Return to Extreme: Seeking a Better Balance

Rep Cate Newsletter Banner

Return to Extreme: Seeking a Better Balance

I wish there were more happy newsletters being sent to you by my office, but this week is another unfortunate delivery of bad news. Governor Brown announced the return of 15 of our counties—including Linn and Marion—to “extreme” risk, and went into effect today. I know this is devastating news, especially to our hardest hit industries like restaurants.  

It’s easy to feel utterly helpless serving in the super-minority, especially in times like these. We have had many bills introduced in the Legislature that would put some reasonable limits on the Governor’s powers during emergencies, demand equal closure-treatment for all our business sectors, and help our students get the education they deserve—even during a pandemic. 

But none of these bills have a chance of getting relief for Oregonians without support by the super-majority. Our communities can’t afford more businesses closing their doors permanently due to another lock-down. The power of advocacy is real, and you can help. 

Reach out to Representatives and Senators asking them to support bills like: 

HB 2243 - Requires that declarations and extensions of states of emergency under certain statutes be accompanied by written explanations.

HB 3177 - Limits types of restrictions that Governor may impose on certain businesses during state of emergency related to COVID-19 pandemic.

HB 3350 - Prescribes requirements for providing education to students with disability during COVID-19 emergency.

We all know the importance of balance, whether it’s safety measures versus caring for the needs of our communities as a whole, or finding a balance of power to ensure policies impacting our communities have input from those communities. Use your voice, tell your stories, and help demand balance again in our state. 

Rep VBI Enough Graphic

Despite everything else going on this week, the women of the House Republicans have continued our stand against sexual harassment in the Capitol in support of Rep. Vikki Breese-Iverson. 

SB 554-B Passes out of House: Back to Senate

Despite an incredible showing on the floor by Republicans, including moving personal experiences and countless constituent testimonies, SB 554-B passed the House with 34 yes votes to 24 no votes (with 3 Democrat Representatives joining Republicans in voting “No”) and 2 excused Representatives. 

The fight now returns to the Senate, which must re-vote on the bill with its current amendment. Please reach out to the Democrats in the Senate and let them know how you feel about the bill and why you feel so strongly about it. Sharing your personal stories makes the biggest impact.

Restaurant Revitalization Fund

Restaurant Revitalization Fund Graphic

The Small Business Administration will begin accepting applications May 3 for a $29 billion grant program aimed at boosting the restaurant industry, according to the agency.

The program, officially known as the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, is the first federal pandemic aid exclusively for restaurants, bars and other food-service businesses. It was authorized by Congress as part of its $1.9 trillion coronavirus-aid package that became law last month, and will be a key source of aid to an industry that has been hard hit by the pandemic.

Businesses can begin applying for these funds on Friday, April 30.

Share Your Thoughts with Marion County

Housing Picture

Marion County is currently developing a five-year plan for housing, community development, and infrastructure. The plan will guide investment policy and actions such as housing, economic development, public services, public facility, and infrastructure investments over the next several years.

The planning process is intended to more comprehensively fulfill three basic goals: to provide decent housing, to expand economic opportunities, and to provide a suitable living environment. The plan depends on the opinions and experiences of people who are knowledgeable about housing and community development in Marion County.

Your input is essential to ensuring thorough representation of people living and working in Marion County and we invite you to participate in our online survey.

REGISTER:  Public Input Meeting, May 5, 2021 - 6 p.m.

REGISTER:  Public Input Meeting, May 6, 2021 - 6 p.m.

COVID Guidance & Vaccine Information

County Risk Level Charts

Late last week and earlier this week there was updated guidance released about youth programs and outdoor recreation & fitness. Most notably, K-12 School Sports guidance will be based on each county's risk level instead of the school health metrics established in the Ready Schools, Safe Learners guidance.

You can view the full guidance for each risk level by clicking on the partial chart image above. You can view the current risk level for each county HERE.

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

To view previous newsletters, please visit my website.

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