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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

It is the end of a long and busy week here in Salem. We had extended floor sessions twice every day, regular committee meetings that often went long, caucus, and of course as many constituent meetings as I could possibly fit in. I am pleased to report that it was a very productive week.  Oregonians will benefit from the many important bills coming out of the House right now, including DMV policy changes, addressing nursing staffing during times of crisis, and providing tax relief for those who had property damage during the Labor Day fires.  The Oregon State Legislature has now passed House Bill 5042, which rebalances Oregon's budget for 2019-21 biennium in order to deliver needed investments after a difficult year.  It includes urgent funds for wildfire recovery, emergency shelters, and summer learning.  It is now on its way to the Governor's desk. 


2021 Session Committee Assignments 

Joint Committee On Ways and Means

Joint Committee On Transportation - Co-Chair

House Committee On Agriculture and Natural Resources

Joint Committee On the Interstate 5 Bridge - Co-Chair

Joint Committee On Ways and Means Subcommittee On Education - Co-Chair

2019-2020 Joint Emergency Board 


rep mclain with black mask holding paper and speaking on House Floor
selfie of rep mclain and legislative assistant with black masks in office, pictures of House Floor

How to Participate!


Watch all Oregon State Legislature Live-Streams and Meetings HERE


Track all 2021 Session Bills HERE


Cartoon of a bill

Instructions for how to testify:


English instructions here

Aquí están las instrucciones

2021 Session: Bill Updates!

House Bill 2341 - Wildfire Tax Relief Bill:  This bill authorizes tax collectors in a county covered by the state of emergency declared by the Governor due to fire or act of God, or authority of Governor under Emergency Conflagration Act, who knows or has reason to believe a property has been destroyed or damaged by fire or act of God to prorate taxes imposed on that property. It combines provisions for proration of taxes for property destroyed and property damaged by fire or act of God. And it provides new computation for proration of taxes for property other than specially assessed property. Applies to property tax years beginning on or after July 1, 2020.

I was very proud to vote for this bill in the House because it gives county assessors the ability to prorate taxes imposed on damaged properties and homes affected by the 2020 wildfires and future natural disasters.  

  • This bill passed the Oregon House of Representatives last night and will head to the Senate where it is expected to pass with bi-partisan support.


House Bill 2137A - The DMV Bill:  It was my privilege to carry this bill and speak on its behalf on the House Floor last night.  This is an important bill that addresses some of the challenges Oregonians have faced at the DMV recently.  The measure re-institutes a citation moratorium for 6 months after the expiration of a driver license or vehicle registration; eliminates an unnecessary requirement that someone moving in to Oregon from out-of-state take an Oregon knowledge test to get their Oregon driver license (Oregon is one of only 8 states that still require this); eliminates a redundant (or duplicate) knowledge test for teen drivers; and allows someone to renew their driver license up to two years (instead of a single year under current law) after expiration without having to retake their vision, knowledge, and drive tests again.

The citation moratorium will provide needed protection to Oregonians while their transaction is being processed. The elimination of these outdated knowledge test requirements will free up approximately 135,000 testing appointments each year. The increase in time someone has to renew their driver license to two years after expiration will prevent thousands of Oregonians from having to retake their tests, ultimately reducing the number of people needing to come in for a DMV appointment.

  • This bill passed the Oregon House of Representatives last night and will have its first reading in the Senate on April 13.


House Bill 3185 - The Ditch Fix Bill: My “Ditch Fix” bill  provides statutory language specifying that material removed from traditionally maintained channels during maintenance activities cannot be placed on or in undisturbed wetlands, either temporarily or permanently.  This is a simple yet important clarification to ensure that the program honors the ecological values associated with ditches.  House Bill 3185 is the result of extensive conversations involving the Oregon Farm Bureau, WaterWatch, The Nature Conservancy, and Trout Unlimited to ensure that the fix put forward protects the intent of the Agricultural Channel Maintenance Program.

  • This bill had a hearing yesterday in the House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources.  It will have a vote in committee on 4/13.


House Bill 3016 - The Nurse Staffing Plan Bill:  This bill authorizes a hospital to deviate from a hospital nurse staffing plan upon declaration of a national or state emergency. It requires a hospital to report on nurse staffing needs during a national or state emergency, including developing a contingency staffing plan that includes crisis standards of care. It also requires a hospital that deviates from its nurse staffing plan to seek approval from the hospital nurse staffing committee if in effect for more than 90 days.

This bill is in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic, whereby nurses and other healthcare workers have faced an influx of patients, leading to staff shortages and caregivers working overtime. This bill prioritizes the safety of nurses in order to better support them, which ultimately affects patients and outcomes.  It also ensures that hospital nurse staffing committees are given a seat at the table when making key decisions.  

  • This bill passed the Oregon House of Representatives today and will next be read on the Senate floor.

Community Outreach

cartoon orange running shoe

Meals on Wheels People: Stride for Seniors Annual Event

Meals on Wheels People have reimagined their annual Stride for Seniors fundraiser for 2021 and COVID-19. Take part in a socially distanced walk on one of the six predefined routes, selected for their accommodation of social distancing, and help raise money to ensure homebound seniors are able to get the meals delivered to their homes that they rely on. At the end of the day, there will be a virtual closing program hosted by Poison Waters. More information and the locations of the drive-thru registration sites can be found at the event’s page here.

Special I-5 Bridge Update

Picture of I-5 Bridge


Few infrastructure projects are as important as the replacement of the I-5 Bridge between Oregon and Washington, which is why I am proud to be the co-chair of the Joint Committee on the Interstate 5 Bridge.  Oregon and Washington are working hard to ensure that this project is a success and below you will find a collection of visual updates as to where we are.

I-5 Bridge Information

I-5 Bridge Information

I-5 Bridge Information

I-5 Bridge Information

Special Wildfire Cleanup Report


In my role as co-chair of the Joint Transportation Committee, I heard updates from ODOT on the process for the removal of wildfire debris and hazardous trees.  Check the 5 images below to see where we are in this crucial 2-step process.


Wildfire cleanup images

Wildfire cleanup images

Wildfire cleanup images

Wildfire cleanup images

Wildfire cleanup images

Updates from Salem


Yesterday, the Oregon State Senate passed House Bill 5042 to rebalance Oregon’s budget for the 2019-21 biennium and deliver investments to communities after a difficult year. The bill makes necessary adjustments to the current state budget and includes urgent funds for summer learning, wildfire recovery, and emergency shelters. The Senate approved HB 5042 with a 23-5 vote, after having passed 55-0 in the House. The bill now heads to the Governor’s desk.

The bill includes the following investments: 

  • $250 million for the Summer Learning and Child Care Package, creating opportunities for children to learn and be active during the summer months. The package includes funding for enrichment activities, wraparound child care services, summer school for high school students, and early learning programs. 
  • $5.2 million to support recovery efforts in communities impacted by the 2020 wildfire season. 
  • $18 million for emergency, low-barrier shelters in Salem, Eugene, Medford, Bend, Roseburg, and McMinnville. These shelters, known as navigation centers, will be open 24/7 to help individuals and families experiencing homelessness obtain access to support and services..



Yesterday, the Oregon House voted unanimously to approve House Bill 2341, which will bring critically needed tax relief to Oregonians whose property was destroyed in last year’s devastating fires. The bill is one of several bills sponsored by House Democrats whose communities were greatly harmed in the disasters.

HB 2341 will give county assessors the ability to prorate taxes imposed on damaged properties and homes affected by the 2020 wildfires and future natural disasters.

Under the current bill, assessors will be allowed to submit properties for proration, instead of requiring homeowners to do so. It will also ensure proration is tied to the property’s market value.  

HB 2341 is part of a series of bills the House hopes to pass, including HB 3218, HB 2607, and HB 3272, among others, that will support Oregonians most affected by last year’s wildfires and future natural disasters.

Having passed the House, HB 2341 will move to the state Senate, where it is expected to pass with bipartisan support.



In a widely bipartisan vote, the Oregon House yesterday passed House Bill 2360, which will remove certain barriers to receiving health care for people, including undocumented Oregonians, living in the state.

The bill would ensure patients would no longer need to apply for Medicaid, in light of the Supreme Court’s “public charge” decision, which prevents some of Oregon’s most vulnerable residents from seeking timely, cost-effective treatment.

Currently, in order to be tax-exempt, non-profit hospitals and health systems are required to provide Charity Care to individuals who need health care, regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay.

Under current law, these health systems are allowed to require patients to apply for or enroll in the Oregon Health Plan before receiving Charity Care. Because of the federal Trump Era “public charge” rule, this could jeopardize a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

House Bill 2360 fixes this problem by ensuring that hospitals cannot require OHP enrollment prior to delivering Charity Care.  HB 2360 now heads to the Oregon Senate for consideration.


Governor Kate Brown Calls on Legislature to Support Police Accountability Legislation

*This announcement comes from Governor Kate Brown’s Press Release. Please click the link above to read more.

  • Governor Kate Brown today appeared before the House Committee on Judiciary to urge her support for a set of bills aimed at increasing police accountability. Among those bills is HB 2162, which was a recommendation of the Governor's Public Safety Training and Standards Taskforce. 
  • "This past year, more than ever, we’ve seen Oregonians standing up to make their voices heard in calling for racial justice and police accountability—even in the middle of a pandemic—because the need for change is so pressing. And we have responded with action," said Governor Brown.
  • A copy of the Governor's prepared testimony is available here. A recording of today's committee hearing is available on the Oregon Legislature's website

Vaccine Updates

oha vaccine graphic


Washington Co. Vaccine Information:

There is still less vaccine supply than necessary to meet the needs of everyone who is eligible and wants the vaccine. We ask for your continued patience until we get more vaccine (coming soon!).

Please do not double-book or no-show for your appointment.

Oregon Convention CenterSign up here and you will be sent an invitation when a vaccine is available to you. Names are selected at random from eligible pool.

OHSU drive-thru clinics at Hillsboro Stadium and PDX Airport Red Economy Lot: Schedule online via OHSU's tool. New appointments are released at 9 a.m. on Mondays and Thursdays at the very least. Other days are often added at the last minute, so you might want to visit OHSU's page weekdays at 9 a.m. if you are looking for an appointment. 

Local pharmacies:

Rise Church in Tigard: This clinic, operated by Safeway/Albertsons, uses the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. It is on hold until more J&J vaccine is available (April 16 at the earliest).

Washington County-Sponsored Community Clinics: All appointments for the April 9-10 drive-through clinic with TVF&R on the Nike campus have been filled. Please check back next Tuesday, April 13, for appointments for the weekend of April 16-17.

cartoon doctor with short hair, white robe and medical equipment around neck


The safety of COVID-19 vaccination revisited

*This announcement comes from the Oregon Health Authority Press Release. Please click the link above to read more.

  • While any new treatment can seem scary, the data that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) collect through the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) continue to confirm that the vaccines are both safe and effective. 
  • VAERS is a national vaccine safety monitoring system overseen by the CDC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It serves as a place for doctors, nurses, vaccine manufacturers and the general public to submit information about any health problems that occur after vaccination — even if the problem can’t be tied for certain to the vaccination itself. Only vaccines have a system like VAERS; other medicines don’t have this type of safety monitoring. 
  • As the COVID-19 vaccines have been distributed throughout the U.S., the CDC has actively monitored the safety of these vaccines through VAERS.  
  • Based on the more than 145 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine that had been administered by March 29, the CDC found that the chances of a severe allergic reaction were “rare” — only about two to five people per million vaccinated would experience something similar. 
  • In most instances, these reactions occurred within 30 minutes of vaccination, which is precisely why folks are monitored immediately after their vaccinations. All vaccine sites are equipped to quickly and safely treat patients who experience reactions following vaccination.   
  • As distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine continues, so too will vaccine safety monitoring. And the evidence allows us to be confident that the vaccines remain a safe, reliable way to get back to doing the things we love. 

cartoon woman coughing into her arm


Vaccinated with Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines? Make sure to get your second shot

*This announcement comes from the Oregon Health Authority Press Release. Please click the link above to read more.

  • If you’ve gotten a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, you’ll need a second shot before you are fully immunized. Getting a second shot will give you the most protection. You should get your second shot even if you have side effects after the first shot, unless a vaccination provider or your doctor tells you not to get it
  • You may have had side effects from your first shot and don’t want to experience them again. Even though getting vaccinated may result in some discomfort, the side effects produced from vaccination are minor compared to those that can be produced from COVID-19. While side effects can be uncomfortable for a short time, they are not as difficult as actually having the illness. COVID-19 can cause severe illness which can lead to hospitalization and sometimes death.  

Here’s what you need to know about getting a second shot:  

  • If you received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, you should get your second shot three weeks (or 21 days) after your first. 
  • If you received the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine, you should get your second shot four weeks (or 28 days) after your first. 
  • Schedule your second shot at the same location as you got the first shot. 
  • If you missed the timeline for your second dose, you may still be able to receive it. Check with your vaccinator or health care provider.  

For more information on second shots visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.  

Getting the COVID-19 vaccine won’t affect your immigration status

*This announcement comes from the Oregon Health Authority Press Release. Please click the link above to read more.

  • If you’re an immigrant, you may have concerns about getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Oregon Health Authority (OHA) believes that everyone should have the opportunity to be vaccinated. We want you to have the facts: 
  • All eligible people in Oregon can get the vaccine.  
  • You do NOT need to be a U.S. citizen. 
  • Getting the vaccine will NOT affect your immigration status or count as a public charge. 
  • You do not need to have or provide a social security number. 
  • You do not need to have identification.  

→ If you need support or information on resources for help you can call the Safe + Strong Helpline: 1-800-923-HELP (4357). 

Vaccines by the Numbers:


COVID-19 Updates

National Numbers: 

    • Confirmed Cases: 30,737,477
    • Deaths: 556,106
    • These national numbers come from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  You can view their national and state by state data here.

Oregon Status Report: 

  • Oregon now has 168,795 total cases (confirmed and presumptive) of COVID-19. 
    • Today we have 678 new confirmed and presumptive cases, and 5 new deaths. 
    • A total of 2,439 Oregonians have died from COVID-19 (previous daily case updates from OHA here)
  • Washington County has 22,756 confirmed cases, including 229 deaths.  
  • The Oregon Health Authority recently provided a Public Health Indicators Dashboard to enable communities across Oregon to monitor COVID-19 in the state. The dashboard, which will be updated weekly on Thursdays, provides a transparent report that presents complex epidemiological data in an interactive, easy-to-understand way on a state and county level


Oregon Health Authority publishes COVID-19 variant dashboard

*This announcement comes from the Oregon Health Authority Press Release. Please click the link above to read more.

  • Starting this week, the Oregon Health Authority is publishing a Tableau dashboard showing the cumulative count of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern or variants of interest in Oregon. For additional information on COVID-19 variants, go here.
  • The dashboard will include a map of variant cases broken down by Oregon’s seven Hospital Preparedness Program Regions, along with a time series showing variant cases in Oregon by collection date. The dashboard will be updated weekly on Wednesdays and include data through the previous Saturday.  
  • In order to provide a more comprehensive picture of variant circulation in Oregon, OHA will update its variant counts on the new dashboard using data from the GISAID Initiative — a publicly available scientific database for genetic sequences. This will allow OHA to rapidly report historical data whenever definitions of variants of concern or variants of interest are updated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 
  • On March 16, the CDC reclassified the B.1.427 and B.1.429 variants as variants of concern. These variants have been circulating in Oregon since late 2020 and had not been previously reportable. 
  • Oregon will continue to ask all laboratory partners to promptly report all variants of concern (B.1.1.7, B.1.351, P.1, B.1.427 and B.1.429) and variants of interest (B.1.525, B.1.526 and P.2) to public health authorities in order to inform case investigation and contact tracing. 

Oregon has 4th-lowest number of COVID cases per 100K people in the country

*This announcement comes from KGW8 News. Please click the link above to read more.

  • The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) said the state’s number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people is the fourth-lowest in the country.
    • Since the pandemic began, the state has counted more than 167,000 cases. That includes a huge number of people who got sick, and there are likely many more who were infected but did not show symptoms.
    • Still, when standardized to compare nationwide, Oregon has reported 3,962 cases for every 100,000 residents, the fourth-lowest rate in the United States, according to OHA.
  • And the amount of vaccinations per day keeps growing. OHA director Patrick Allen said last week, there were three days when 40,000 shots or more were given each day.

Wildfire Recovery Updates

graphic with cartoon groceries and a cartoon phone with text bubbles above it


Hazardous tree removal: a safety issue 

The thousands of hazardous trees left behind after the September 2020 wildfires pose a serious threat to the safety and well being of Oregonians. These dangerous trees can fall unpredictably, threatening human safety and damaging property and infrastructure. 

With certified arborists identifying dangerous trees, crews are able to focus efforts to reduce risk and ensure long-term safety for Oregonians. Removing these safety risks also allows the public safe access back into fire-impacted areas and creates room for restoration projects like reseeding and replanting. 

Hazardous tree removal efforts are underway on many fronts in Oregon — from local jurisdictions and utility companies clearing county roads and powerlines, state contract crews clearing state 

highways and properties, to land management agencies removing dangerous trees from popular recreation sites and private forestlands. Watch this video to learn more. 


Practice safety - and patience! 

Oregonians traveling in fire-impacted areas are urged to use extra caution - and patience - as crews continue removing debris and hazardous trees. For example, Highway 224 remains closed and Highways 22 and 126 have long delays for motorists as crews prioritize these high-traffic areas. To ensure personnel safety, please follow all posted signs allow extra time for delays. Use TripCheck to find the latest traffic updates as you plan your trip. 

Recovery progress is gaining speed. The Echo Mountain fire area cleanup is close to completion. To ensure efficiency and help crews quickly move into other wildfire-affected areas, the deadline for Right of Entry forms submission in Lincoln County is April 15. This form is available on the Wildfire Cleanup page.


Debris cleanup means stronger communities

With more than 120 clean up crews currently on the ground, it may seem overwhelming or even a little inconvenient to get around some of the wildfire affected areas. But all this work is creating stronger communities, more housing, and even safer schools. 

Along with the rest of the state, the McKenzie School District had to close last year to help combat the spread of COVID-19. Fortunately, firefighters were able to save the school during the wildfires. Yet even after the efforts of teachers and school staff to create a safe building for students to return to, the grounds remained unsafe with nearly 800 hazard trees on the campus. 

The Debris Management Task Force prioritized the school in their cleanup efforts to help provide a safe space for students to return to on March 15. 

Crews can be seen in fire-impacted neighborhoods as well. Across the state, all home sites have been tested for asbestos and more than 40% have been cleared of ash and debris. Not only does this allow FEMA to bring 

in direct housing units for eligible survivors who need them, it also allows homeowners to begin rebuilding on their property. For more information on debris management updates, visit their blog at 


State and federal agencies are working diligently to keep communities together. When families can continue to live, work and attend school in their community, Oregon will see a strong rise to recovery.



Wildfire Recovery Resources

OEM has put together this list of contacts to help speed up the process of replacing these documents:

  • Green cards: Phone (800)-375-5283; Website: www.uscis.gov
  • Medicare cards: Phone: (800)-772-1213; (TTY) (800)-325-0778 Website: www.medicare.gov
  • Military records Phone: 866-272-6272 Website: www.archives.gov/contact/
  • Passport Phone: 877-487-2778; (TTY) 888-874-7793 Website: travel.state.gov
  • Social Security card Phone: 800-772-1213; (TTY) 800-325-0778 Website: www.ssa.gov
  • U.S. Savings Bonds Phone: 844-284-2676 Website: www.treasurydirect.gov
  • U.S. tax returns Phone: 800-829-1040 Website: www.irs.gov
  • Birth, death, marriage, domestic partnership, divorce certificates Phone: 888-896-4988 Website: www.oregon.gov/oha/PH/Birthdeathcertificates
  • Driver’s license, auto titles and registration, ID cards Phone: 503-945-5000 Website: www.oregon.gov/odot
  • SNAP (Oregon Trail Card) Website: www.oregon.gov/DHS/Assistance/Food-Benefits
  • State taxes (Oregon Dept. of Revenue) Phone: 503-378-4988 or 800-356-4222 TTY: All relay calls are accepted. Website: www.oregon.gov/dor
  • Real estate and property - Contact your county government.
  • Credit cards - Contact your credit card company directly.
  • Credit reports from Equifax, Experian, TransUnion Phone: 877-322-8228 Website: www.annualcreditreport.com
  • Insurance documents - Check with your insurance agent.
  • Medical records - Call your doctor or your medical insurance company; medical and prescription records are tracked electronically.

The Governor’s office has put together a Wildfire Resources page that you can access from the Governor’s home page.  It has links to many of the most important updates about the status of fires and resources for evacuees.  This website will be updated regularly.  

Legal Resources: Oregon State Bar’s Lawyer Referral Program, Oregon lawyers, through the Oregon State Bar, are partnering with FEMA and the American Red Cross to provide legal assistance on FEMA claims, contract claims, insurance claims, landlord-tenant matters and more.

The Department of Forestry’s Wildfire Response and Recovery Overview has ongoing updates about firefighting efforts, damage reports, and more.  

FEMA Updates: FEMA has provided several different Fact Sheets and resources for accessing benefits, determining eligibility and avoiding scams.

Employment Department Updates

As Oregon schools reopen, some parents’ access to unemployment benefits could change

*This announcement comes from OPB News. Please click the link above to read more.

  • Gov. Kate Brown recently ordered public schools to resume full or partial in-person learning — by last week for elementary schools and by later this month for older students. That reopening of Oregon schools could affect some parents’ access to unemployment benefits.
  • The coronavirus pandemic upended the normal rules governing people’s eligibility for unemployment benefits. Under temporary rules from the Oregon Employment Department, workers have been eligible for benefits if they had to stay home to care for a child because of school closures.
  • Now, some schools have fully reopened. Others are adopting hybrid models. The prospect of partial school days has left some parents confused about their benefits.
  • The Employment Department sought to clarify the situation in a recent email. It outlined three basic scenarios.
    • If a child is in hybrid learning with any days of online instruction, that child’s school is still considered closed. Parents unable to work for this reason may still receive benefits — including regular unemployment and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).
    • Parents aren’t eligible for benefits, however, if they have the option to send kids to a fully open school but choose to stay online “out of an abundance of caution.” This ineligibility applies to regular benefits, PUA and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC).
    • Finally, parents can still get regular unemployment or PEUC in another situation: If their school only offers full in-person instruction, but a child or family member has a medical issue. It’s unclear how common this situation will be, however. Gov. Brown’s executive order requires public and private schools to continue offering a distance learning option for the rest of the school year.

Other Assistance Updates

USDA Launches Assistance Programs For Oregon Farmers Affected By COVID, Wildfire

*This announcement comes from JPR News. Please click the link above to read more.

Some Oregon SNAP recipients may see benefits increase this month

*This announcement comes from KTVZ News. Please click the link above to read more.

Additional Resources



Oregon Health Authority


Spring and flowers make me hopeful!

three photos of bloomed flowers and trees

Yours truly,

Representative Susan McLain

Representative Susan McLain
House District 29

email: Rep.SusanMcLain@oregonlegislature.gov I phone: 503-986-1429
address: 900 Court St NE, H-376, Salem, OR 97301
website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/mclain