Halfway Through Session!

You can read our previous newsletters here.

View in Browser

Hello Friends,

We're halfway through the Legislative Session and a look back at the bills we've passed in the House shows just how much we've gotten accomplished, despite the setbacks caused by the pandemic.  We've protected small businesses by passing unemployment insurance relief and extending the eviction moratorium for small businesses.  We have also provided relief from the wildfires and from the pandemic by passing bills that expand the siting of emergency shelters, extend the eviction moratorium for renters, provide tax relief for those forced to rebuild after the fires, and funds $18 million for emergency navigation centers. 

2021 Session Committee Assignments 

Joint Committee On Ways and Means

Joint Committee On Transportation - Co-Chair

House Committee On Agriculture and Natural Resources - Vice Chair

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 


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


rep mclain with glasses, black mask and polka dot black dress on House Floor


Join us TONIGHT (Friday, 4/23) from 5:30-7pm for a Virtual Town Hall to discuss some 2021 Session updates and ask questions!

Register in advance for this meeting:


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

I hope to see you at the virtual Town Hall tonight!

2021 Session: Highlight Bills


Here is a list of just some of the important bills I am proud to have voted for this session:


HB2681 - Voter Protections 

Voting in this country is a fundamental right, which is why I was proud to vote for HB2681.  This bill prohibits using failure to vote as a valid reason for moving a voter to inactive status on the voting rolls.  There were over half a million voters in Oregon on the inactive list prior to the 2020 November Election. There are many reasons an elector can become inactive, but it is most often due to a challenge signature issue or relating to a recent name change. The electors are notified twice, within a few weeks of the most recent election, and never notified again.  Along with prohibiting the moving of voters to inactive status due to voters not voting or updating voter registration for any period of time, this bill also reactivates any voter whose registration is currently inactive due to not voting or updating voter registration.  


HB3389 - Unemployment Insurance Relief Bill 

I voted for this important bill to give our small businesses relief.  HB3389 will provide $2.4 billion in unemployment insurance relief to small businesses who have been impacted the most by the pandemic. The bill recognizes that because of the impact of necessary public health responses to the pandemic, Oregon businesses faced unprecedented levels of layoffs. Normally, such a jump in unemployment claims would trigger increases in UI tax rates, at a time when small businesses are struggling to get back on their feet. HB 3389 will remedy that by adjusting how UI rates are calculated and excluding 2020 and 2021 from businesses’ “experience ratings.” HB 3389 provides nearly $100 million in relief this year and has the long-term goal of reducing taxes collected by $2.4 billion while maintaining the solvency of the unemployment insurance trust.  


HB2623 - Insulin Cap

I was proud to vote for HB 2623, which would limit the price of insulin under a health benefit plan and tie future price increases to the cost of living.  It would cap the cost of insulin at $75 for a 30-day supply, and $225 for a 90-day supply. The Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) would review the price annually and would be allowed to adjust the cap based on changes to the cost of living.  


HB2966 - Extension of Eviction Moratorium for Small Businesses 

I voted for HB 2966 because it extends the grace period to repay back rent, as businesses recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and helps protect small businesses from evictions.  The bill prohibits the termination of commercial tenancy for nonpayment if the outstanding rent balance does not exceed the rent deposit. It also extends the grace period for repayment of nonresidential rent between April 1, 2020, and September 30, 2020, until September 30, 2021, for certain tenants.


HB2006 - Emergency Shelter Siting 

I voted for this bill because it helps local communities provide emergency shelter in a time of great need.  The bill requires local governments to allow siting of qualifying emergency shelters by qualifying entities notwithstanding land use laws and regulations. It expands the description of transitional housing accommodations to include motor-vehicle camping.  It removes the three-vehicle limit on motor-vehicle camping on properties of religious institutions.  It also expands uses of the Emergency Housing Account to include developing technical assistance regarding emergency shelters or transitional housing accommodations.  And finally, it authorizes the Housing and Community Services Department to use the Emergency Housing Account to fund grants and technical assistance for organizations to develop or operate low-barrier emergency shelters, develop supportive facilities or provide rapid rehousing services and support.


HB2697 - Prohibition of Hate Speech in Schools

I voted for this bill in the wake of increased violence against racial and religious minorities across the United States.  This bill will prohibit the displaying of hate symbols in schools and educational programs. This would include nooses, neo-Nazi symbols, the Confederate battle flag, and other symbols with a history of causing substantial disruption to educational environments. The bill also requires school districts, public charter schools, Education Service Districts (ESDs), and schools for the deaf to adopt a policy to address bias incidents. 


HB2607 - Wildfire Tax Relief

I voted to exempt homeowners from construction taxes when rebuilding after wildfires or other natural disasters.  It applies to residential housing destroyed or damaged on or after January 1, 2020.


HB2009 - Extension of Foreclosure Moratorium

I voted to support thousands of homeowners who face the continued impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.  HB 2009 provides several protections for homeowners, pausing foreclosure proceedings temporarily for qualifying borrowers, delaying payment requirements, and lowering the exemption threshold. The bill reestablishes the moratorium through July 1, 2021 to small residential borrowers and gives the governor the ability to extend the moratorium for 90-day increments through the end of the year as the legislature anticipates federal relief distribution.   


HB5042 - Summer Learning and Wildfire Relief 

I voted to approve a bill that will invest hundreds of millions of dollars in students and communities impacted by the multiple crises of the last year. The bill includes $250 million in funding for Summer Learning and Child Care programs to aid students and families across the state.  The bill also includes $18 million in funds for emergency housing shelters (known as navigation centers) in impacted communities, and millions more in funding to communities harmed by last year’s wildfires.


HB2475 - Energy Affordability Act 

I voted to support low-income Oregonians who are struggling to pay their utility bills by approving the Energy Affordability Act, which allows the Public Utility Commission (PUC) to create a new rate class for low-income payers This bill requires that the Public Utility Commission (PUC) provide for a comprehensive classification of service that may take into account the differential energy burdens on low-income customers and other economic, social equity, or environmental justice factors that affect affordability for certain classes of utility customers. It allows financial assistance to be provided to organizations that represent the interests of low-income residential customers or residential customers who are members of environmental justice communities. And it authorizes the PUC to mitigate energy burden through bill reduction measures or programs that may, but need not be limited to, demand response or weatherization.


My Priority Bills


My two priority bills, HB2955 and HB3007, have both passed successfully out of committee and are now in Ways in Means, where the state budget gets allocated.  HB2955 creates a household hazardous waste stewardship program that will increase collection of, and help fund the costs of, disposing of these products by asking manufacturers to become a part of the solution. Currently, our city or county ratepayers are shouldering the costs of the disposal on their own.  Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) programs take unwanted waste out of the home, reducing the risk of poisoning and fires, and out of traditional recycling bins thus protecting waste and landfill workers.  A sound product stewardship program protects the environment by diverting hazardous materials from improper disposal down interior drains and toilets, and down street drains or yards or ditches where the material can make its way into treatment plants or streams and rivers.  I believe, along with health experts and hazardous waste specialists,  that collecting HHW is an important prevention program.  By collecting these materials upstream, we avoid safety risks downstream.  I am proud to be the Chief Sponsor of this bill and I look forward to a discussion of its merits in the Ways and Means Committee.


HB3007 provides an opportunity for part-time faculty at Oregon's colleges and universities to get health care coverage.  For part-time faculty who do not receive affordable coverage under any existing policy, HB 3007 cannot come quickly enough.  These dedicated educators work hard, traveling hours between jobs, trying to cobble together full-time work, often while making low wages.  These individuals are doing essential work, and they deserve affordable health insurance.  HB3007 will require part-time faculty of public institutions of higher education to pay 10 percent of health insurance premiums for employee benefit plans while the state pays the remainder.  

Updates from Salem

Governor Kate Brown Provides Updates on COVID-19 in Oregon

*This article comes from Governor Kate Brown’s Press Release. Click the link above to read more.

  • Governor Kate Brown held a press conference today to provide an update on the status of COVID-19 in Oregon, and to urge Oregonians to make a plan to get vaccinated. The Governor was joined by Dr. Renee Edwards, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, OHSU Health; Olivia Quiroz, Executive Director, Oregon Latino Health Coalition; Patrick Allen, Oregon Health Authority (OHA) Director; and Dr. Dean Sidelinger, State Epidemiologist, OHA. 
  • "In the race between vaccines and variants, right now the variants have the upper hand," said Governor Brown. "Today’s cases topped 1,000, with Oregon now ranking second in the nation for having the most rapid growth of infection spread. Our hospitals are about to surpass 300 positive COVID-19 cases. That means several counties are on the verge of having to reinstate Extreme Risk restrictions on businesses and activities.
  • "In order to fully reopen our economy, we need to reach a significant majority of Oregonians with a vaccine; we need to close the equity gap in our vaccine efforts; and vaccine supplies need to be readily available for all eligible Oregonians who want to be protected. Vaccines are your best protection against the variants and the quickest way for us all to get back to the people and things we miss the most.
    • A copy of the Governor's prepared remarks from today's press conference is available here.
    • More information on vaccines is available at covidvaccine.oregon.gov.
    • Video Links:
      • A recording of today's live-streamed press conference is available on YouTube. Please note the video starts at the 28:21 mark.
      • A recording of a Spanish language translation is available on OHA's Facebook page.
      • An HD recording of today's press conference for members of the media is available on Vimeo.

Governor Kate Brown Calls on Legislature to Support Statewide Broadband Expansion

*This article comes from Governor Kate Brown’s Press Release. Click the link above to read more.

  • Earlier this week, Governor Kate Brown appeared before the Joint Subcommittee on Transportation and Economic Development to urge her support for investments in expanding broadband access statewide. 
  • The Governor's Recommended Budget proposes an $118 million investment, with a focus on providing broadband access to underserved communities that have been disproportionately impacted during the pandemic; ensuring every school across Oregon is connected; and connecting 50 additional communities statewide.  
  • A copy of the Governor's prepared testimony is available here, and a letter of support from the Broadband Caucus is available here.
  • A recording of the committee hearing is available on the Oregon Legislature's website.

Vaccine Updates

light rose infographic


Getting your vaccine: Know before you go

*This article comes from the Oregon Health Authority Press Release. Click the link above to read more.

  • If you have a vaccination appointment coming up, you may be wondering what it will be like and how to prepare for it. 
  • Here’s what you can expect at the appointment: 
  • You, and the person who is vaccinating you, will need to wear a face covering that covers your mouth and nose.   
  • The shot will be given in your shoulder so it’s helpful to wear a short sleeve shirt.   
  • The vaccine is free.   
  • You are not required to show identification or to give them a social security number.  
  • If you have health insurance, you may be asked to show your insurance card so that the clinic can bill the administration fee to them.   
  • After getting a COVID-19 vaccine, you will be monitored on site for at least 15 minutes. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines and rare severe allergic reactions. ​You should receive a vaccination card with the CDC logo on it. Hold onto that card. You may also want to take a picture of your vaccination card in case you misplace it.   
  • Schedule your second dose from the same site where you received your first.  

→ Learn more on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) webpage.



OHA, CDC investigating  potential  adverse event  following Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccination 

*This article comes from the Oregon Health Authority Press Release. Click the link above to read more.

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is investigating a report of an Oregon death that was submitted to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) on April 18. 
  • 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.  
  • The reported death pertains to a woman in her 50s, who received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine before the CDC and FDA recommended pause was issued earlier this month. She developed a rare but serious blood clot less than two weeks after her vaccination. 
  • It is important to note that until this investigation is complete, it cannot be determined whether her death was related to the vaccine. 
  • Health care providers are required to report any serious adverse event following vaccination to VAERS in accordance with the emergency use authorization (EUA) for COVID-19 vaccines. It is up to CDC and the FDA, however, to conclude whether a death was caused by the vaccination itself.  
  • As the investigation continues, the CDC and OHA will continue to provide updates on any developments that may transpire. 
  • Read the full OHA  press release here. 



Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center brings equity and fair access to the COVID-19 vaccine

*This article comes from the Oregon Health Authority Press Release. Click the link above to read more.

  • Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that serves the members of Washington and Yamhill counties through access to high quality, culturally appropriate health care. For more than 46 years Virginia Garcia has offered care to those most vulnerable in their communities. 
  • When COVID-19 began to affect people in Oregon, Virginia Garcia immediately began to see the impact it was having on the communities they served. In addition to providing testing in the clinics, they began taking services into the community, eventually creating a response team dedicated solely to outreach events. Virginia Garcia was the first community health center in the state to begin offering drive through testing services at the Hillsboro Stadium – increasing accessibility for their patients and the community at large. 
  • Over the summer, with an awareness that Black, Indigenous and People of Color were impacted by COVID-19 at a higher rate than others, the newly formed Covid Response (CoRe) Team began partnering with other community-based organizations that served these groups to hold 15 different community events between June and November. Ultimately, more than 2,000 people were screened at these events.  
  • Virginia Garcia also provided testing resources like educational handouts, informational videos and television commercials about how to stay safe during the holiday season focused on the communities they serve.  
  • Once the vaccine became available, the CoRe Team added vaccination events to their toolkit. Currently the team splits their time focusing on ensuring equitable access of testing and vaccinations by providing both free testing services at the Hillsboro Clinic location to anyone in the community and vaccine events targeted at providing the vaccine to individuals who would otherwise not have access. 
  • Last Tuesday, Virginia Garcia had their first mobile clinic vaccination event of the season where, with the help of volunteers, vaccinated almost 300 people. These mobile vaccination clinics will be offered every Tuesday to vulnerable populations like migrant and seasonal farmworkers who would otherwise have difficulty getting to a vaccination clinic. Virginia Garcia’s goal is to provide 30,000 vaccinations in 12 weeks. 
  • On April 13, they vaccinated another 104 individuals, even after having to change out their vaccine from Johnson & Johnson to Moderna at the last minute. The need to schedule and provide second shots will be an added challenge, but they are actively working to make arrangements with the camps and nurseries to get those second clinics scheduled.  
cartoon of female nurse about to administer shot to man


New Safe + Strong videos answer vaccine questions

*This article comes from the Oregon Health Authority Press Release. Click the link above to read more.

  • Oregon Health Authority (OHA) is working to make sure that communities who are significantly impacted by COVID-19 have easy access to vaccine information. OHA’s Safe + Strong campaign has developed several short, animated videos to answer some of the key questions that communities have about vaccination: Are the vaccines safe? Are they free? Do I need insurance?  
  • The videos, called “Vaccine Answers,” include one 60-second video that addresses all the questions and several shorter videos that folks can share with their communities. The videos launched this week in English and Spanish and are being developed in several other languages in the coming weeks. 
  • The ads can be found on OHA's YouTube channel and you can click on the image below to watch the full 60-second video. Thank you for sharing these with your friends, colleagues and communities!

Vaccines by the Numbers:





COVID-19 Updates

National Numbers: 

    • Confirmed Cases: 31,730,950
    • Deaths: 567,352
    • 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 178,000 total cases (confirmed and presumptive) of COVID-19. 
    • Today we have 993 new confirmed and presumptive cases, and 1 new death. 
    • A total of 2,484 Oregonians have died from COVID-19 (previous daily case updates from OHA here)
  • Washington County has 22,824 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
pink shaded map of Oregon

Remember to take good care of yourself

*This article comes from the Oregon Health Authority Press Release. Click the link above to read more.

  • This week has been emotionally difficult for people in Oregon and all over the country. Not only do we have COVID-19 exhaustion, but we are facing difficulties together as a collective. We are talking to, learning from and creating change together, but the work is tiring. We are learning to heal from the historic trauma that has hurt marginalized people. The highs and the lows of the news can feel like riding a roller coaster, and it is easy to forget that we need to pause and reflect on what we need to be well.

Here are some ways to take good care of yourself:

  • Talk to someone who will listen with care.
  • Play some favorite music.
  • Take some deep breaths.
  • Practice a hobby that you enjoy.
  • Read a good book.
  • Cuddle with your pet.
  • Unplug for a while if you need to.

And remember that taking precautions to keep yourself and your community safe from COVID-19 is also a way to take care: wear your mask, watch your distance, limit your gatherings and wash your hands frequently.

Visit our Safe + Strong website for more resources, including how to contact the Safe + Strong Helpline and information in languages other than English.

It’s okay to give yourself this moment to believe that things can be okay.

Around the Region

volunteers in black masks hunched over filling brown bags


Washington County gives update on program to help homeless

*This article comes from Hillsboro NewsTimes. Click the link above to read more.

  • County and regional officials are dreaming big on a Metro bond measure they say will begin paying dividends by midsummer.
    • Metro voters last year approved a supportive housing services measure to address homelessness and housing instability. The measure gave the region the largest per capita investment to address homelessness in the nation, according to Washington County officials.
    • At a Beaverton City Council meeting on April 13, county officials said they have been preparing for program implementation to begin as soon as revenue becomes available this summer.
  • The goal, according to Larson, is nothing less than to achieve functionally zero chronic homelessness, across a region that has become infamous for its highly visible homeless population.
    • The supportive housing program is funded by a 1% tax on taxable income of more than $125,000 for individuals and $200,000 for couples filing jointly.
    • Businesses with gross receipts of more than $5 million are also taxed 1% on profits.
    • Voters approved those taxes as part of the May 2020 Metro measure.
    • According to Washington County, these taxes are estimated to generate more than $200 million per year. Washington County will receive about one-third of the total program revenue.
    • County officials anticipate $38 million in year one of the program with an estimated $75 million annually by the third year.

Where does the money go?

  • In the first year, Washington County officials plan to spend the money towards shelter and transitional housing; outreach and navigation services; housing barrier costs and short-term rent assistance; regional long-term rent assistance; supportive and wrap around services; and system-of-care capacity building.
    • Gong said in the first year alone, county officials intend to place at least 500 people in supportive housing, stabilize the housing situation of 500 more households currently considered housing-insecure, and set up 100 additional shelter beds available year-round.
  • The final draft of the local implementation plan was submitted to the Washington County Board of Commissioners for consideration of approval on April 6. Once it's approved, the plan will then be submitted to the regional oversight committee for consideration.



Community Action, Energy Trust provide no-cost energy saving help

*This article comes from Hillsboro NewsTimes. Click the link above to read more.

  • The pandemic has required people to spend more time at home, forcing them to have higher energy bills as they heat and cool their living spaces.
  • Facing cuts to income at the same time has made people make tough decisions about whether to use heat or air conditioning.
  • But a program created by Washington County's Community Action Organization in partnership with the Energy Trust of Oregon is helping people afford to stay in their homes by covering the cost of weatherization and even new heating and cooling systems.
  • At no cost to residents or landlords, the program has helped more than 200 families with sometimes expensive energy-saving projects that allowed them to stay in their homes, CAO officials said.
  • With support from the Energy Trust, a nonprofit energy efficiency and renewable energy assistance organization, CAO has made available thousands of dollars for qualifying families for weatherization projects that help keep warm or cool air inside or new equipment.
  • Email CAO at weatherization@caowash.org or call 503-906-6550 to learn more about energy saving assistance opportunities.

Wildfire Recovery Updates

infographic with cartoon house, store and gavel
infographic with heart, baby milk bottle and filled cardboard box

Housing options get a boost in Talent 

The Talent Urban Renewal Agency is working with Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) to create transition housing options for those living in the Phoenix-Talent community. 

Almost 700 students and their families lost their homes in the Almeda fire. Even with all the work completed in this community, about a quarter of these families are still without interim housing. 

TURA and OHCS plan on breaking ground on what is now called the Gateway Site as early as Memorial Day. By establishing the infrastructure needed for the temporary trailer and RVs, they are setting up the area for long-term development in the future. 

The 4.3-acre site will include homes for 53 families who need this interim housing to remain in their community and continue their education with stability. 

FEMA continues to work with local officials to secure sites for temporary housing supplied by the federal government. In Talent, they are looking at Totem Pole Park, and just outside of Phoenix, they are considering Rogue Valley. Multi-agency efforts are underway to move these communities forward. 



FEMA helps wildfire survivors with application process 

FEMA is offering help to Jackson County wildfire survivors who applied for Federal Disaster Assistance but still have questions about their application, 

To register for an in-person appointment, call: 541-821-7697 (Spanish) 

541-821-7135 or 541-770-3480 (English). 

Note: Appointments must be made by Friday, April 23 at 5 p.m. 

In-person appointments will be held at two locations, with sign language and Spanish interpreters available upon request: 

May 1-4 in Talent 

Talent Community Center, 104 E Main St. 

Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday and Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

May 7-10 in Phoenix 

Phoenix Plaza Civic Center, 220 N Main St. 

Friday and Monday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

Face coverings are required for entry and service. 

Survivors may also call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 from 4 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily; press 2 for a Spanish-speaking operator. 



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

Identity thieves using Oregon state employees’ names for fraudulent unemployment claims

*This article comes from The Oregonian. Click the link above to read more.

  • Identity thieves have submitted dozens of fraudulent claims for unemployment benefits using the names of Oregon state employees, another front in thieves’ ongoing effort to capitalize on the surge of jobless claims that accompanied the pandemic.
  • It’s not clear how the fraudsters obtained the state employees’ names but officials say it doesn’t appear to be part of data breach. And it doesn’t seem to have put workers at risk of additional identity theft, though the departments said it has caused confusion and concern among employees.
  • The Oregon Employment Department declined to address the scale of the issue, citing the risk of additional fraud, but some state agencies report a large share of their employees have had false jobless claims submitted under their names.


Some Oregon unemployment benefits will be delayed for a day by website trouble

*This article comes from The Oregonian. Click the link above to read more.

  • Thousands of self-employed Oregonians were unable to file their weekly benefits claims at the beginning of the week because of issues with the state’s website.
  • The Oregon Employment Department said Tuesday afternoon that the issues appear resolved, but 20,000 claimants who were unable to access the department’s online claims form on Monday and Tuesday morning will have a one-day delay in receiving this week’s benefits.
  • Issues cropped up over the weekend, affecting people seeking to file claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. That’s a new class of benefits Congress created last year for self-employed workers and contractors.
  • Unemployed workers typically must file claims every week to continue receiving benefits. The department said Monday that the website had “several issues” over the weekend, describing “slow load times, lack of confirmation emails, and more.”
  • Initially the department said it hoped to resolve the issue early Monday. But problems continued until Tuesday afternoon.
  • People who filed their weekly claim Sunday won’t have any delay in receiving their weekly benefits, according to the employment department, but those who tried to file Monday and Tuesday will get their money one day late.
  • The employment department says it expects it will take until year’s end to resolve the phone troubles.

DMV Updates

Oregon Real ID deadline is looming

*This article comes from KGW 8 News. Click the link above to read more.

  • Beginning Oct. 1, anyone hoping to board an airplane must have identification that is compliant with the Department of Homeland Security’s tighter airport screening process.
  • A simple Oregon driver's license that does not have the Real ID option does not meet that criteria. And so far, the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) says they've only issued about 177,000 Real IDs since the option first became available to Oregonians in July 2020.
  • You can read more from the Transportation Security Administration about why Real ID 
  • It’s important to know that this really only applies to people with air travel plans, but even unexpected air travel becomes necessary sometimes. 
  • In addition to locating all those documents, there is, of course, an increasing wait to get one as the Oct. 1 deadline approaches. 
  • In order to get an Oregon Real ID, you must make an in-person trip to a local DMV office. Because of ongoing COVID restrictions, all such in-person transactions require an appointment. 
  • There are other forms of documentation that meet Real ID criteria, including a passport or passport card, but only about 37% of Oregonians have one. And, obtaining a passport can often take months.  You can find all Real ID-compliant forms of ID on the TSA website
  • Oregon expects to issue about 900-thousand REAl-IDs, in time, but the DMV notes they do not have the capacity to hit that number by the October 1st deadline.  

Other Assistance Updates

arp document

American Rescue Plan Information

--> And here are additional resources:

American Rescue Plan and Asian American & Pacific Islander Communities

American Rescue Plan and Women

American Rescue Plan and Black Communities

American Rescue Plan and Latino Communities

American Rescue Plan and Native Communities

American Rescue Plan and Small Businesses

American Rescue Plan and Health Care Costs & Disparities

American Rescue Plan and the Marketplace

American Rescue Plan and Rural America

American Rescue Plan and Housing Provisions

American Rescue Plan and Veterans

American Rescue Plan and Indian Affairs Programs


National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

  • Tomorrow, Saturday, April 24, the US Drug Enforcement Administration will host National Prescription Drug Take Back Day to help communities across the country safely dispose of their unused prescription medications for free – including dozens of locations across Oregon.
  • It’s a great opportunity for individuals and families to properly dispose of their unused prescription medications. Too often, home medicine cabinets play a role in a potential addiction. By safely disposing of unused prescription medicines, we can help prevent a child, loved one or friend from misusing medicines that were not prescribed to them.
  • On April 24, RALI Oregon encourages Oregonians to take advantage of the free and safe disposal opportunities. 


There are several ways you can participate:

Here is a link to the Washington County Collection Site Locators: WASHCO LOCATOR

  • Find a drug take back center in your community where you can dispose of medications any day of the year.
  • Use household materials to dispose of your unused medications. All you have to do is mix your medicines with kitty litter or cold coffee grounds in an airtight container and dispose of it in your trash.
  • To learn more about Take Back Day and safe storage and disposal of prescription medicines visit the RALI Oregon website



infographic with teal, white and green colors, and a photo of rolled up $100 bills


Eligibility for Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)  

  • The EITC can be a boost for you, your family and community. If you worked last year and had income of  less than $56,884 you may be eligible for the EITC.  

Who can get the EITC? 

  • EITC is for workers whose income does not exceed the following limits in 2020:  • $50,594 ($56,884 married filing jointly) with three or more qualifying children  • $47,440 ($53,330 married filing jointly) with two qualifying children  

→ $41,756 ($47,646 married filing jointly) with one qualifying child  

→ $15,820 ($21,710 married filing jointly) with no qualifying children  

  • Investment income must be $3,650 or less. 
  • In order to claim the EITC, you must file a federal tax return, even if you owe no tax or aren’t required  to file a return. You can also file for the EITC for the past three years.  
    • EITC can mean up to a $6,600 refund when you file a return if you have qualifying children. Workers  without a qualifying child could be eligible for a smaller credit up to $538. According to the Internal  Revenue Service, the average amount credited for 2020 was $2,461. 
    • Children must meet certain relationship, age, residency and joint return requirements to qualify. To see  if your child qualifies you for EITC, refer to "Qualifying Child Rules" on irs.gov or Publication 596.  
    • In addition to the federal EITC, you can claim a state Earned Income Credit on your Oregon return. 

→ More information on the EITC: Oregon Department of Revenue and Internal Revenue Service

Additional Resources

Employers and Employees



Oregon Health Authority


Enjoyed the yard at lunch today!

four photos of bushes, trees and house plants in the yard and on the porch

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