Kickers, Masks, and Bears—Oh My!

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Kickers, Masks, and Bears—Oh My!

In many ways, this week has seen quite a lull in the Legislature, but there’s a few updates I want to share. We had the quarterly revenue forecast, and long story short: Federal aid has Oregon flush with cash, resulting in an estimated $1.4 Billion kicker! Now the question is if the super-majority will actually allow for the return of those tax dollars to Oregonians.  

Though we’re seeing more and more businesses allowing customers to forgo wearing masks, the Capitol is still a different story. We still have to be masked unless alone in our offices. We are pushing to get House Rules aligned with the CDC and move forward with reopening the Capitol! But time is running short on this Legislative session, and we’re losing hope that we’ll be able to welcome back the public before sine die (end of session).  

And though I was kidding about the bears, I wanted to give you a wildfire update on an important Memorial that passed the House yesterday (forests are bear habitat, right?). Co-Sponsored by Senator Girod and myself, SJM 3 would urge Congress to take financial responsibility for the wildfire damage caused by federally mismanaged forests. Oregonians should not have to bear the financial burden when federal agencies don’t contain wildfires to federal lands. Having passed both the House and Senate, SJM3 is now awaiting the Governor’s signature.  

SJM3 House Floor Carry

“We must urge Congress to hold themselves to the same financial liability they hold Oregonians to. Our citizens should not have to bear the financial burden caused by the US Forest Service’s failure to manage their own forests.”

Businesses Should Not Be the COVID-Police

Earlier this week, the Oregon Health Authority released their updated mask guidance saying that people who are fully vaccinated will no longer be required to wear a mask indoors (in most public settings) if vaccination status is checked. If vaccination status is not checked, masks will still be required.  

Governor Brown is violating the Biden administration’s assurance to Americans that invasions of their privacy by way of vaccine passports would not be required, and is forcing businesses to be COVID-police.  

Interim Guidance for Fully Vaccinated Individuals:

Statewide Reopening Guidance — Masks, Face Coverings, Face Shields:


Fully Fund & Fully Reopen Schools

Earlier this month Representative Vikki Breese-Iverson (R-Prineville) introduced HB 3399 which would direct the Oregon Department of Education to offer full, in-person instruction for the next school year, removing uncertainty for parents.  

Submitted testimonies on SB 5514 from school administrators, the statewide teachers union, and other education supporters say that anything less than a $9.6 billion budgeted for schools will force districts to make layoffs and other cuts. House Republicans agree: Let’s fully fund our schools for reopening! 

Fully Fund Fully Reopen

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

1 in 6 Graphic

May is National Mental Health Awareness Month, and this year’s theme is “You are not alone.” The goal of the national campaign is to promote a shared vision of a nation where anyone affected by mental illness can get the appropriate support and quality of care to live a healthy, fulfilling life. No one should feel alone in their struggle. This past year has been stressful and effected us all in numerous ways. Looking after your mental health is just as important as looking after your physical health. 

If you or someone you know is struggling, please visit the National Alliance on Mental Health to be connected with services.

Emergency Rental Assistance Program

Yesterday Oregon opened a new rental assistance program for low income Oregonians who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit to learn more, review the tenant check list, and apply for assistance online!

OR Emergency Rental Assistance Program Graphic

COVID Vaccine Information

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