Session Update & Survey Results

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Rep. Mark Owens


We hope you had a peaceful and enjoyable Easter weekend with your families and loved ones. 

Two weeks ago, House members and our staff were required to quarantine for 10 days after exposure to COVID-19 on the House floor. We are grateful to the House leadership taking the necessary steps to keep everyone safe under the conditions.

The quarantine delayed the process of reading and voting on bills, so we have a lot of ground to make up. This week, we begin in-person daily Floor Sessions in the House and voting will begin quickly on hundreds of bills that have made their way out of committee with hundreds more to come.

Our number one duty as legislators is to balance the budget before the end of session on June 27, but we also need to address critical issues facing our state. My hope is that my colleagues and I can work together and put aside the politics so we can pass meaningful legislation that moves our state forward. We will keep you updated regularly on where bills stand, while also highlighting important things happening in House District 60 and around the state.

As always, my staff and I are here for anything you need. Please continue to stay in touch with us, ask questions, request updates on legislation, and let us know how we can best serve you.

Thank you and be safe,

RO Signature

Representative Mark Owens
House District 60

Community Survey

In early January, we sent a short survey to thousands of constituents in House District 60, asking where you stand on key issues facing our state so that I can best represent you and your priorities in the legislature. See the results of our Community Survey here.

Community Survey

We’ve collected responses from more than 1,200 constituents between January and March with more surveys being returned to us every day. This was not a scientific survey, but it does reflect the opinions and positions of our neighbors in HD60.

Representing you is my highest priority, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me. 

If you have any questions, want to share your own answer to these questions, or if there’s anything you’d like to discuss, please email me using this link: Community Survey Questions & Comments.

Constituent Q&A - HB 2674

Last week, Sheree from John Day asked us for an update on House Bill 2674, a very controversial piece of legislation. HB 2674 was originally written to direct DEQ to study impacts of engine emissions on the environment and provide results of the study to the legislature. However, there was an amendment introduced that would have had serious and significant impacts on our agricultural communities. The amendment to the bill would have added taxes on retail sales of tires or off-road equipment, taxes on rental for diesel equipment, gas tax on diesel fuel, just to name a few.

We’re pleased to report that HB 2674 appears to be “dead.” This is good news.

So…what does it mean when a bill “dies” or is “dead”? This terminology is used frequently around the legislature and particularly when we’re updating you on certain pieces of legislation like we will did with HB 2674.

There are two ways a bill “dies” in committee:

  1. After a bill is introduced, it is referred to a committee for review. The committee takes action on the bill by scheduling public hearings and work sessions. The committee chairperson or persons may choose not to schedule the bill for a public hearing. In this event, the bill “dies."

  2. The bill gets scheduled for a public hearing. At that hearing, the committee discusses the merits and disadvantages of the bill, and any interested party may ask to speak to the committee in favor or opposition to the bill, just as many of you have. Following this hearing, additional public hearings or a work session can be scheduled. There are times during the public hearing the committee hears enough testimony from the public to decide the bill should not advance to a work session. If the bill does not come back for a work session vote, the bill “dies”.

Essentially, if a bill doesn’t make it out of a policy committee by certain deadlines, it doesn’t go to the House Floor for a vote and thus, for intents and purposes, it means the bill is “dead.”

However, it’s possible that elements of “dead” bills can be added as amendments to other bills that are still going through the committee process outlined above. In other words, until the Legislature formally adjourns for the session at the end of June, a bill could come back. My staff is fervently watching House committees and amendments for these possibilities, we don’t take anything for granted.

Student Spotlight

For this week’s Student Spotlight, we’re recognizing Clay Ready, a senior at Adrian High School in Malheur County. Clay has carried a 4.0 GPA through his high school career, taking multiple dual-credit courses in math, English, and science. He has been a three-sport athlete in football, basketball and track and field, all while also making his way to becoming valedictorian for the 2021 graduating class. This past summer, Clay traveled throughout the West working with wildfire crews from the BLM.

Clay Ready

Adrian High School Principal Billy Wortman had this to say about Clay:

"I have been involved in Clay's educational career in many different roles including coach, teacher, and principal. Every day, Clay brings his best effort towards everything he does. He is talented on the football field, the classroom, the welding shop, and is popular among our student body. He has a great family that has done a tremendous job raising an outstanding young man." 

Thank you, Clay, for serving your state by helping during the wildfires last summer, and congratulations on your exceptional successes in your educational and athletic endeavors. We wish you the very best – we’ll be watching for what’s next.

Press Release on Educational Impacts Bill

Only two House bills in the Oregon Legislature would address COVID-19’s impact on education. Of more than 100 bills in the House Committee on Education, legislation from Rep. Owens and Rep. Alonso León is one of only two bills related to COVID-19’s negative impact on K-12 education

April 2, 2021
SALEM, Ore. –
Despite the enormous disruption COVID-19 has had on Oregon’s education system, only two bills in the House Committee on Education address the negative effects of COVID-19 on students.

Representative Mark Owens (R-Crane) and Representative Teresa Alonso León (D- Woodburn) are chief sponsors of HB 2962, which would direct a formal evaluation of students’ education needs resulting from COVID-19 closures, a step towards identifying how students can recover from gaps in learning.

“It is critical we identify and address the serious gap in education our students have experienced during the last 12 months because of COVID-19 and government-mandated stay-at-home orders,” said Rep. Owens, who also serves as a member of the Crane School Board. “There is much more we should be doing as lawmakers to address this critical issue for Oregon students, and it is great to see the bipartisan support for this proposal that will hopefully lead to others.”

Read the full release here.

District Phone: 541-889-8866
Capitol Phone:
District Address: 258 S. Oregon St, Ontario, OR 97914
Capitol Address:
900 Court St NE, H-475, Salem, OR 97301