NEWS from State Representative Jessica George

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Rep. George

Dear Friends, 

Happy Spring! I hope you are all enjoying the glimpses of sunshine we’ve been having and the many new smiles on display now that the mask mandate has ended…mostly. The 2022 Legislative session was a good reminder of why we need more balance in Salem. One party rule leads to terrible policy ideas and when that policy is worked through the building in a short legislative session designed to “fix” small problems you end up with terrible legislation. I’ve highlighted a few of those examples below as well as some important updates from the Newberg Dundee School District and the Salem Keizer School District.

I’ll plan to be in touch through these newsletters once a month, but my office is open and working full time so please reach out to me with any questions, concerns, ideas or thoughts. As always, it is an honor to serve you in District 25.



Jessica George
State Representative - HD 25

2022 Legislative Recap


The 2022 Oregon Legislative Session concluded March 4th and Representative Jessica George (R-St. Paul) reflected on the end of session by highlighting several missed opportunities with bipartisan support.

“The 35-day short session is intended to ensure the budget remains balanced, make any budgetary adjustments, and work on small policy fixes,” said Rep. George. “Oregonians supported the creation of the short session in 2010 via Ballot Measure 71. Unfortunately, this session couldn’t have been farther from the intent of what a 35-day session was originally designed for. Too many complex and controversial policies were voted on and without bipartisan support, while simple fixes Oregonians needed were overlooked.”

HB 4002, relating to agriculture overtime, had the opportunity to pass with bi-partisan support with a Republican amendment. Ag has traditionally been exempted from overtime due to the seasonal “harvest time” that makes agriculture unlike any other industry. The proposed bi-partisan fix to the bill would have allowed farmworkers to make more money while keeping Oregon’s family farms out of bankruptcy or simply selling-out to huge private equity/Wall Street investment firms which can easily absorb increase costs. Instead, the poor policy that passed mandates time and a half pay (even during the harvest), but will likely result in cut hours and income for farmworkers and substantial harm to small and mid-sized family farms. The consequences of its passage will negatively affect Oregonians.

SB 1521, relating to the termination of school superintendents, was one contentious bill pushed by the majority party and should not have been introduced during a short session.

“The Democratic majority was wrong to ignore a compromise for SB 1521 with bi-partisan support that would have protected local control for school boards,” said Rep. George. “Instead, this bill will create animosity and lets politics influence our classrooms. I am encouraged that this bill passed with the bare minimum of 31 votes with bipartisan opposition. I am confident a more balanced Legislature will undo this damage to local and parental control next year.”

“These are just two examples of what I call 'missed opportunities' to work together and pass legislation with bipartisan support. Unfortunately, both bills will have serious consequences, which is yet another reason why this legislation should have been reserved for a regular session not a short 35-day session that was not fully open to the public. Voters didn't have adequate input, it lacked transparency, and special interests had too much power over the process.

Education: Salem Keizer School District


Over the course of recent months and years we have seen the exposure of more politicized policies being pushed to our children in public schools. Virtual schooling during Covid was the catalyst that moved many parents to become more interested and involved in their children’s education here in Oregon and across the country. Parents rights and input is being stripped in public schools by their local, state and federal governments. It will be interesting to see if the parental outrage that we’ve seen translate to changes in leadership in other areas of our country will happen here in Oregon. 

The information coming out of public schools by administrators has not always been transparent, but last week some clarity was provided for the Salem Keizer schools. A now public series of documents and slide show (titled Slides for Office Hours) that explain Salem Keizer’s stated policies around transgender students expose exactly how radical our schools have become. Parents are concerned with the policies themselves and the fact that these policies are being implemented behind the scenes away from their rightfully questioning eyes. This did not come before the school board, parents weren’t notified, and it was not released to the public, but instead given to teachers simply as their new policy to implement.

A few highlights from the policy:

  • Allowing students to use the gendered bathrooms and locker rooms of their choosing
  • Letting students pick the gendered sports team of their choosing
  • Assisting students with gender transitioning without approval by their parents
  • Pushing "gender and sexuality diversity" in curriculum starting in kindergarten
  • On field trips, transgender students will be allowed to sleep with the segregated gender group of their choosing

Due to the policy governance model in place since 2008, the role of the Salem Keizer School Board is limited to managing the employment of their superintendent. If you wish to express your opinion with the current state and future direction of this school district please urge the school board today to make a change.

School Board Member Contacts:;;;;;;;

Education: Newberg Dundee School District


Last Gasp of Politicalizing In Newberg Schools? – Let’s Hope!

Since the failed Yamhill County recalls the political environment in the Newberg schools has normalized to a much more positive environment. Most parents are coalescing around the idea that we need to keep divisive politics out of local schools. In March a TikTok video shocked many Newberg parents when two middle school guidance counselors “flip-off” parents who disagree with their political activism and recalls. The image, posted to a TikTok account seen by children, shocked the community into realizing the extent and depth of the political efforts by a small handful of Newberg School staff.   

The counselors were put on leave for the video they created in their school office and what appears to be created on school time. Many parents now hope that this shocking situation will finally lead to a more open environment where we respect each others’ views, and we reject the political intimidation of staff pushing a narrow political agenda on our children.   

Here are links to two news articles about the Newberg School Staff TikTok “flipping the bird” to parents, the first one has a direct link to a YouTube of the video. ***Please use caution when listening to the video as there is explicit language that will be offensive and inappropriate for children.***


Newberg Graphic: School guidance counselors placed on administrative leave after video emerges

Casino Project


The Salem Chamber of Commerce learned about the updates of the Siletz Tribe Casino Project at a recent government event. You can watch the meeting here

What happens next?

  • The Secretary of the Interior may decide – based on public comment – that the Environmental Assessment (EA) is sufficient to comply with NEPA and therefore the Secretary may proceed with her “two-part determination.”
  • The Secretary of the Interior may decide – based on public comment – that the EA is insufficient and that a more extensive Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is needed, in which case the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) will schedule a public hearing on the proposed action and develop a draft EIS. Once the draft is available, the BIA will publish a notice of availability. Notice will once again be given of the opportunity to review and submit comments. The BIA will then issue a Final EIS.
  • What is a “two-part determination?”  After the EA (or EIS) is completed, the Secretary of the Interior will make a determination whether (1) the project is in the best interest of the Tribe, and (2) not detrimental to the surrounding community.  If the Secretary approves the Siletz Casino Project in Salem, she will provide that decision to the Governor of the State of Oregon for concurrence. The Governor will have one year to concur or reject the project.

2022 Legislative Summary Reports


If you want a more in depth look in the 2022 session, you can now click on each of these committees and learn which bills received public hearings. This is a great resource and always a small glimpse into what legislation may be proposed next year. 

Behavioral Health

Business & Consumer Protection

Controlled Substances


Criminal Justice

Education & Early Childhood

Emergency Preparedness

Energy & Environment

General Government & Elections

Health Care


Human Services

Labor & Employment

Natural Resources

Transportation & Infrastructure

Veterans I phone: 503-986-1425
Address: 900 Court St NE, H-479, Salem, OR 97301