News from Salem: Budget & Legislative Updates

Senator Steiner Hayward

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

One of the benefits of having our state capitol in Salem is that its more southerly location means an earlier blossoming of spring than we get up in Portland. Although we still aren’t in the capitol full time, my trips down for floor sessions are made even better by the beautiful greens, yellows, and pinks of the unfurling foliage and flowers. 

As spring rolls on, our legislative work is intensifying. Many bills have made their way through one chamber or the other, including my bills SCR 3 and SJR 12, both of which were passed by the Senate on March 18th and are now headed to the House. Additionally, we’ve released a budget framework, began scheduling virtual budget hearings, and considered some important land use laws. For more on these issues, read on! 

Budget Framework & Virtual Budget Hearings

Last week, the Co-Chairs of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means (Sen. Betsy Johnson, Rep. Dan Rayfield, and I) released our 2021-23 Budget Framework. This document serves as a starting point for the upcoming budget cycle. The next step is to hear from you about how you’d like the Legislature to balance the state budget and use federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act.

To this end, we’ll be hosting the 2021 Oregon Budget Virtual Hearings in April. Due to the ongoing pandemic, these hearings will be conducted virtually and organized by congressional district. Members of the public are encouraged to submit written testimony, as well as provide live testimony by phone or video during the hearings. Meeting details will be posted on the Oregon Legislative Information Site.

The five dates and times are listed below. You can find your congressional district here.

District 1 - Wednesday, April 14, 5:30-7:30 pm

District 2 - Saturday, April 17, 1:00-3:00 pm

District 3 - Wednesday, April 21, 5:30-7:30 pm

District 4 - Thursday, April 22, 5:30-7:30 pm

District 5 - Saturday, April 24, 1:00-3:00 pm

Land Use Bills

One of this week’s biggest topics of conversation was SB 16, a bill which would allow the rezoning of a small portion of land in Malheur County on Oregon’s border with Idaho. Oregon’s land is one of its greatest treasures, and I take seriously my responsibility as a legislator to steward and protect this land. I undertake extensive research before determining my position on land use bills, carefully reviewing testimony and speaking with stakeholders. After completing this process for SB 16, I decided to vote in favor of the bill. 

There are several reasons for this decision. First, the lands that SB 16 concerns have been consistently determined to be non-viable as farmland by farmers in the region. Second, many farmers and farmers’ organizations, including the Oregon Farm Bureau, are satisfied that the bill includes “clear and objective protections for agricultural businesses in the impacted area.” Third, the rezoning of this land would strengthen Eastern Oregon’s economy, and provide housing for an area that is facing a housing shortage. 

I understand the fear that this bill would create a dangerous precedent in allowing for the rezoning of agricultural lands. However, this bill is narrow in its scope, applying only to land that was fundamentally mischaracterized in its initial zoning, and is unlikely to have widespread implications for other land concerns. 

For those of you concerned about land use, I would urge you to turn your attention to HB 2282. This bill concerns 261.6 acres called the Stevens Road tract, presently owned by the Department of State Lands, outside of Bend’s newly created Urban Growth Boundary (UGB). It is my understanding that under HB 2282, a consortium of developers would have free reign over the development of this land, overriding the City in determining its land use. The City of Bend did not ask for this legislation; its concepts were not subject to any public debate; and its ramifications for land use law are troubling. For a more detailed look at the issues with this bill, the Oregon Chapter of the American Planning Association’s testimony in opposition to the bill provides great insights.

Upcoming Town Hall

I’ve been delighted by the robust turn out for my past several Virtual Town Halls; one of the silver linings of this year has been the new ways we’ve found to connect and communicate. I hope you’ll be able to join me for our next Town Hall, the details of which you can find below. Registration is required

Virtual Town Hall

Tuesday, April 20th

5:30 - 6:30 pm, PT

Register here

COVID-19 Vaccine Resources

Washington County Resources:

  •  Washington County Message Center: 1-833-907-3520. For people without internet access or who need language assistance.
  • Washington County community clinics: Watch the vaccine website for specific events.

Multnomah County Resources: 

  • If you or others you know are eligible to get the vaccine and need help scheduling an appointment due to language access or barriers with technology, you can contact Multnomah County: 503.988.8939 or (link sends e-mail)


  • Text ORCOVID to 898211 to get text/SMS updates (English and Spanish only) or email
  • 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. There is an option to get a call back rather than wait on hold (in English and Spanish).

Free interpretation is available for all other languages. TTY: Dial 711 or call 1-866-698-6155. Please note: These are information lines, not vaccine scheduling.

For Vaccination at the Oregon Convention Center: 

Sign up at You will be sent an invitation when an appointment is available to you. Names are selected at random each week from the eligible pool.

  • Only sign up once on the Get Vaccinated Oregon website.
  • Once you create an account for yourself, you can add others to your account and monitor their eligibility as well. 
  • It may take several weeks before you are contacted to schedule an appointment.

Educators, please use the OHA scheduling tool to schedule your appointment at the Convention Center.

OHSU drive-thru clinic at PDX Airport:

These appointments are specifically for seniors with mobility needs, individuals with disabilities and their caregivers. If you know you are eligible for this site, you can schedule online (when appointments are available) via OHSU. New appointments are released Mondays and Thursdays at 9 a.m. (subject to change). Please use OHA's eligibility and scheduling tool.


Limited vaccination appointments are available for eligible individuals at some local pharmacies.

Pharmacies will screen for eligibility according to state guidelines. They have limited doses and appointments available each week. Go directly to their COVID-19 vaccine websites to make an appointment:


Fred Meyer



Questions about your eligibility or how to schedule an appointment? Please reach out to our office! We’re happy to assist you with the process. 

Yours truly,

ESH small signature

Senator Elizabeth Steiner Hayward MD
Senate District 17

phone: 503-986-1717
address: 900 Court St NE, S-215, Salem, OR, 97301