Post-Session Town Hall 3/15; 2022 Legislative Session Accomplishments

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Hello Friends,

The 2022 short legislative session has adjourned after a very busy five weeks! I will be hosting a post-session town hall on Tuesday, March 15th, at 7 p.m. to give a recap of the session, and host an open, respectful Q&A for everyone to join. Please RSVP here so that we can send you the Zoom link before the event. I look forward to seeing you there!

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2022 Legislative Session Recap

The last two years have been extremely challenging for so many Oregonians, and this legislative session provided an important opportunity to meet the moment by addressing critical issues facing our state. As KGW Political Analyst Len Bergstein said in this article, “It was a surprisingly successful and productive session, given the fact that the public has demonstrated in public opinion polls a general frustration with the way government has handled the current crises. I think [lawmakers] delivered on a broad range of very important measures significantly improving people's lives.”

In just 31 days, Oregon’s 81st Legislative Assembly passed legislation that makes historic investment in housing affordability, homelessness, healthcare, childcare, education, our workforce, working families, small businesses, equity programs and the environment. There is still more work to be done, but the legislation passed this session will help Oregon on its path toward a more equitable recovery for all.

Addressing Homelessness & Housing Stability

As the Chair of the House Committee on Housing, it was especially important to me that we address the homelessness and affordable housing crisis with solutions that work. I’m proud to have led the development of a $400 million homelessness and housing package, which will help connect unhoused people with shelter and critical services, build on past investments to increase the supply of affordable housing, and keep Oregonians in affordable homes. I also supported investments to help our youth experiencing homelessness, as well as House Bill 4123, which creates a coordinated and regional response to homelessness across the state.

Supporting Working Families & Small Businesses

Working families and small businesses are the backbone of our economy. That’s why I voted to expand infrastructure supporting broadband internet access and increase access to loans for small businesses from $100,000 to $1 million. I also supported over $200 million in investments in career pathways and programs to retain and attract workers in critical sectors, including healthcare, behavioral health, education, manufacturing, technology, and construction.

Driving Down the Cost of Living

For too many working Oregonians, covering monthly expenses has become a challenge. That’s why I voted in support of sending $600 one-time payments to a quarter of a million low-wage households who qualify for and utilize the Earned Income Tax Credit. This will help cover the cost of daily essentials like prescriptions, diapers, and groceries. We also made targeted investments to drive down the cost of necessities that eat of the largest portion of Oregonians’ paychecks, like child care and health care. I voted yes on a $100 million investment that will help us stabilize our childcare workforce, responding to the growing need for affordable childcare for families, and on HB 4035, which protects access to affordable health care for low-income Oregonians.

Investing in Community Safety & Violence Prevention

I believe we need to invest in proven solutions that prevent violence, while fostering safe communities built on trust. I supported targeted investments in community-based violence prevention programs that will help address the root of the problem and reduce crime.  I voted yes on HB 4075, making it easier for victims of crime, including small businesses, to seek restitution and be repaid for economic damages. I also said yes to reducing traffic stops for infractions like broken taillights that aren’t dangerous, so law enforcement can focus on stopping serious crime in our neighborhoods.

Stronger Schools

Our kids learn best in safe, healthy classrooms five days a week, which is why I’m committed to keeping our schools open. To do that, we must make sure our teachers, school staff, and students have the resources and support they need to succeed. This session I supported a $300 million investment, which will go towards funding summer learning programs and activities for K-12 students to keep them engaged and learning; addressing the workforce shortage to retain educators, school counselors, substitute teachers, mental health professionals and nurses; and supporting school districts impacted by the wildfires.

Action Shot

Personal Bills

Each legislator can introduce two personal bills during short sessions. I’m proud to say that both of the bills I introduced passed the House and Senate and were signed by the Governor earlier this week. With HB 4133, Oregonians without a DMV-issued driver license or ID, who currently must register to vote via a paper form, will now have the option of registering online. And with HB 4021, we cut some red tape for low-income senior homeowners who are using the state’s property tax deferral program. Both of these bills are focused on making government work for Oregonians, and I am glad they passed this session.

Rental Assistance Update

As of March 1, 2022, the “grace period” for COVID-era back rent is over and tenants now must pay any back rent they owe from during the pandemic. However, the state is still accepting new applications for rental assistance through March 14, and there are still some protections in place for tenants. Households who apply for rental assistance are eligible for the “safe harbor” protection, which prevents tenants from being evicted for nonpayment for as long as their rental assistance application is pending.

  • Tenants may prepare their application materials using this checklist.
  • The online application portal is available here
  • Downloadable paper applications and social media tiles are available in English, Spanish, Russian, Simplified Chinese and Vietnamese here
  • For more information on the Safe Harbor tenant protections, please see the Oregon Law Center’s presentation in English and Spanish.
  • Landlords with questions about their tenants’ applications can call 844-378-2931 (option 2).
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COVID Update

COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to decline from their peak in late January – cases and hospitalizations are now at their lowest point since last July. As a result, the indoor mask mandate will be lifted on March 12, 2022, and the state of emergency will be lifted on April 1st, 2022. Masks will still be strongly recommended in “high transmission” indoor settings like public transit, health care settings, and long-term care facilities. Unlike at the start of the pandemic, high-quality N95 and KN-95 masks are now readily available to order online and are relatively inexpensive.

Anyone experiencing symptoms should still stay home and get tested. You can order free rapid tests to be delivered to your home at – as of this week, households that have already ordered one set of tests can now order a second set.

The Oregon Health Authority and Oregon Department of Education have also provided new guidance to school districts on the Ready Schools, Safe Learners Resiliency Framework (RSSL) in response to these changes. 4J and Bethel School Districts will both be adopting these changes on March 14th, making masking optional, and ending “test-to-stay,” contact tracing, and quarantine protocols.

Good News

A new shelter community and sleep site is serving the houseless in west Eugene. One of Eugene’s new Safe Sleep sites, EveryOne Village on Dani Street sits on a 3.55-acre property donated to EveryOne Church in 2021 by Rexius.

EveryOne Village is a collection of microshelters, tiny homes and RVs organized into neighborhood pods surrounded by gardens and spaces for gathering. Everyone Village doesn’t just provide safe spaces for shelter, it also aims to help individuals find stability by building around their goals, interests, and strengths, while providing job training in a 3,000-square-foot warehouse that was donated to EveryOne Village last year.


Our community has shown an incredible amount of support for the space. Oregon Beverage Recyclers are offering opportunities for part-time employment, students from the University of Oregon’s Landscape Architecture program are helping further develop the site, and wellness services from local providers like White Bird will soon be operating at EveryOne Village as well.

There are currently 36 residents who call EveryOne Village home, but the site has been approved for 60. EveryOne Village will operate for 18 months under the Safe Sleep site program, at which point the city will determine if the site should continue. Programs like EveryOne Village are powerful tools to address homelessness in our community and across the state – as a legislator, I’m proud that the state has been a partner in funding this type of work in Eugene, and as a community member, I look forwarding to following their progress. If you’d like to volunteer, donate, or learn more about how you can help, please visit their website here.

Yours truly,

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Capitol Phone: 503-986-1414
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE, H-286, Salem, Oregon 97301