Historic 2021 Legislative Session Review

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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Oregon survived the most challenging 18 months in our State’s history.  From the pandemic and the economic turmoil it presented, to the onslaught of destructive wildfires, legislators were faced with the daunting task of recovery.  Luckily, we had a very successful Session; we made record investments in education, addressed the economic instability resulting from the global health crisis, and passed major wildfire relief and prevention legislation. Please see the highlights section below for a more detailed breakdown of the accomplishments from this Session. 

As Co-Chair of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Education, I worked hard for record-setting investments in K-12 and Higher Education and I am very proud that my own bill, House Bill 3007 (SB551), which will provide healthcare for part-time faculty members, passed.  This is a game-changer for faculty members who often work more than full-time hours at multiple institutions for low wages with no health insurance.  And another personal bill, House Bill 3254, passed. This is a huge win for students in Washington County.  This bill will continue funding for students with co-occurring mental health and developmental disabilities at the Oak Grove Academy in Forest Grove.

And as Co-Chair of the Joint Committee on Transportation, I was proud to oversee a Bi-Partisan effort to fund major investments in a balanced infrastructure system in Oregon.  The Transportation omnibus bill (House Bill 3055) provides for investments in infrastructure projects that are long overdue in the Metro region like the Rose Quarter, I-205 (Stafford Rd – OR 213), I-5 Boone Bridge, and seismic improvement projects.  I also had the privilege of sponsoring House Bill 2985, which overwhelmingly passed in both the House and the Senate, and ensures that membership of ODOT advisory committees reflects the racial, ethnic, and ability composition in Oregon.  In particular, this will enhance representation for those with mobility issues that have long struggled to use our public transit systems.

I will be spending the summer working on the Interstate Bridge Replacement Program, as I am co-chair of the Committee, and on developing priorities for the short session in February.  I have also been appointed to the Emergency Board again, which has the power to allocate general fund resources, lottery revenue, and other state funds for unanticipated government requirements when the state legislature is not in session. In addition, I will be holding multiple Town Halls, Coffee Hours, and Listening Sessions.  I am looking forward to meeting with you all again and hearing about your priorities and questions. Here's to a productive Session, and a safe summer ahead!

Rep. McLain


The Democratic Caucus on the last day of the 2021 Session, and as we are 100% vaccinated, we finally went mask-free!

Democratic Caucus 2021

Highlights of the 2021 Legislative Session

Economic Recovery for All Oregon

Small businesses and frontline workers kept our state going through a very challenging year. The Oregon House expanded access to capital for small businesses, and passed a bill to save employers $2.4 billion in unemployment insurance costs over the next decade. We stood up for workers this session by passing a bill to protect workers from being retaliated against for reporting unsafe working conditions. We also invested millions of dollars in Oregon’s childcare system, and invested in rural broadband access to remove barriers to reentering the modern workforce.

A partial list of bill highlights supporting Oregon’s economic recovery:

  • HB 3073: Comprehensive support for Oregon’s childcare system to address the alarming lack of access keeping parents from rejoining the workforce.

  • HB 2266: Improves access to capital for small businesses, especially those who’ve faced discrimination in lending and small business support.

  • HB 2345: Establishes the Oregon Rural Capacity Fund to assist in securing economic development grants for rural communities.

  • SB 483: Protects frontline workers from retaliation for reporting unsafe working conditions.

  • HB 2341HB 3218HB 2607HB 3272, and HB 2289: Supports families and small businesses rebuilding after last year’s wildfires.


Education and Workforce Development.

In 2019, the Oregon Legislature passed the Student Success Act, creating a record investment in Oregon schools. This year the House has once again set records for school funding, passing a $9.3 billion K-12 budget to prepare for students returning to school. We also funded an innovative summer learning program, and are working to close the disciplinary gap for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) students, so that every Oregon student can have the best possible learning experience.

A partial list of bill highlights supporting Oregon’s schools and workforce development:

  • SB 5514: Funds K-12 schools at a record $9.3 billion, the largest school budget in Oregon history.

  • HB 5042: Provides $250 million to districts and community organizations for summer learning and enrichment programs.

  • HB 2166: Creates a comprehensive approach to improving equity and supporting BIPOC students.

  • HB 2590: Gives students a voice; establishes Task Force on Student Success for Underrepresented Students in Higher Education that includes BIPOC, rural, low-income, and other underrepresented students. 

  • SB 52: Creates an inclusive statewide education plan for students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, two-spirit, intersex, asexual, nonbinary, or any other minority gender identity.

  • HB 2166: Prioritizes connecting students and parents with social workers and mental health resources, rather than disciplinary actions that disproportionately impact Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) youth due to structural racism and a lack of culturally-appropriate and specific care. 


Equity and Justice for All

Everyone in Oregon deserves to be safe, and achieving that goal means improving transparency and accountability in policing. This year, we stepped up and passed bold bipartisan police reforms, requiring stronger background checks and more training for police, as well as creating a duty to report fellow officer misconduct. We also passed laws protecting the rights of Oregonians to protest peacefully, while giving police tools to intervene if public safety is at risk.

A partial list of policing, court, and justice reform and equity bills:

  • HB 2575: Ensures police have training to provide a trauma-informed response to best meet the needs of the public and build community trust.

  • HB 3145: Requires law enforcement to report any discipline resulting in  economic sanctions against an officer, to report that information to the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) for publication on their database.

  • HB 2936: Strengthens background checks for law enforcement officers, including character assessments. Instructs agencies to develop social media policies Requires DPSST to create a uniform background check. 

  • HB 2513: Requires law enforcement be trained in airway and circulatory anatomy and physiology and certified in cardiopulmonary resuscitation; requires emergency response is someone who is restrained shows signs of respiratory distress

  • HB 2928: Regulates the use of tear gas and munitions in protests. Creates accommodations for people with disabilities. 

  • HB 2936: Strengthens background checks for law enforcement officers, including character assessments. Instructs agencies to develop social media policies Requires DPSST to create a uniform background check. 

  • HB 2986: Requires law enforcement to be trained to investigate crimes motivated by gender bias.

  • SB 621: Establishes local civilian oversight boards to oversee disciplinary matters concerning law enforcement.

  • HB 2204: Creates Restorative Justice grants for local communities

  • HB 3265: Updates the Sanctuary Promise Act to protect immigrant and refugee communities and prioritize public safety, keeping local law enforcement and federal immigration authorities separate. 

  • SB 778: Establishes the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Advancement that will partner with immigrant and refugee communities to provide policy support to communities across the state.


Protecting Public Health

Recognizing that many of our communities are still in crisis, the Oregon House invested $470 million in behavioral health programs to expand access to mental health and addiction services (including the new 988 crisis line), and to grow and diversify our state’s mental health workforce. Part of this investment includes residential centers and housing for Oregonians with behavioral health needs. 

A partial list of public health and behavioral health highlights:

  • SB 755: Implements Ballot Measure 110 and invests millions in recovery services.

  • SB 554: Requires gun owners to securely store their firearms to reduce gun deaths.

  • SB 587: Creates a Tobacco Retail Licensure program.

  • HB 3069: Establishes 9-8-8 suicide prevention hotline to aid Oregonians experiencing a mental health crisis.

  • HB 2417: Provides $10 million to expand mobile crisis stabilization centers.

  • HB 2086: Requires Oregon Health Authority to establish peer and community-driven programs that provide culturally specific and culturally responsive behavioral health services.

  • $350 million in Behavioral Health investments, including:

  • $80 million for diversifying and expanding behavioral health workforce

  • $20 million for Behavioral Health Housing Fund

  • $5 million to fund the 988 crisis line

  • $121.4 million for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics


Access to Health Care

This year has shown the urgency of ensuring that everyone has access to healthcare. Oregon has continued to lead the way in expanding access. This year, we increased eligibility for additional Oregonians to receive coverage through the Oregon Health Plan, expanded access to telehealth services, and passed a bill expanding language translation in healthcare.

A partial list of health care highlights:

  • HB 3352: Cover All People, expands eligibility for the Oregon Health Plan, including to DACA recipients.

  • SJR 12: Asks voters to amend the Oregon Constitution declaring healthcare a right.

  • HB 2359: Requires health care providers to work with health care interpreters from health care interpreter registry operated by Oregon Health Authority to provide interpretation services.

  • HB 2508: Increases reimbursement rates for telehealth providers, improving access for patients in rural and underserved areas.

  • SB 844: Creates the Prescription Drug Affordability Board to review and lower prices of certain prescription drugs.


A Place to Call Home

House Democrats responded to the housing crisis with a game-changing $765 million investment that will preserve and create more affordable housing, fund emergency shelters with access to services, fund services for homeless youth, and more. The Oregon House passed legislation to reduce barriers to home ownership for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color Communities. And recognizing that too many Oregonians are still impacted by the COVID crisis, extended eviction protections for renters with funding to keep landlords whole. 

A partial list of housing highlights:

  • HB 2009:  Extends COVID foreclosure protections for struggling homeowners

  • HB 2004: Provides $9.7 million for shelter assistance

  • HB 2006: Expedites and expands the siting of emergency shelter housing.

  • HB 2544: Provides $3.6 million in supports for unaccompanied homeless youth

  • HB 5042: Provides $20 million to build navigation centers in seven impacted communities

  • SB 278 and SB 282: Extends eviction protections for struggling renters who’ve applied for assistance funds; expands Landlord Compensation Fund to keep landlords whole. Provides additional time for tenants to repay back rent accrued during the pandemic emergency.


Environmental Justice & Wildfires (Climate Change)

This session, House Democrats took decisive action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Oregon and combat climate change. We set electric utilities on a path toward 100% clean energy by 2040, while making energy more affordable for low-income Oregonians. As the impacts of climate change begin to rear their heads, we reimagined Oregon’s emergency response system, and invested $600 million in wildfire recovery and prevention.

A partial list of environmental bill highlights:

  • HB 2021: 100% Clean Energy - Invests $50 million in local jobs and clean energy for rural, coastal, low-income and BIPOC communities. This is the strongest electricity emissions reduction timeline in the country, setting the goal of 100% clean energy by 2040. 

  • HB 2842: Healthy Homes - Invests in home repairs for low-income Oregonians to improve energy efficiency, safety and drive down costs. 

  • HB 2165: Ensures low-income households can receive rebates to make electric vehicles affordable and accessible.

  • SB 762: Coordinates a statewide response to plan for and mitigate wildfires with a focus on community preparedness and public health ($188 million).

  • SB 582: Modernizes Oregon’s recycling system, setting statewide rates for plastic and recycling contamination reduction goals and increases accessibility in rural areas and apartment complexes.

  • HB 2927: Restructures and modernizes Oregon’s emergency management system to better respond to natural disasters.


Members of the caucus

Fully vaccinated members of the Democratic Caucus! 

American Rescue Plan Act Funding for WashCo.

When Congress passed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), it gave Oregon legislators a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to provide funding for their districts.  The Oregon Legislature split $240 million in ARPA funds between members, giving Senators $4 million that could be spread across 4 projects and Representatives $2 million each to be spent on 4 projects in their districts.  Senator Riley, Representative Sollman, and I combined our money to bring much needed funding to 11 different projects/groups in Washington County.  Here is where our ARPA funds are going:

ARPA grants
ARPA funding

Join Us for an End of Session Town Hall!

Town Hall


What: Join Reps. Sollman and McLain and Senator Riley to talk about 2021 legislative accomplishments, ARPA funding for Washington County, and for a question-and-answer period.

When: July 15, 2021 at 6pm

Where: Hidden Creek Community Center

Registration: Register HERE

Have a Happy and Safe 4th of July!

4th of July


Washington County residents urged to restrict use of fireworks

Following record-breaking extreme heat and in light of current widespread drought conditions, the Washington County Board of Commissioners joins with local fire and law enforcement officials in urging all community residents to forego the unsafe use of fireworks to celebrate the Fourth of July this year. The public is encouraged to voluntarily restrict the use of any fireworks, even those that are considered legal in the state of Oregon.

As stated by Board Chair Kathryn Harrington, “We understand that Independence Day has special meaning to many people this year as we finally emerge from statewide COVID restrictions. What we’re asking is that everyone consider the great harm and suffering that could occur with even one unintentional fire caused by fireworks during this holiday season. The risk is just too great and we’re pleading with people to consider other ways of celebrating like a backyard gathering, trip to Hagg Lake or even attending a professional fireworks display that has been permitted for safety.”

The County is working collaboratively with emergency responders to send a strong message that our community has suffered enough in the past year under the weight of the coronavirus pandemic, September wildfires and extreme weather conditions. The public is also asked to be mindful of the strain imposed on our public safety system due to the use of fireworks. Please do not call 9-1-1 to report fireworks use! It is very important that our 9-1-1 system remain available for reporting only active fires, serious medical problems and crimes in progress. To report the use of illegal fireworks—those that explode or fly into the air—please call non-emergency dispatch at 503-629-0111 and be prepared to provide the address location.



Oregon Health Authority



After Session ended, I was able to beat the heat by escaping to the Oregon Coast - one of my favorite places!



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