an existing benefit program and can apply for those benefits now, rather than waiting for DUA.


Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Mixed-Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC)

  • Last week, we promised that we would pay expired and exhausted PUA claims by Saturday, February 13th. We are pleased to report that we were able to pay those claims!
  • Early in January, in addition to paying PEUC and FPUC benefits, we started paying PUA to people who had a positive balance on their claim. Since January, we have paid a total of $125M PUA benefits to about 59K Oregonians.
  • Now that we have fully implemented changes to PEUC, FPUC, and PUA, and Oregon workers are seeing their benefits, we are now turning our attention to the new Mixed-Earners’ Unemployment Compensation program.


Additional Updates

Automated Letters

  • Last week, we shared information about automated letters that claimants might receive from our mainframe computer system. These duplicative and, sometimes, contradictory letters can be confusing, but we are unfortunately able to make changes to those letters, without taking hundreds of hours to recode the computer system.
  • Acting Director Gerstenfeld promised that we would update our website with information about these letters. You can now find those online: exhausted PUA benefits, expired PUA claims, and maximum benefits reached.


Language Access

  • Our automated claim phone line (1-800-982-8920) recently added Russian, Vietnamese and Mandarin language information to the existing English and Spanish. Claimants with language access needs can ask for free interpretation through our UI and PUA hotlines, and may also contact us by email at OED_LanguageAccess@oregon.gov or call our Worksystems language hotline 503-606-6969.



  • Our next Webinar is Thursday, February 25 at 1 pm. We will be discussing PUA and self-employment verification requirements along with any updates we may have on DUA.
  • Simultaneous interpretation will be available in Spanish, Vietnamese, Russian and Mandarin.
  • To register for this webinar and to view all of our past webinars, visit unemployment.oregon.gov/webinars

Other Assistance Updates

SNAP benefits logo in front of colorful produce

Did you lose food purchased with SNAP during a power outage?

*This article is from the Oregon Health Authority Press Release

  • The Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) is able to replace food purchased with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits if there was a loss of food due to the recent power outages.
  • Food may be replaced for SNAP recipients who:
  • Lost food due to a power outage, home damage or other misfortune
  • Make a request to replace the food loss within 10 days of the date the food is destroyed in a household misfortune.
  • SNAP households that lost or tossed food that was unsafe to eat can request SNAP replacement benefits – but they need to do so within 10 days of the loss.
  • More information is available online.

Family of 3 smiling: dad with short brown hair, mom with long brown hair, daughter with short brown hair

Oregonians can get 2021 health insurance until May 15
  • If you don’t qualify for the Oregon Health Plan and don’t get health insurance through your job, now through Saturday, May 15, is an important time.
  • If you missed open enrollment, this is an excellent time to get health coverage for 2021.
  • Use the Marketplace’s window shopping feature at OregonHealthCare.gov/WindowShop to find out:
    • How can I save money on health insurance?
    • What would my health plan cover?
    • Once I know what I can afford, what’s next?
  • OregonHealthCare.gov is the online home of the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace, a part of state government. It is the state-level partner of HealthCare.gov, the national website where people enroll in Marketplace plans and access subsidies.
  • Health insurance sold through the Marketplace is individual and family coverage offered by private companies, such as Bridgespan, Kaiser Permanente, Moda, PacificSource, Providence, and Regence. Not every company is available in every part the state, but at least three insurance companies and at least 15 plan choices are available everywhere in Oregon.
  • More than 70 percent of Oregonians enrolled through the Marketplace last year qualified for a subsidy. People who received help with the costs of their health insurance paid, on average, $137 per month. An insurance expert can help you, at no cost, apply for the subsidy and enroll in coverage.
  • They are listed at OregonHealthCare.gov/GetHelp. For more information, visit OregonHealthCare.gov or call 855-268-3767 (toll-free).

Landlord Compensation Fund

  • 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 current qualified tenants (from April 2020 on) and the remaining 20% of unpaid rent is forgiven.


  • The February application will be open until March 2nd 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. OHCS sent the attached message to landlords that have expressed interest in the program. It includes five steps landlords can take to apply for rental assistance and contact information in case landlords have any questions.  


Landlord compensation fund chart

dmv oregon logo

Updates from the DMV

  • Field offices continue to increase capacity, with over 31,000 customer visits per week. Last week staff conducted nearly 1,000 behind-the-wheel drive tests and gave ~9,500 knowledge tests. Online knowledge testing is planned to go live by the end of October 2021.
  • Call center wait times remained steady at just over ~35 minutes. Hiring of additional call center staff has been completed, increasing DMV call center capacity by 53%.
  • Weekly title production surpassed 20,000 for the second week in a row. DMV began accepting online payments for missing fees for title transactions, reducing processing time. Digital title application (with a built-in fee calculator) is planned to go live by March 1, simplifying the application process
  • This session we’ve been working with the Joint Committee on Transportation on a bill to eliminate the requirement for two types of outdated knowledge testing. A committee hearing was originally scheduled for yesterday but was cancelled due to weather/connectivity; we’re hopeful this will be rescheduled soon. Elimination of these tests could remove up to 10,000 field office tests each month and free up significant appointment slots for other customers.

Winter Operations Update:

  • Beginning late last week, through the weekend, and even as we type, our crews are on the ground managing the road conditions/closures and responding to the weather event. As of now, we have all interstates open and most of the secondary roads open as well. We were flexible enough to shift some crews around as needed and were ultimately able to avoid major disruptions in the metro area.
  • The largest challenge is power outages and downed trees; power outages affect traffic signals, messaging signs on the roadway, ramp metering, etc. and because the outages are so widespread, backup power is also overstretched.
  • We did have to close I-84 (both preemptively during the weather event itself and again for a brief period to give PGE opportunity to fix a downed power line (fixed in just under 2 hours and quicker than expected!)) but it is open now. Tripcheck.com<https://tripcheck.com/> is the best source of up-to-the-minute road open/close status.
  • As power restoration is the critical path it may take a bit longer for everything to go “back to normal” but again, all roads in the valley are open, passable, and safe for travel right now.
  • In addition to the weather in the valley, we also had a significant snowstorm in the northeastern part of the state and our crews were hard at work clearing the roads for travelers (see photo attached of OR 204; a section of I-84 is closed right now between La Grande and Pendleton)
  • We can’t overstate the magnitude of this weather event (at least compared with a “normal” weather event for the valley) and how important our coordination with local governments and our utility partners has been as we collectively respond. Attaching a few photos here to give a quick sense for some of the impacts

Additional Resources

Employers and Employees



Oregon Health Authority



Flowers brighten my home work space and makes the day have more color!

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