8/13/2022 Senate District 15 Newsletter

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Senator Janeen Sollman

Friends and Neighbors,

Out and About in Senate District 15

Community Conversation #93

I held my 93rd Community Conversation on Wednesday at the Cornelius Library. I was thankful for the great conversation that touched on EV charging infrastructure needs, middle housing and complex city needs, addressing the digital divide, campaign finance reform and Forest Grove's Project Turnkey needs. It was great to have Cornelius Mayor, Jeffrey Dalin join us at the table on this beautiful evening in Senate District 15. 

CC93 Pic

Project Never Again

Over the weekend, I was happy to volunteer at Sonrise Church for Project Never Again, a Senate District 15 organization that works to provide "Dignity thru Duffels." Hillsboro’s City Councilor, Gina Roletto also joined with her boys, as well as the University of Portland’s Women’s Soccer Team (#GoPilots). Project Never Again is a non-profit that raises funds to buy duffel bags that they give to Oregon DHS and other organizations in Oregon that serve youth entering into foster care or youth experiencing trauma so that no child is ever given a trash bag when being transitioned. I am absolutely ashamed that this is even a practice and even more frustrated that the only way to ensure this is changed is that I will need to bring a bill forward in the upcoming session to mandate this is no longer a practice. We have met with DHS on multiple occasions to change this practice to no avail.  The bill will support Project Never Again’s mission and make sure it is codified into Oregon statute. Positive change will happen one way or another.

PNA Pics

PNA Pics

NCSL Annual Summit

Last week, Nickole and I attended the National Conference of State Legislatures Annual Summit in Denver. It was great to meet with legislators and staff from around the country and share time with our fellow Oregon colleagues. Oregon was well represented this year! A special congratulations to Chief Clerk Tim Sekerak for his achievement in being a recipient of the 2022 Legislative Staff Achievement Award! As a former member of the House, I know how hard Chief Clerk Sekerak works and how dedicated and professional he is in this important role. The Oregon Secretary of State, Audits Division, was also recognized with a 2022 Notable Document Award for their Advisory Report: Oregon Can Do More to Mitigate the Alarming Risk of Domestic Terrorism and Violent Extremist Attacks. Congratulations to all.

During the Summit, we attended classes on a wide variety of topics and wanted to highlight a few of them below:

Economics of Criminal Records

Nearly 1 in 3 Americans has a criminal record, which can reduce the chance of employment and even the odds of getting a job interview. We heard from JP Morgan Chase that is part of the 2nd Chance Business Coalition and the 2nd Chance Center in Denver that works with local employers to integrate workers with criminal records into the job field. With workforce shortages looming in all sectors, this is an area where the culture and mindset needs to change through communication and education. Here in Oregon, we have done work to "Ban the Box," passing legislation in 2015 that prohibits most employers from asking about a person's conviction history before an initial interview. In the 2021 session Oregon, we passed SB 397 to modernize our expungement system, reducing barriers for having convictions set aside. There is more work that can be done and I am committed to continuing to pursue policy that reduces barriers for those that have completed their sentence and are working hard to be good neighbors for a positive future.

Why Does College Cost So Much?

In the last 30 years, tuition at four year universities has more than doubled. The U.S. spends more than any other nation on Higher Education. One of the more recent cost drivers talked about was mental health for both students and staff. We are hearing across industries that mental health needs to be a priority for funding and focus. Panelists also discussed the importance of providing both college and career pathways so that students coming out of high school have choice when considering a future career.

Working on Workforce

The pandemic has highlighted and exacerbated workforce shortage issues, across sectors, that have been looming. Employers are looking at a whole host of options to train our next generation and fulfill workforce needs. Some of these include paid apprenticeships, building career pathways for students that start in middle and high schools, and at NCSL, this session focused on national service as a way to help with workforce development. While the national service compensation remains very low and is not attainable for everyone, some states are finding innovative ways to work service into degree and certificate requirements for future jobs.

Gun Violence Prevention

At a reception hosted by Everytown for Gun Safety, we heard from a group of Colorado legislators on the important work they have been doing in their state to combat gun violence and pass common sense gun legislation. One of the legislators we heard from lost her son to gun violence, another legislator was the father of a child killed in the Aurora movie theater shooting and another is a legislator because their child was killed in the Columbine High School shooting. It is heartbreaking to know how many people across the nation have been affected by gun violence and experienced such loss. I am joining forces with the National Gun Violence Prevention Caucus and I am committed to continuing to pass gun sense legislation here in Oregon that will save lives.




Youth and Young Adult Policy Summit at NCSL

I was honored to be asked to participate with my colleague, Senator Sara Gelser Blouin, at the Youth and Young Adult Policy Summit with the National Conference of State Legislatures. The pre-conference event was a great meeting. Topics included adolescent brain development, youth in our adult justice system, youth congregate care settings, student loan debt, career pathways/apprenticeships and youth homelessness. Hillsboro School District even got a positive shout out for the 1st Advanced Manufacturing Apprenticeship happening right here in Oregon. We had presenters with lived experience on the various topics and fabulous conversation all day. 




At the NCEL (National Caucus of Environmental Legislators) annual meeting I loved talking about Oregon's successful Recycling Modernization Act and our Bottle Bill with other states and learning from them. I was joined at this conference by my colleague, Senator Michael Dembrow and the former Portland Senator, Jackie Dingfelder. Ideas for next session for waste prevention are in the works, SB 582 set it in motion. Thank you National Caucus of Environmental Legislators. I am rooting for Washington in hopes they will adopt their own bottle bill. It is still our most successful Extended Producer Responsible program in Oregon’s history. We are here for you as a resource!



Federal Updates

The PACT Act and VA Benefits

From the Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs

The PACT Act, a new law passed Wednesday, expands VA health care and benefits for veterans exposed to burn pits and other toxic substances. This law helps us provide generations of veterans—and their survivors—with the care and benefits they’ve earned and deserve.

The PACT Act is perhaps the largest health care and benefit expansion in VA history. The full name of the law is The Sergeant First Class (SFC) Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act.

The PACT Act will bring these changes:

  • Expands and extends eligibility for VA health care for Veterans with toxic exposures and Veterans of the Vietnam, Gulf War, and post-9/11 eras
  • Adds more than 20 new presumptive conditions for burn pits and other toxic exposures
  • Adds more presumptive-exposure locations for Agent Orange and radiation
  • Requires VA to provide a toxic exposure screening to every Veteran enrolled in VA health care
  • Helps us improve research, staff education, and treatment related to toxic exposures

The VA has established a PACT Act webpage to help answer your questions about what the PACT Act means for you or your loved ones. You can also call the VA at 800-698-2411 (TTY: 711).

To file a claim for PACT Act-related disability compensation or apply for VA health care, please contact your local Veteran Service Office in Oregon.

Environmental Updates

National Electric Vehicle Charging Network - Public Comment Opportunity

Earlier this Summer, President Biden announced new steps for his goal of building out a national network of EV chargers along America's highways and in communities. Read the announcement here. The U.S. Department of Transportation will soon begin their rulemaking process for this network. The goal is to "make charging electric vehicles (EVs) a convenient, reliable, and affordable for all Americans, including when driving long distances." The U.S. Department of Transportation is accepting public comment on their proposed rules, which you can see here.  Comments are due by August 21st and can be submitted at this link here. It should be just as easy for me to pull up in my Chevy Bolt to an EV charger and use my debit card as it is for someone to do the same at a gas station. No memberships or special cards should be required. Please consider writing a letter of testimony, as I have done. Thank you

Washington County's New Recycle+ Program

From Washington County Recycle+

We are excited to offer Recycle+, a new service from your garbage and recycling company. This optional service is available to residential garbage and recycling collection customers living in urban unincorporated Washington County. Sign up now!

Recycle+ collection service offers:  

  • Collection of materials not included in standard recycling.  
  • Convenient on-call pickups. 
  • No subscription required; cancel any time. 

Tip: Consider coordinating pickups with family, friends or neighbors.  

Materials accepted in the Recycle+ collection service: 

  1. Plastic film/bags
  2. Clear plastic #1 clamshell containers
  3. Textiles  
  4. Compact fluorescent light bulbs

Visit Washington County Recycle+ Website here for further information.


Legislative Updates

New Rules Proposed by Statewide Law Enforcement Standards of Conduct and Discipline

The Commission on Statewide Law Enforcement Standards of Conduct & Discipline, which was established by the legislature in 2021 (HB 2930), has announced proposed rules relating to statewide standards for police officer discipline.

Public feedback is crucial to help inform the commission’s decisions about what to include in its final rules, which must be adopted by October 1.

Public hearings will occur:

  • August 30, 2022 from 1-2pm in Bend (and virtual)
  • September 1, 2022 from 1-2pm in Portland (and virtual)
  • September 7, 2022 from 1-2pm in Pendleton (and virtual)
  • September 14, 2022 from 1-2pm in Medford (and virtual)

The proposed rules, date/time/location/links for the hearings, and information about the commission and its deliberations may be found on this website: https://justice.oregon.gov/lesc/

A recent DOJ press release about the proposed rules can be found here.

Community Outreach

Neighborhood Health Center Annual Community Health Fair - Happening Today!

  • Sat., Aug 13, 2022 at 09:00 am to 01:00 pm
  • 155 N 1st Ave, Hillsboro, OR 97124

It takes a village to build a healthy community.

Come join NHC and 28 health and health-related vendors at our 7th Annual Community Health Fair in Hillsboro.

Vendors and activities include physicals and well-child exams, a local farm produce stand, dental screenings, and Oregon Health Plan and health insurance enrollment help.

For more information, call (503) 941-3010 or visit here.

We look forward to seeing you there!

NHC Health Fair Flyer

Summer Spectacular at Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve

Summer Spectacular Flyer

9/11 Day of Service

From Americorps.gov

In just one month, the country will mark more than 20 years since the attacks of September 11 with the National Day of Service and Remembrance.

In the aftermath of the tragedy, the families of the victims came together and turned a national day of mourning into a national day of service where Americans unite and give back to our communities through service. 

This year, we ask you to honor those we lost by uniting in service to rekindle the spirit of unity that swept our nation after that tragic day. Through service, we can come together across divides, differences, and ideologies. We can stand together and lift each other up, neighborhood by neighborhood, just as Americans did more than 20 years ago.

We invite you to honor, serve, and unite on this September 11th Day of Service. 

Volunteer on 9/11. Demonstrate the spirit of unity in your community by volunteering in honor of September 11 and invite someone from a different party or background to serve with you. Share your service experience on social media using the hashtag #911Day.  

Click here to find a volunteer opportunity near you.

9/11 Day of Service

Additional Resources

 Senate District 15 Links

Federal Delegation Links

Education Links

Food and Housing Assistance

Be good to yourself and each other. ❤

Onward & Upward,


Senate District 15 lies on Kalapuya land. The Atfalati were the northernmost band of the Kalapuya that lived along the Tualatin River in present day Washington County. Many of the Atfalati descendants are members of the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon today. The Indigenous Peoples of this land experienced a painful history of colonial violence, sickness and removal from their land. The Atfalati are the foundation of Oregon’s past and we must honor them well into our future.    

Capitol Phone: 503-986-1715
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE, S-207, Salem, Oregon 97301
Email: Sen.JaneenSollman@oregonlegislature.gov
Website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/sollman