Making Progress on Wildfire Recovery

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Making Progress on Wildfire Recovery

It’s been a long week, but a really exciting one on the wildfire recovery front! This has been an issue that’s hard to practice patience with—folks are suffering so much! They need help now, and it has felt like the State hasn’t truly been showing up like we need to. But this week, it has felt like we’re finally making some progress. 

Yesterday, the Republican Representatives made a motion to move HB 2341 to the top of the bill reading list to expedite its passage. This bill will allow Counties to prorate property tax for structures destroyed by fire or an act of God.  

It is intended to help ease the financial burdens faced by victims of our catastrophic wildfires last fall. I am happy to report that it passed the House unanimously, and is on its way to the Senate! 

This week also saw the public hearing for a bill I’ve had the honor of working on with Representative Rick Lewis—from neighboring House District 18. HB 2852 would take aim at criminals low enough to engage in crimes of opportunity during an emergency—like the horrific looting we saw in the Santiam Canyon during evacuations!  

This bill is still in the House Committee on Veterans and Emergency Management, but I hope it will make its way to the floor soon. We need to send a message that Oregon doesn’t tolerate preying on the victims of wildfires. 

No amount of help will ever feel like enough for our communities ravaged by wildfire, but I hope some of these small steps serve as a ray of hope, that help is coming

HB 2341 Floor Speech

Click on the picture above to watch my floor testimony in support of HB 2341.

DCBS Wildfire Insurance Virtual Town Hall

DCBS Wildfire Graphic

Cleanup is progressing, and the arrival of spring means construction will soon be ramping up for people affected by the Labor Day wildfires.

Join Stolfi, Rosenblum, Oregon State University Fire Program Manager Carrie Berger, and representatives from the Division of Financial Regulation to learn more about the insurance claims process during rebuilding, construction scams to avoid, and how to get ready for the 2021 wildfire season. Please submit your questions in advance using the wildfire insurance page linked below.

The division’s wildfire insurance page has resources and contact information to help answer many of your wildfire insurance questions.

Please share this invitation with anyone who can benefit from this event!

2020 Unemployment Benefit Exemption

ODOR Graphic

The Oregon Department of Revenue recently announced that it will adjust the tax returns for Oregon taxpayers who have already filed their 2020 returns and are due relief from income taxes paid on recently exempted unemployment benefits earned in 2020. Oregon taxpayers who received unemployment in 2020 and have not yet filed their tax returns, can do so following instructions recently provided by the IRS. The change affects Oregon taxpayers who had already filed their state income tax returns, paying taxes on 2020 unemployment benefits, before Congress made the change to the tax code. More information is available on the Oregon Department of Revenue website.

County Update & COVID Vaccine Information

Today the Governor’s most recent County Risk update goes into effect. Unfortunately, in the update you can read HERE, Linn County has moved back up to High Risk. Marion County remains in the High Risk category.

The Governor also announced earlier this week that all Oregonians over 16 are eligible to receive a vaccine, if they would like one, effective April 19th. You can read the Governor’s press release updating the vaccine schedule HERE.

For more information on getting vaccinated, please use the resources below.

Vaccine Schedule Graphic

To view previous newsletters, please visit my website.

Capitol Phone: 503-986-1417
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, H-378, Salem, OR 97301