Happy Teacher Appreciation Week and National Nurses Week!

You can read our previous newsletters here.

View in Browser

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

We began this session with several urgent priorities: protecting our communities from COVID-19 and supporting the health and economic recovery in every part of Oregon, wildfire relief, addressing longstanding institutional racism and discrimination, and funding our schools and critical services.

House Democrats have been leading the way on bipartisan legislation to tackle all of these urgent needs—and conducting the legislative session in a way that protects the public, Capitol staff, and legislators.

During this 2021 legislative session, we have passed 251 bills, 164 of these sponsored by Democrats, and the majority bipartisan.  Almost 99% of bills that have passed the House were bipartisan; 94% passed with at least 3 Republican Aye votes; and 57% of these bills passed unanimously.

In the remaining months of session, we’ll continue prioritizing the needs of struggling Oregonians and working across the aisle to create meaningful, transformational change.

Rep. McLain at the Capitol and at home

Working at home and at the Capitol again this week!


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 

committee hearing

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

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!!!

Teacher Appreciation Week

As a teacher of almost 42 years, I know teaching is easily one of the most difficult and most important jobs out there.  During this pandemic, our teachers have given their all, often times working extremely long hours to plan for both online and in-person learning - it is more than a full-time job!  We appreciate all of the teachers out there and thank you for your hard work and dedication.

“One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.”. – Malala Yousafzai.

Happy National Nurses Week!

National Nurse Week


We simply could not have gotten through the pandemic without our nurses - they are the backbone of our health care system and we are extremely grateful to all the nurses out there.

"As a nurse, we have the opportunity to heal the heart, mind, soul and body of our patients, their families and ourselves. They may forget your name, but they will never forget how you made them feel." -Maya Angelou

AAPI Heritage Month

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is this May! This month looks to recognize and celebrate the many contributions, achievements, cultures, and experiences of the AAPI communities here in Oregon, the U.S. and across the world.

AAPI Heritage Month

Bill Updates

House Bill 2006 – Shelter Siting Bill

As a co-sponsor of House Bill 2006, I am very pleased to report that it passed the Senate yesterday and now heads to the Governor’s Desk for signing.  This bill allows local governments greater flexibility in siting emergency shelter locations. While the nation battled the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the northwest experienced the compounding tragedy of devastating wildfires. Those wildfires led to the loss of homes, businesses, communities and lives. Many Oregonians have been displaced, many have lost jobs, and many have confronted extreme loss. The bill will remove bureaucratic obstacles for local governments who want to provide care and shelter to struggling community members.


House Bill 2289 – Alternative Process for Restoration Bill

Today, the Oregon House passed legislation to create flexibility for property owners trying to rebuild following last year’s devastating wildfires. House Bill 2289 will remove barriers in the permitting process, and allow property owners to rebuild with reasonable alterations to the previous structure without needing to go back through the entire permitting process.

“So many Oregonians lost everything during last year’s fire season,” said Rep. Brian Clem (D- Salem), the bill’s chief sponsor. “This legislation ensures that fire victims can rebuild in a way that fits their needs without the fear of getting caught up in red tape.”

“People in my community, and in communities across Oregon, are still hurting, and many are just now beginning to rebuild” said Rep. Paul Evans (D- Monmouth), a co-sponsor on the bill. “After a year with so many challenges, we can make this process easier for them.”

House Bill 2289 passed with unanimous support and now moves onto the Senate for consideration.


Updates From Salem

Oregon Can Improve Equity in Education

SALEM – Today, the Oregon State Senate passed Senate Bill 232 and Senate Bill 236, two bills that seek to improve equity in education and confront systemic racism within Oregon’s public education system.

“In Oregon, our teaching staff does not reflect the diversity of our student population. We have known for a very long time the value to our students of color when they have teachers, leaders and positive relationships with adults who look like them – who have similar experiences and culture and who know first-hand what struggles they face,” said Senator Lew Frederick (D-N/NE Portland) who carried Senate Bill 232.

Oregon has made progress on educator equity since passage of the original Minority Teacher Act in 1991, which was renamed the Educator Equity Act in 2015. But in the 2018-2019 school year, nearly forty percent of Kindergarten through Grade 12 students were considered “ethnically diverse” as compared to only ten percent of teachers.

“When we increase the number of BIPOC teachers we see higher test scores and fewer dropouts across the student population. The policy does everyone good, and it deserves more in-depth analysis. We need to follow through on this commitment,” Senator Frederick added.

Senator Dembrow carried Senate Bill 236, a bill aimed specifically at interrupting the school-to-prison pipeline by reducing and eliminating suspension and expulsion in early care and education programs.

“National and state data show consistently that discipline against BIPOC kids and those with disabilities happens at disproportionate rates. It creates a distrust – and dislike – of the education system and it functions to push kids out,” said Senator Michael Dembrow (D-NE Portland) who chairs the Senate Committee on Education. “We know these policies do more harm than they do good and we can interrupt them, keep kids in school and offer greater opportunity for a bright future,” Senator Dembrow added.

Both bills passed with bipartisan support and now move to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Vaccine Updates

Help build a safer community by getting the COVID-19 vaccine

Now that so many folks are choosing to get vaccinated, people are wondering what the benefit is since they still need to take precautions. COVID-19 is still spreading in Oregon, so it’s important to continue wearing a mask, limiting gatherings and taking other precautions, but there are some other advantages to getting the vaccine.

When you’re vaccinated, you’re contributing to building a safer community because when more people are vaccinated, it’s harder for the virus to spread. Another benefit is that you might feel a little less worried about becoming seriously ill with COVID-19 if you’re vaccinated.

3 Things to Know about Vaccinations


Teenager with long haul COVID-19 symptoms ‘strongly urges others to get the vaccine’

Mariana Robins, a 15-year-old high school sophomore, who became ill with COVID-19 in September of 2020 shared her experience with the illness. Mariana has long-haul symptoms that include memory loss, dizziness, migraines, severe pain and passing out without warning. 

Mariana said, “Even though I’m slowly getting better and getting back to a normal high school life, post-COVID is still affecting me. It has made it harder to learn and remember things that I used to know pre-COVID. Before COVID I used to read all the time. Now I can’t even read a simple paragraph without getting tired and frustrated. With the help of my teachers and staff, they have been very supportive at my school. 

After all this time suffering, I strongly urge others to get the vaccine because it can save your life and it can make sure that you and others don’t have to get affected the same way and have to suffer like I have. For me as a teenager, I strongly urge other teenagers to get the vaccine as well because this can happen to you.”


Text 211 for help with vaccines


211 texting is live in English and Spanish

If you’re looking for information about the COVID-19 vaccine, 211 is a great way to get your questions about COVID-19 vaccines answered. 

You can text ORVAX to 898211 with your questions in English or Spanish.

Also, if you need to schedule your vaccination and you don’t have access to the internet, you can call 211. They can help you schedule. 


Washington County Logo

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. 

Washington County-Sponsored Community Clinics: May 7-8: Drive-through clinic on Nike campus. This will be the final first-dose clinic at this location. People who receive/d their first dose here will be notified about their second dose appointment. In partnership with Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue, Nike and City of Beaverton. Pfizer vaccine. Schedule appointment here.

Local pharmacies:

How much does the vaccine cost?  Vaccines are provided free of charge to the recipient. If you have health insurance, you may be asked to provide that information so the vaccinator can bill your insurance an administration fee. 

Johnson & Johnson Update: On April 23, the Food and Drug Administration lifted the pause on the use of the J&J vaccine, with a warning about the potential for rare blood clots for women under age 50. The Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup also found that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is “generally safe and effective and that the resumption of its use is warranted once culturally and linguistically appropriate patient and provider educational materials in plain language that support informed decision-making are available.” The FDA has provided an updated Q&A about the J&J vaccine.

The Oregon Health Authority says that Oregon health care providers and pharmacies may resume administering the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine if they can ensure patients or their caregivers are informed about the benefits and risks of the vaccine in their primary language.


Vaccine doses nationally

Oregon Vaccine Information

Oregon Vaccine Information

COVID-19 Updates

National Numbers: 

  • Confirmed Cases: 31,918,931
  • Deaths: 571,062
  • These national numbers come from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  You can view their national and state by state data here.


COVID Cases over 7 days
Covid Deaths


Oregon Status Report: 

  • Oregon now has 186,877 total cases (confirmed and presumptive) of COVID-19.
  • Today we have 2,065 new confirmed and presumptive cases, and 7 new deaths
  • A total of 2,502 Oregonians have died from COVID-19 (previous daily case updates from OHA here)
  • Washington County has 24,756 confirmed cases, including 229 deaths.  
  • The Oregon Health Authority provides 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 Covid Facts

Covid numbers Oregon


New modeling shows with precautions in place, we can save many lives

 On April 30, Governor Kate Brown gave an update on the status of COVID-19 in Oregon. The Governor was joined by Dr. Peter Graven, Lead Data Scientist, Oregon Health & Science University and Mariana Robins, a 15-year old with long-haul COVID-19 symptoms.

The news conference addressed the recent increase in cases and hospitalizations:

Cases have increased 20% or more for the last five weeks.

Oregon is the state with the highest rate of increase in cases over the last two weeks.

Hospitalizations are increasing at almost double what they were a week ago. 

The portion of hospitalized cases of people who are 18 to 34 has increased by almost 50 percent.

Dr. Peter Graven gave an overview of modeling predictions for the virus. He said the modeling shows that “we have just three to four more weeks until we’re in good shape. That’s when cases will fall, and our vaccine levels will be high enough that with basic preventive measures the virus cannot effectively grow.”

Acknowledging the sacrifice that comes with Extreme or High Risk levels, Dr. Graven pointed out that this pause is likely to save 176 lives and 700 hospitalizations. 

To learn more about today’s news conference, you can find the news release here

Around Washington County

Washington County poised to face indoor dining prohibition

*This article is from The Oregonian and can be found here.

Indoor dining in Washington County will likely be prohibited beginning Friday, joining Multnomah and Clackamas counties to face the strictest business restrictions to limit coronavirus spread.

Newly released state data shows Washington County exceeds benchmarks to trigger indoor dining closures and new capacity restrictions on gyms and theaters.

Multnomah and Clackamas counties faced those restrictions last Friday, leaving Washington County alone among jurisdictions in the Portland area without them.

Gov. Kate Brown will announce the latest round of restrictions Tuesday and, until then, the anticipated limitations are not official. But state data shows that Washington County recorded nearly 210 cases per 100,000 residents over the past two weeks – above the 200-case threshold to move a county into the “extreme risk” tier that carries that most restrictions.

Beyond prohibitions on indoor dining, extreme-risk restrictions also limit capacity in gyms and theaters to six people and prohibit indoor visits at congregate care facilities.

Washington County saw its two-week case rate go up even though Oregon recorded its first declines in more than a month. That’s because last week’s case count, while down from the preceding week, was still higher than two weeks earlier.

Multnomah and Clackamas counties also saw case rates climb, leaving them set to maintain “extreme risk” restrictions this Friday.

Brown has said restrictions will remain in place for a maximum of three weeks. The limits could be lifted earlier if a county’s case rate drops or if statewide hospitalizations decline.


Forest Grove School District Logo

Forest Grove School District seeks community feedback on facility upgrades

The district hopes to hear from community members at two virtual meetings May 12 & 18.  This article can be found here on the Forest Grove News Times website. 

The Forest Grove School District is looking for community help in prioritizing facility upgrade planning.

The district will be hosting virtual community meetings from 6 to 8 p.m. on both Wednesday, May 12, and Tuesday, May 18, to discuss its long-range facility plan and gain feedback from its constituents regarding their wants and needs.

The initial plan was put together in 2016 and 2017, but with rapidly changing times — especially over the past year — district officials say it's important to re-assess and re-evaluate it now.

"I don't think the plan has changed significantly," Superintendent Dave Parker said. "But there are some changes, so we're bringing them to the community to make sure we get some feedback on what those changes might be."

Parker referenced districts throughout the state that have historically addressed things similarly — including Hillsboro, which passed a $407 million bond in 2017 designed to prioritize safety and security, update and repair aging school buildings, address overcrowding while planning for future growth, and provide a modern education for students.

Forest Grove has traditionally done its part keeping up with needed improvements, putting the district in a reasonably good place, Parker argued. But he wants to be proactive in heading off problems — such as deferred maintenance costs that pile up over time.

"I would say the taxpayers of this district have been very generous in maintaining and providing schools that work for kids, so I would say that we're not behind," Parker said. "Having said that, I would also tell you that we have to continue to invest in our schools, or else we're going to end up with a bigger bill down the road.

"There are other school districts in the state that have ended up with really big tax bills because they have to replace multiple schools, multiple maintenance pieces. We want to take this one step at a time, which will result in the most efficient use of the taxpayer's money."

The long-range facilities plan lives up to its billing. It looks at a 100-year period, trying to game out when and how school facilities will need to be repaired, rebuilt, expanded and added. That means it must take into account student enrollment, building age, seismic issues, educational trends, population growth and more.

It also has to be realistic about the district's resources — the money it has now, and the money it can expect to have available in the future.

"We have to be smart with taxpayers' money," Parker added. "That's what this plan gives us: a long-range viewpoint of how we can best manage the resources and money of the taxpayers."

Of course, a school district doesn't just have one big pot of money — or savings account — from which it can pay for anything and everything.

Schools receive much of their funding from the state government. Smaller amounts come from the federal government. Some of that money goes into what is called the general fund, which has few restrictions on how it can be spent. Other allocations, however, can only be spent on specific budget areas or projects.

When voters approve a bond measure, as they did in Hillsboro four years ago, they also approve a list of projects that measure will be used to pay for. That constrains the school district in how it can spend the money. For example, if the school district tells voters that if they approve a tax increase to pay for a new middle school, the district can't just turn around and spend those new tax dollars on raises for teachers or a private jet for the superintendent.

Parker believes the Forest Grove School District will soon put a bond measure in front of voters — but likely not by this November.

"The timing is definitely something the board will need to have a conversation about," he said.

For now, the long-range planning process continues. The school district will gather input from constituents this month. From there, Parker and other district leaders and the board will sit down and begin talks regarding the next steps, which could mean seeking voter approval for a capital bond measure.

For more information on the long-range facilities plan and the upcoming virtual community meetings, including how to register for them, visit www.fgsdk12.org/apps/news/article/1432568 or visit the Forest Grove School District website directly at fgsdk12.org.


Wildfire Recovery

Wildfire Resources:

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

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 ResourcesOregon 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 UpdatesFEMA has provided several different Fact Sheets and resources for accessing benefits, determining eligibility and avoiding scams.

American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Resources

American Rescue Plan information

American Rescue Plan Information

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

SNAP Benefits Update

Federal changes to SNAP Emergency Allotments this month

Starting in March 2020, the federal government approved Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) emergency allotments to give recipients additional support during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

There are two important federal changes to the SNAP Emergency Allotments in May 2021:

  • Households that are already receiving the maximum SNAP benefits for their household size will now receive an additional $95 in emergency allotments in May.  
  • Households who are eligible for $0 in regular SNAP benefits will not receive the May emergency allotments. This change is because the federal government clarified households must receive regular SNAP to be eligible for emergency allotments.

To learn more about this change, read the news release: https://go.usa.gov/xHmU3

SNAP Changes

Unemployment Department Updates

Economic Recovery - April 30, 2021

With this week’s announcement of county risk level changes, we’re reminded that the COVID-19 pandemic is very much still a threat to lives across the state. We know from our experience over the past year that this change in risk level may mean layoffs across counties—and across business sectors.
Business owners who need to lay-off employees as a result of their county’s new risk level can help us more quickly process benefits for newly laid off employees by sharing some information about the job separations with us as soon as possible. Employers can fill out our Employer Reported Layoffs Form and follow the instructions for returning the information to us.
For every Oregonian whose employment has been impacted by this pandemic, even if the situation has changed where you live, there is cause to feel hopeful. As more Oregonians get vaccinated, the state will open back up, and jobs will come back.
The Oregon Employment Department is here for you, not just to ensure that you get the unemployment benefits you’re eligible for, but to help you with the next phase of economic recovery: re-employment.
This pandemic has impacted every single one of us, but it’s impacted us all differently. We know the situation is different for mothers and other caregivers, for communities of color, and for people who work in certain occupations and industries.
We’re committed to helping every Oregonian who wants a job.
We’ll soon be doubling our efforts to support job seekers, so that everyone who is looking for work, wants to explore new training opportunities, or wants to discover a new career path has the resources and the tools to do so.
WorkSource Oregon offices will be offering virtual services until it’s safe to re-open our offices to the public. And we’ll soon be sharing detailed information about all of our job seeker services to everyone who is currently receiving unemployment benefits. These WorkSource Oregon offices provide all kinds of help for people looking for jobs, training, and careers – it is so much more than just job training. The Employment Department is a key partner along with many local, state, and non-profits collaborating to help Oregonians through these offices.
Federal Benefits - Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC)
When the American Rescue Plan was signed into law earlier this year, we set the goal for our agency to fully implement all program changes and be able to pay benefits under all new federal programs by the end of April.
We have implemented all but one new program (MEUC) by today’s self-imposed deadline. We hope to begin paying the benefits, including retroactive payments, by May 14th.
As a reminder, MEUC provides an additional $100 per week for those who receive regular UI AND had at least $5,000 in net self-employment income.
To qualify for the additional MEUC benefit, federal law requires people to submit proof of income so we can determine their eligibility. We are finalizing programming, and expect to start accepting that documentation by May 11th.
We will soon notify potentially eligible claimants about the program’s availability and the steps they need to take to get payments. We will be sending emails and mailed notices, in addition to calling them directly, and our website will soon be updated with detailed guidance.
Claimant Resources Webinar Series

Yesterday we held our last webinar for the month. In the webinar we shared information about UI benefits for school workers; as schools across the state reopen, school workers’ existing eligibility will change.
With nearly 75% of Oregon’s K-12 students learning remotely either full-time or part-time, and many Oregonians in the labor force unable to work from home and without another non-working adult present, we want to make sure everyone understands the options available to them.
You can view the recording of that webinar online.
Our next webinar is on May 13th at 1 pm and will cover the MEUC program. You can register for that webinar and view all past webinars on our website.

Additional Resources

Employers and Employees

The following list of resources is from Oregon’s Secretary of State’s Office. The fastest way to get in touch with the SOS team is by emailing business.sos@oregon.gov, using the “Need Help?” button found on most state agency websites or visiting www.oregon.gov/smallbusiness.

Education Links

Local Government

Utilities Assistance

Food and Housing Assistance



Oregon Health Authority



Local flowers and trees are really coming out right now!

Flowers in Washington County

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