Good Legislation Is Moving Forward

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Rep. Mark Owens


Of all the weeks in the session thus far, this last week brought some of the most significant movement we’ve seen and set the course for the rest of the session.

Tuesday was the final deadline for policy bills to get a work session in a policy committee, effectively determining which bills would be moving forward in the legislative session and which ones have essentially “died.”

Also on Tuesday, I introduced an amendment to a bill to keep Oregon’s promise of scholarship funding to college kids and families after it had been taken away last year.

On Wednesday night, the House Republican and Democratic leadership came to an agreement that would give equal representation between Republicans and Democrats on the Redistricting Committee. While I’d still prefer to see the creation of an independent citizens’ commission for redistricting so even more voices can be heard and represented, I believe this a positive step in the right direction to create a more balanced approach to the critical process of redrawing district lines this year.

By Thursday evening, the House had passed over 50 pieces of legislation ranging from support for businesses to wildfire relief to suicide prevention and school bullying. We talk about them below.

After a few tense weeks, I’m thankful to all of my colleagues that we’re making progress and moving ahead, and thankful to all of you for staying connected with us on the issues that matter to you. There’s another opportunity coming up this week at our next town hall.

While these newsletters share information in one direction, it’s important you know you can reach out any time if there’s anything we can do or questions we can answer for you.

Thank you and be safe,

RO Signature

Representative Mark Owens
House District 60

Virtual Town Hall on Wednesday

We’re halfway through session and with so many bills and so much activity, it’s time for another virtual town hall so we can connect. Join me, Senator Lynn Findley and Rep. Daniel Bonham this week - Wednesday, April 21 at 5:30pmPDT – for our next virtual town hall to discuss issues and take questions from you. Register now so you don’t miss out.

New Apr21

We host these town halls to stay connected with you and most importantly, so you have an opportunity to ask us questions, share any concerns, and give input on the bills and issues we are working on in Salem.

Questions can be submitted in advance when you register, using Q&A chat during the event, or asked live during the virtual town hall. You can join us via Zoom or watch via my Facebook Page Livestream. If you decide to participate via Zoom, you must register prior to attending the event.

If you have questions you’d like to send along in advance, please feel free to email them to me here at and we’ll get them on the list.

We look forward to seeing you on Wednesday evening.

Keeping Oregon's Promise

I’m really grateful for the opportunity to submit an amendment and support House Bill 2093A. This legislation would reinstate the Oregon Promise Grant scholarships to college students and their families who were promised the scholarship and had their scholarship taken way last year and would also expand it to students whose applications were pending and never fulfilled, both due to budget cuts in 2020.

This bill passed the House Committee on Education with unanimous and bipartisan support and we’ll be watching for the next steps as it moves through the Legislature and will keep you posted. You can read more about this bill and our press release on it here.

Good Legislation Is Moving Forward

There were a number of very important bills that passed the House this last week, all of which I strongly support and voted for in the House. We will be talking about these bills during this week’s joint virtual town hall so make sure to bring your questions or comments Wednesday night.

HB 3389Proposes fixes to Oregon’s unemployment benefits system, tax relief for small businesses. Throughout the past year, government-mandated closures forced businesses with significantly less revenue to lay off staff in unprecedented numbers. This had unforeseen ramifications for the assessment of unemployment insurance taxes owed, leading to a dramatic rise in tax obligations at a time when business revenue was lowest. This bill would allow businesses that saw this tax increase to defer some payments and even forgive a percentage of the deferred taxes. This bill also ensures that tax rates don’t rise further because of impacts from the pandemic. Rep. Daniel Bonham is a chief co-sponsor of this bill. 

HB 2654Expands broadband infrastructure and broadband access to rural Oregon. This bill would Allow our co-operative utilities to use their rights-of-way for broadband infrastructure. It unanimously passed the House last week and is chief co-Sponsored by our district senator, Senator. Lynn Findley.

HB 3139A Youth suicide prevention measures. The proposal would encourage mental health care providers who believe a minor is at risk of attempting suicide to disclose relevant information to a parent, guardian or other individuals who can help take necessary safety measures.

HB 2341Wildfire relief for property owners. This  bipartisan bill will help Oregonians who own property that was damaged or completely destroyed by wildfires by authorizing tax collectors to prorate taxes imposed on a property that was destroyed or damaged, putting more cash into the pockets of Oregonians who need it to recover from devastating losses.

Student Spotlight

Since we started our Student Spotlight program, we’ve had dozens of amazing kids submitted for recognition with more coming regularly. To make sure all these students are recognized, we will be doing two student spotlights moving forward.

Lizet Camacho-Figueroa
Lizet, a senior at Burns High School in Harney County, is our first student spotlight of the week. Lizet received the 2020-2021 Burns High School Student of the Year award, which is the highest honor Burns bestows upon a student. In order to be chosen, staff find seniors with top academic performance and character qualities.


Her biology teacher, Amy Smith said this about her:       
“She has the ability to focus and ask questions until she not only “knows” the material, but also “understands” the material and how it applies to the world around her. She is a rational thinker who understands concepts and has the ability to apply and make connections with her knowledge across multiple disciplines.”

Ms. Smith also described Lizet as a true friend that stands up for and stands by her friends, even when things get difficult and said Lizet embodies what it means to have character by being honest and forthright, kind and thoughtful, intelligent and wise, full of compassion and empathy.

Lizet is considering attending Oregon State University to study Climate Science. Congratulations Lizet,  we know your future is bright and anxiously await to see where it will take you.


Omar Vera
Omar Vera is junior attending Four Rivers Senior Prep in the city of Ontario located in Malheur County. Omar is currently taking dual-credit classes through Treasure Valley Community College. He represents the Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Treasure Valley and has been selected as their Youth of the Year. He has been a member since 2009 working his way up from a volunteer in the Nutrition Program, to his current role as a Youth Development Professional.

Omar expresses that the Boys & Girls Club has impacted his life significantly helping him learn to accept himself and others. He made special connections with Club members who lifted him up and gained his trust. Now, he returns the favor and is an advocator for Robbie’s Hope Foundation, an organization that assists in suicide prevention. In addition to this, he also is a part of Community 101, a student-led establishment that raises funds for youth with mental health needs and raises awareness for the prevention of suicides. 

We appreciate you Omar, and all the service you freely give to your community’s youth.

Do you have a student or youth you would like to highlight? Send us your submissions by clicking this link and one of our team members will get back to you: Student Spotlight Recognition.

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