News Update for District 15 - October 22, 2021

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All Oregon Bi-Mart Pharmacies are closing



I opposed the Corporate Activity Tax legislation, and I was very clear and vocal with my reasons. It has been over two years since 2019's HB 3427 - slated as The Student Success Act - has passed. I introduced my bills HB 3445 and HB 3446 to create exemptions for basic necessities for vulnerable Oregonians, and for struggling industries. And with as much support as they received, these bills didn't survive.  

Many of the concerns I had in 2019 have come to fruition. The cost of doing business in Oregon is high and Bi-Mart Pharmacies are just the latest casualty. The Oregon manufacturing industry is struggling to recover from the impacts of the pandemic in addition to rising business costs and taxes, and the future of this industry in Oregon is uncertain. 

What is certain, tax professionals have grown increasingly frustrated by the lack of clarity and consistency in the CAT law and by the lack of practical instruction on how to complete the new tax returns. When they contact the Department of Revenue for assistance, agents that respond to phone and email questions are unfamiliar with basic tax forms.

This from one of my colleagues, "We warned them and now our communities, mainly in rural Oregon, predominantly residents over 60, will continue to be negatively impacted..." And this from U.S. Senator Ron Wyden in response to the Bi-Mart Pharmacies closures, "Our rural communities are particularly dependent on local community pharmacists for their care, and are especially impacted by these closures,” he wrote. “Pharmacies not only provide access to medication in these communities, they also play an essential role in the provision of other critical services, such as patient education, management of chronic disease, preventative care, certain testing, and vaccine administration.” Read his open letter here.

To learn more about the CAT, here is a link to one of my past newsletters with more details. 




Ron Loney


Albany lost a great man in our community, but the legacy he left behind will be impactful for decades to come.

From the Boys and Girls Club of Albany community: "Ron has an incredible legacy - from being here the day after Christmas in 1966 when our doors opened, to his attempt to retire in 2005, to serving on our foundation board, and retuning to work as our Alumni Director until his passing. Ron meant so much to many of our former Club Kids, staff, and community members. The impact he made will be endless."

Ron was celebrated at the Boys and Girls Club of Albany today. To read more about Ron Loney, click here.




State employee health information made public

right to privacy


A state services agency sent out a list with the vaccine status of thousands of state employees. The agency was unable to recover the communication fast enough and multiple news outlets were alerted. Read one of the media releases, here.

State workers have been forced to comply to vaccine mandates, face termination, and have now lost their right-to-privacy.

Ben Morris, a spokesperson for SEIU 503, said the release of information violates an agreement the union signed with the state in September which required the state to keep individuals’ vaccination information confidential. But Morris said that even “more concerning is that one of the main things that we heard from members who were vaccine hesitant is they were concerned about their privacy in this situation. This is a breach of trust at the worst possible time.”

In a press release from Senate Minority Leader - Senator Fred Girod - says, “The impacts of Kate Brown’s overreaches are proving to be severe. Staffing shortages across the state in essential services, like police, teachers, and hospital staff are going to have enduring negative consequences on the safety of Oregonians. Now, citizens must worry if their private medical history will become public. This kind of breach of trust will further erode the public’s faith in government."

In her letter [pictured below], House Minority Leader - Representative Christine Drazan - demands answers to these serious concerns. 

Drazans letter


How do we address and fix this issue so it won't happen to our state workers, or any workers, in the future? 




School bus shortage


We reached out to the Governor’s office on this issue and we were informed that they are actively looking into options to help overcome this shortage. They are looking into expediting the licensure of potential drivers and a thorough review of current entry barriers.

When asked if the Oregon National Guard reservists could assist to alleviate the bus driver shortage (many enlisted have heavy machinery operation credentialing and experience) it was relayed to us from the Governor’s Office “unfortunately the ONG is not available to assist with due to their deployment in hospitals to assist with necessary capacity due the delta surge.”

We will keep you updated on this issue as we learn more.

If you would like to apply for a GAPS Bus Driver position, please click here for more information.

School Transportation News publication


dv month



Domestic violence is one person’s use of emotional, physical, economic, and/or sexual abuse to obtain power and control over someone else. It commonly happens repeatedly, over time, through a pattern of behavior. It is also referred to as abuse, assault, intimate partner violence, family violence, or spousal abuse.  Domestic violence can happen to anyone, regardless of race, age, social status, education level, or gender.  An abusive person chooses to enact violence—this violence is never the result or fault of a survivor’s actions.

Be aware. Know the signs.

Fact Sheet from NCADV

Signs of Abuse

CARDV website for more information


24 Hour Crisis Line: (541) 754-0110 or (800) 927-0197



OREGON KICKER: What is it? 

Oregon Tax Kicker


The kicker is a rebate on Oregon income taxes, but not all are eligible to receive a kicker. Personal income taxpayers who filed a 2020 tax return with a tax due before credits—but after credit for taxes paid to other states—can claim the kicker.

Oregon Department of Revenue website for more information

What's My Kicker - Calculator




Lock away carbon

Image from WA Working Forests


It's National Forest Products Week!

Thanks to the #workingforests and people within the forest products sector who supply us with renewable, sustainable wood products that house us, keep us safe and make our lives better. #ForestProductsWeek



LINN COUNTY: Drive-thru Vaccines

drive thro vaccines


Drive-thru vaccination events are available at the Linn County Fairgrounds. Every Tuesday and Wednesday through October from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. All three vaccine types are available.

More information


CITY OF ALBANY: Expanding Housing Options

city of albany



Listening sessions on the City of Albany Expanding Housing Options project.

Tue. 10/26, 5pm:

Attend virtually or in-person (Council Chambers, 333 Broadalbin Street SW, masks required).

Click here for more information about Expanding Housing Options project



loop bus


The Campus Connector is back and will add an additional bus and offer departures every half hour. The Connector provides service between LBCC and Oregon State University Monday through Friday during the day. The Morning Express route that was discontinued in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic will resume service.

New schedules are now available online at Printed schedules will be available on the buses and in the transit office at the Albany Station.


doing great things

APD K-9 PROGRAM: We would love your vote!

vote for me


Please help Albany Police Department win a 5K grant for their K-9 program!

Go HERE to vote, share this with your friends, and vote daily. 

Let's help our APD Wooficers - get a win!



Harvest Events

Harvest Events


Click here for more information


Whats Happening


During the legislative session break (interim) and for the rest of this year, my office will continue to keep you updated and informed - and is always at your service. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any community event announcements, legislative questions, or concerns.


Talk soon,


Capitol Phone: 503-986-1415
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, H-389, Salem, OR 97301

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