The Blossoms are Blooming and Bills are Moving

Senator Wagner

Despite some damage from February's ice storm, the Capitol Mall Cherry tree grove is in full bloom once again. Even after 25 years of work in the state capitol, this view never disappoints! PC: Rob Wagner

Senate Approves Senate Bill 398

Dear friends and neighbors,

This week, the Oregon Senate passed Senate Bill 398, categorizing the act of displaying a noose as a crime of intimidation. The bill received a 27-1 vote in favor of passage on the Senate Floor.

As Senator James Manning said in his speech on the floor, this should have been a law much sooner. Nooses represent an ugly history and menacing threat, especially for Black Oregonians, and it is past time to honor Senator Lew Frederick’s call to guarantee that our neighbors can feel safe in their neighborhoods, city, state and country. I look forward to following the progress of this bill as it makes its way through the House.

Senate Democrats SB 398 Statement

Lake Oswego Community Policing Dialogue

In addition to actions at the state level, communities across Oregon are also continuing anti-racist work at a local level. In our community, the City of Lake Oswego is inviting folks to participate in a focus group to share their experiences, expectations and vision for community policing.

Find the focus group dates and times below. The deadline to register is Sunday, April 4, 2021. To sign up, click here. Surveys will also be available on this webpage from April 7-23, 2021.

Lake Oswego Community Policing Dialogue

International Transgender Day of Visibility

On March 31 we marked Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV). This annual awareness day is dedicated to celebrating the accomplishments of transgender and non-binary people as we recognize the work that remains ahead to achieve equity and justice for these members of our community. 

I am proud to have worked with and for transgender and non-binary youth and community partners on important policies throughout my career. From local-level efforts to make our schools more inclusive, to statewide initiatives like Adi's Act to mandate suicide prevention planning in every school distritct, to Senate Bill 704 in this year's legislative session, which bans the use of the LGBTQ Panic Defense. While Oregon provides broad legal protections for our trans and non-binary neighbors, I look forward to continuing the work it will take to make our state a safe, inclusive and just place for all.

To learn more about Transgender Day of Visibility, check out this PBS article. You can also find additional resources by reading the Oregon Senate Democrats thread about TDOV on Twitter.


Vaccine Eligibility Updates

Thanks to the increasing vaccine supply from the federal government and the progress counties and health care providers have made vaccinating seniors, OHA will again be accelerating its timelines for COVID-19 vaccine eligibility for people in Phase 1b, Group 7. Governor Brown also announced during a press conference today that eligibility is extended to include the families of frontline workers, and to a broader set of underlying health conditions.

Group 7, which now includes frontline workers and their families, people aged 16+ with underlying conditions and people living in multigenerational households will become eligible statewide to get vaccinated on April 5. In keeping with Oregon’s commitment to equity, this change gives Group 7 populations more time to get vaccinated and ensures counties can continue to administer vaccines at a rapid pace.

As Oregon continues to work hard to offer the vaccine to everyone, we must remain vigilant about containing the spread of COVID-19 in our communities as our state and the whole country heads into a fourth surge. I'm so grateful that Oregonians have made smart choices again and again by wearing masks over nose and mouth, washing hands regularly and watching their distance in public spaces. Please continue to keep each other safe by following public health guidance until we reach community immunity.

Multigenerational Households

Oregon City-West Linn Pedestrian-Bicycle Concept Plan

West Linn’s Chamber of Commerce is asking for people to share their input on the Oregon City-West Linn Pedestrian-Bicycle Concept Plan. People who walk, bike and roll across the Willamette River between Oregon City and West Linn currently use the Arch Bridge (OR 43) which does not have dedicated bike paths or sidewalks that meet the Americans with Disabilities Act standards. 

To address this, Oregon City, West Linn, Clackamas County, Metro and ODOT are exploring potential new pedestrian-bicycle bridge alignments between Willamette Falls and the I-205 Abernethy Bridge.

Visit the online open house (English or Español) to learn more about the project and provide input on walking, biking and rolling (using a mobility device) in your community and the potential bridge alignments. You can also go directly to the survey (English or Español) to share your thoughts. A virtual public meeting will also be held on Tuesday, April 6 at 6:30 PM. You can find a link to the meeting here.

West Linn Chamber of Commerce Pedestrian-Bicycle Survey

Health Insurance Marketplace

Oregonians who don’t qualify for the Oregon Health Plan or receive insurance through their job can head to the Health Insurance Marketplace between now and May 15 to find coverage. Use the Marketplace’s new window shopping feature at to find out:

  • How to save money on health insurance
  • What your health plan would cover
  • Once you pick a plan, what’s next?

More than 70 percent of Oregonians who enrolled through the Marketplace last year qualified for a subsidy. An insurance expert can help you at no cost to apply for the subsidy and enroll in coverage. Get help here. For more information, visit or call 855-268-3767 (toll-free).

Health Insurance Marketplace

AmeriCorps and the American Rescue Plan Act

Earlier in my career, I was fortunate to be appointed by Governor Kulongoski to serve on Oregon's citizen commission that oversaw the AmeriCorps program in the state. This program continues to be a personal priority, so I was pleased to see it supported in the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). 

AmeriCorps celebrates the funding that ARPA included to position the agency to further support the Administration’s top priority to provide immediate relief related to the pandemic, with a specific focus on support for underserved and disproportionately impacted communities.

The agency continues to work with state and local governments, nonprofits, faith-based institutions, as well as our federal partners, as part of a coordinated government response to the COVID-19 pandemic that protects the equitable health and safety of the American people. AmeriCorps will publish implementation updates on its dedicated American Rescue Plan site.

AmeriCorps ARPA

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