April 30, 2021 Legislative Update


April 30, 2021 Legislative Update

April Cherry Blossoms

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month Blue Ribbons and the Capitol photo

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

The month of April has flown by so quickly but before it gets away, I want to highlight April’s National Child Abuse Prevention Month and report on the following bills I am sponsoring this session that protect Oregon's children:

Rep. Lewis giving speech on HB 3071 on House floor

Mandatory Abuse Reporting
It is my honor to chief sponsor HB 3071 at the request of the Marion County CASA Director. Child abuse takes a heavy toll on children, their families, and our communities. In 2019 alone, there were 13,674 confirmed cases of child abuse in Oregon. The 2020 statistics are not yet available, and I am concerned that during the pandemic a great number of concerns went unreported.  Because children rarely report abuse, it is up to adults to provide a critical level of protection.

In the development of this concept I was surprised to learn that, although there are many elected officials who are mandatory child abuse reporters, not all of them are included under current Oregon law. Elected officials in all areas of government, come into possession of all kinds of information. When it comes to allegations and suspicions of child abuse, reporting that information to the proper authorities can literally save a child’s life.

HB 3071 modifies the definition of "public or private official" with the mandatory duty to report suspected abuse to include All state and local elected officials that are not presently included in current law. The measure closes a gap in our mandatory reporting laws and will further strengthen our ability to protect Oregon’s children. HB 3071 passed the House and is scheduled for a public hearing and possible work session in the Senate Committee On Human Services, Mental Health and Recovery next week.

Child Advocacy Centers
HB 2826 requires Child Abuse Multidisciplinary Intervention Program within the Oregon Department of Justice to allocate funds to support local and regional child advocacy centers.  These centers provide medical assessments, treatment, and safety to prevent and respond to allegations of child abuse. Ensuring access to child advocacy centers keeps kids safe. Because this measure involves a funding component, it is before the Joint Committee On Ways and Means for budgetary consideration.  

Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Funding
HB 2738 appropriates moneys to the Court Appointed Special Advocate Fund for the CASA Volunteer Program and for distribution to Oregon CASA Network for court appointed special advocate training programs. CASA volunteers play a critical role to represent a child's best interest before the court and bring positive change to the lives of Oregon's most vulnerable children. This bill also has a funding component and is before the Joint Committee On Ways and MeansInterested in becoming a CASA?  Learn more here

Hope Cards
HB 2746 directs the State Court Administer to develop and implement a Hope Card Program for issuance of information cards to persons who are protected by restraining orders. The Hope Card gives survivors of domestic violence tangible information to present to law enforcement when seeking safety from person(s) who are prohibited by the Court from contacting them. This measure is also before the Joint Committee On Ways and Means.  

Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA)
HB 3182 codifies the federal Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) into Oregon Law regarding adoptions. This bill completes the critical work started with HB 4214 in the 2020 first special session, creating the Oregon Indian Child Welfare Act that promotes the safety of Native children, preserves tribal families and communities, recognizes tribal sovereignty, and supports compliance with federal ICWA standards in courtrooms and DHS offices throughout the state. The bill passed the House this week and is before the Senate Committee On Human Services, Mental Health and Recovery for consideration.

Bailey’s Bill
SB 649 expands the crime of sex abuse in the second degree and closes a loophole in statute to include certain sexual abuses committed against a minor when the defendant is the victim's teacher. Bailey, for whom this bill is named, was a victim of sexual contact by her teacher. The teacher only spent 2 nights in jail, received 5 years’ probation, and did not have to register as a sex offender. If her teacher had been her volleyball coach, the conviction of sexual abuse in the third degree is elevated to sexual abuse in the second degree, which is a felony. This bill provides consistent sanctions and holds educators who prey upon children in this most violating way accountable. SB 649 passed the Senate unanimously, with 2 members excused.  I look forward to supporting the bill as a member of the House Committee on Judiciary and its passage in the House.  

Youth Suicide
In this year of indescribable challenges we must do all we can to support and protect our youth. HB 3139 requires a mental health care provider who assesses a minor to be at imminent and serious threat of attempting suicide to disclose relevant information to a parent, guardian or other individuals to engage in safety planning. HB 3139 passed the House and is scheduled for a public hearing and possible work session in the Senate Committee On Human Services, Mental Health and Recovery next week.

A Bill and a Memorial Day Story of Ultimate Sacrifice

Rep. Lewis speaking on House Floor on HB 2700

As we turn our calendar’s page to the month of May, I want to share with you an update on the first bill I sponsored and carried on the House floor this session.

POW/MIA Roadside Markers HB 2700 modifies criteria for erecting roadside memorial signs for deceased veterans formerly prisoners of war or unaccounted for, allowing for families of fallen soldiers to honor them. The bill passed the House unanimously and I am looking forward to the measure’s passage in the Senate.

The story I shared in my floor speech of a soldier with ties to House District 18, who was listed as missing in action, is that of Lyle E. Charpilloz. Lyle grew up on a farm outside of Silverton. He was just 15 years old when he lied about his age and joined the United States Marine Corps in July of 1941, less than 5 months before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.


Lyle was assigned to the 2nd Marine Division. His unit served in the Pacific Theater of Operations and participated in the 1st major offensive at Guadalcanal from late 1942 to early 1943. It was at the Battle of Tarawa that Lyle became listed as Missing in Action and presumed killed at the age of 17. The 3-day battle at Tarawa was one of the fiercest battles in Marine Corps history. The division was pitted against a Japanese force of 5,000 strong. Lyle’s company was among the first wave in the assault on the island. He was killed on November 20, 1943. More than 1,000 Marines and sailors lost their lives and more than 2,000 were wounded in the battle. 491 of those casualties are still unaccounted for. The identified and unknown remains of American soldiers were buried in one of 6 cemeteries on the island.

After the war, a military graves registration unit returned to the island to recover the remains. Eventually, those unidentified remains were moved to a military cemetery in Hawaii known as the Punchbowl. In 1949, a military review board declared Lyle’s remains unrecoverable, meaning efforts to positively identify his remains had been unsuccessful.

In 2016, work began using DNA testing to identify the remains of those still unknown and buried in Hawaii. A DNA sample from Lyle’s sister Marie was obtained and her sample led to a positive identification of Lyle’s remains buried in a grave labeled “Tarawa Unknown X-5”. Lyle was subsequently brought home. He was escorted by the Patriot Guard Riders and accompanied by a Marine Honor Guard. At long last, he was laid to rest with full military honors on April 7, 2018.

There are nearly 1,000 members of the armed forces from Oregon who are still listed as missing in action, ranging from World War I to the present. Unfortunately, many will never be recovered or positively identified. In Lyle’s case his family never knew his fate for nearly 75 years. Most of Lyle’s immediate family are no longer living. He is survived by his sister who is in her 90’s. She survived to see the body of her long-lost brother return home to Salem for burial.  

A Fox 12 Oregon video tribute to Marine Corps Pfc. Lyle E. Charpilloz can be viewed here. More background on Lyle's story can be found at: https://bit.ly/2uWB1GO


COVID-19 - New Risk Levels Update

Effective today, another surge of restrictions has been imposed on our struggling businesses in the Governor’s response to COVID-19. 15 counties will move to the Extreme Risk level effective through Thursday, May 6. In addition, nine counties will be in the High Risk level, four at Moderate Risk, and eight at Lower Risk.  A complete list of counties and their risk levels is available here

There are a number of bills proposed that would restrict the ability of the Governor to continue her extensions of emergency declarations unless the Legislature becomes involved in the decision. One such bill is HB 2243. I am a chief sponsor on this bill and it has bipartisan support.  Several states have taken action to limit the authority of their Governor during an emergency.  We are now over a year into COVID and the Legislature has not been involved in the decision to extend the emergency declaration. I receive many e-mails from residents who want to know what the Legislature is doing to help businesses remain open and allow people to go back to work.  HB 2243, along with other similar bills, is sitting in the House Committee on Rules.  It has not moved since the beginning of the Session and has not been granted a Public Hearing or a Work Session. The text of the bill can be found here.

If you are interested in doing so, please consider e-mailing the members of the Rules Committee to request that HB 2243 be granted a Public Hearing and a Work Session.

The Chair is Rep. Barbara Smith-Warner (D), Vice Chairs are Rep. Paul Holvey (D) and Rep. Christine Drazan (R).


Other Committee members are Rep. Daniel Bonham (R), Rep. Julie Fahey (D), Rep. Andrea Salinas (D) and Rep. Jack Zika (R).


Resources to Support Oregon Businesses

Grants for Businesses Behind on Commercial Rent Graphics

Grants for Businesses Behind on Rent

Business Oregon’s commercial rent relief program offers grants for small businesses and landlords dealing with past due rent because of the pandemic. Both landlord and business tenants would need to participate in the application process, and the landlord fills out the initial (very short) application form.

The only documentation required are a couple of online forms, a copy of an executed lease, and a W-9 form. The business tenant must have fewer than 100 employees. Grants go up to $100,000 per business tenant, based on the amount of rent past due because of the pandemic. This is NOT a first-come first served program. A lottery system will be used, if needed, to meet the funding available, which is $42+ million.

Full criteria and the application link can be found here.

Resturant Revitalization Fund Graphics

SBA's Restaurant Revitalization Fund 

The Small Business Administration (SBA) created its next tool to help businesses impacted by the pandemic, the $28 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF). Authorized in the federal American Rescue Plan, this program will provide restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location. Recipients are not required to repay the funding as long as funds are used for eligible purposes.

Eligible businesses include restaurants, food carts/trucks, caterers, bars, bakeries, brewpubs, breweries, wineries, and some other food and drink providers.

The SBA announced on April 27th that the program will begin registrations for the application system Friday, April 30th at 9AM EDT, and open for applications on Monday May 3, at noon EDT.

For the first 21 days the program is open, applications are restricted to businesses owned by veterans, minorities, and women. After that, the fund will open to all other restaurant owners.

Full details, eligibility, and tips for gathering needed documentation are available on the SBA website. You can prepare your application by reviewing the sample application, program guide and cross-program eligibility chart.

The Portland SBA office is putting on webinars to help interested business owners walk through the process and prepare to apply. Click here to register for an upcoming session.

SBA U.S. Small Business Administration Logo

Grants for Shuttered Venues

The SBA’s Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) program includes over $16 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance. Live venue operators and promoters, theatrical producers, museums, movie theaters, and more are the target for the program.

This program is now open for applications. 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.

The SBA has a list of Frequently Asked Questions about the SVOG program that helps define terms and provides additional guidance. There’s a lot to this program, so the SBA encourages applicants to use the FAQ, video tutorials, and other resources on its website.  

Full program information and a link to the application is available on the SBA’s website here.

Landlord Compensation Fund: Round Two Open Now – May 17th

Oregon Landlord Compensation Fund Graphics

Are you a landlord with past due rental payments? The Landlord Compensation Fund can help! The program covers 80% of past due rent (April 2020 – now) for tenants with a signed declaration of financial hardship if a landlord agrees to forgive the other 20%. The first round  covered rental debt for approximately 12,000 tenants and helped more than 1,900 landlords. More relief resources are available now.

Round two is now open. Please note this program is not first-come, first served, and applications will be open until May 17th. If you are interested in applying in the second round, please see this check list. Visit the Landlord Compensation Fund website for more information.

Legislators have been told that improvements to the LCF Application Portal will make it easier for landlords and property managers to submit required documentation. However, even with these improvements, there still may be occasional glitches due to the expected high volumes of applicants. If you live in House District 18, please reach out to our office if you experience problems so we can assist in connecting you with staff that can help.

The Landlord Compensation Fund is not the only rental assistance program currently open. Renters can access assistance through regional community action agencies. Additionally, OHCS will open the new federal Emergency Rental Assistance program next month.

Oregon To Add a Sixth Congressional District

On Monday, the US Census Bureau released data to support adding a sixth Congressional District in Oregon. This means Oregon will have another voice in the U.S. House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years. This is due to Oregon’s steady population growth over the last decade.

Like the House and Senate Districts, the process of redrawing the boundary lines for the Congressional Districts falls to the legislature through redistricting process. Why?  Due to the pandemic, census numbers were expected to arrive later than usual. While the Oregon Secretary of State proposed starting the process using data from Portland State University’s Population Research Center, Legislative leadership challenged her proposal through the Oregon Supreme Court and won.

Earlier this month, an agreement was reached between the House Republican and Democrats, providing equal representation on the House Special Committee on Redistricting. This will allow both parties equal footing in the process to avoid the political gerrymandering we have seen over the last 20 years.  Lawmakers have until Sept. 27 to redraw the lines, and plans must be finalized by Jan. 31, 2022. The process of drawing the six congressional districts falls to the legislature.

You can stay up-to-date on the redistricting process on the Official State of Oregon Redistricting Information webpage.

House District 18 Sunrise Image

A Morning Sunrise

My early morning drives to the Capitol are often filled with thoughts of the busy day ahead. On this day, a spectacular sunrise quieted those thoughts as I took a moment to stop and snap this photo. The forests, fields and brilliant sky of House District 18 was a welcome gift to start the day.

As always, it is my great honor to represent you. Thank you for staying in touch. I look forward to the time when we can meet in person again.  


Rick Lewis

Rick Lewis
State Representative
House District 18
Oregon's Christmas Tree District

Capitol Phone: 503-986-1418
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE, H-484, Salem, Oregon 97301
Email: Rep.RickLewis@oregonlegislature.gov
Website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/lewis