Vaccines, Redistricting, and State Budget Hearings

Senator Wagner

Latest COVID-19 Updates

Governor Kate Brown has announced that all Oregonians over the age of 16 will be eligible to sign up for a COVID-19 vaccine on April 19. This important news comes as we are beginning to experience the fourth surge of the pandemic, with case numbers and hospitalizations on the rise in our state and across the country once more.

Accelerated Vaccine Timeline

The expanded vaccine rollout and sunny weather have been important sources of hope for Oregonians this month, but Clackamas and Multnomah County have now both re-entered the high risk category. This is a good reminder to us all that it's not time to let our guard down yet. Please continue to wash your hands, wear your masks and watch your distance, even if you have been vaccinated. These measures are effective and critical protections for our neighbors who have not yet had the chance to receive a vaccine.

Additionally, as we continue vaccinating more Oregonians this spring, it’s important to be aware of the differences between COVID-19 symptoms, vaccine side effects, and seasonal allergies. Remember—side effects are a sign that your vaccine is working, and may include symptoms like body aches and chills, headaches and tiredness. These usually subside in 24-48 hours, but if you experience more severe symptoms or ones that last longer, you should check in with your primary care physician. For information on COVID-19 and seasonal allergy differences, see the graphic below.

Allergies vs COVID-19

Legislative Updates

This week, the Oregon Senate began picking up the pace of passing bills to the House for consideration. I'd like to highlight one bill that passed this week - Senate Bill 513. As a longtime advocate for education in general, and civics education in particular, I was proud to support the passage of Senate Bill 513, which requires that all Oregon students complete at least one half of a credit of dedicated civics instruction in order to earn their high school diploma. Thank you to Senator Girod for introducing this important, bipartisan legislation. We can all agree that our youth should know how their government is structured so that they can engage and participate in our democratic society. Click the image below to watch my remarks on the Senate floor in support of the bill. 


Click the image to watch my remarks in support of SB 513 on the Senate floor.

The Portland Tribune wrote a great piece about Senate Bill 513 as well. You can read their story at this link.

State Budget Hearings

The Co-Chairs of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means have released the 2021-23 Budget Framework, which serves as a starting point for the upcoming budget cycle. We will continue to prioritize economic recovery from COVID-19 and wildfires as well as important services for public health and education. To continue the conversation, the Committee will host budget hearings throughout this month to collect input from Oregonians about balancing the state budget and using federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act.

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.

For details, visit the committee page and click on the date for your congressional district’s hearing. The five dates and times are listed below. You can find your congressional district here.

Budget Hearings

Oregon Supreme Court Grants Legislature Redistricting Extension

Every 10 years, the Census Bureau, with the help of each state, completes a population count. The states then use that census population data to draw new legislative district boundaries and maps. Here in Oregon, our constitution puts this power in the hands of the Oregon State Legislature. Oregon currently has five congressional districts, and all estimates point to us receiving a sixth congressional seat in this next round of census apportionment.

For the first time ever, due to COVID-19 and federal Census Bureau delays, the census data we use to redraw state and congressional district lines won’t be available until September 1 at the very earliest, even though our state law requires that the Legislature complete the entire redistricting process by July 1.

We learned today, though, that the Supreme Court will approve the Legislature’s request for a postponement, allowing for a longer timeline to complete this process so we can fully and meaningfully engage Oregonians across the state. Click here to read the statement from the Redistricting Committee chairs on the decision—a special thank you to Senator Taylor (D-Portland) and Representative Salinas (D-Lake Oswego) for all their important work on this process. 

In the meantime, there are three public hearings left in the first round of statutorily required hearings, all to be held on April 10:

  • Congressional District 3 (includes parts of Clackamas & Multnomah County) — 9:00 AM
  • Congressional District 4 (includes parts of Benton, Coos, Curry, Douglas, parts of Josephine, Lane, and Linn County) — 12:00 PM 
  • Congressional District 5 (includes parts of Benton, parts of Clackamas, Lincoln, Marion, parts of Multnomah, Polk, and Tillamook counties) — 3:00 PM

The House and Senate Redistricting Committees will hold another round of public hearings so Oregonians can testify based on the information the census data delivers. To find your congressional district, click here. For more information on how to write your testimony, click here.

Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Available Soon


The Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program was established by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, and amended by the American Rescue Plan Act. The program includes over $16 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance.

Eligible applicants may qualify for grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million. $2 billion is reserved for eligible applications with up to 50 full-time employees. Click here to learn more about the grant.

AARP Oregon Scam Jam

The Oregon Scam Jam presented by AARP Oregon, the Oregon Attorney General’s office and the Oregon Division of Financial Regulation will take place virtually four Fridays in April, beginning today, April 9, 2021. Scams across Oregon have increased in the past year, as scammers use the pandemic and natural disasters of the past year to steal millions from Oregonians.  

These interactive virtual events will bring together experts to highlight the types of scams across the state and then provide resources and tips that help protect consumers. Find the schedule and registration links for each session at this link.

Celebrating Donate Life Month


April is National Donate Life Month. Many of you have heard in the past about my own journey as a bone marrow donor. It started in 1999 when I participated in a blood drive at the Oregon Capitol and agreed to be included in the Be the Match program for bone marrow donors.

Two years later, I had the opportunity to donate to a young girl in Massachusetts whose difficult prognosis had kept her in quarantine for months. A couple of years later, I received a birthday card from that same little girl, and we have since kept in touch. Last February, I finally got to meet Chrissy in person and introduce her on the Senate floor at the Oregon Capitol. 

Donate Life will be spotlighting living donation and living donors on their social media this month. Find out about all the upcoming events in their latest newsletter, and learn more about becoming a donor on their website.

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