Updates on Legislative Days, I-5 Bridge Project, and More!

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Representative Susan McLain

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I am down in Salem this week for Legislative Days! It is the first in-person Legislative Days and in-person committee hearings since the pandemic began. It is nice to be back in the building and meeting with colleagues, agencies, stakeholders, and citizens. I had forgotten what a busy place the Capitol can be. 

Legislative Days continue through Friday, and then on Monday I have a meeting of the Bi-State Legislative Committee to hear updates on planning for the I-5 Bridge, including new cost estimates. If you are interested in watching these meetings (live or recorded), you can access them at the links below:

Joint Committee on Transportation: 12/9/2022 8:30 AM

Joint Emergency Board: 12/9/2022 12:30 PM

Bi-State Bridge Committee meeting: 12/12/2022 9:00 AM

This last weekend, I attended the Democratic Caucus retreat in Independence with my fellow House Democrats. It was great to come together with new and returning Legislators to plan our priorities for the 2023 Session. There are so many important issues that we must address, from homelessness to support for students and teachers, to funding for important infrastructure projects, supporting our small businesses, and addressing issues regarding water resources, environmental protection, and wildfire prevention. I look forward to working with all members of the Legislature to ensure we prioritize solutions that benefit Oregonians across the state. You can follow our progress through this newsletter, as I will be providing weekly updates on important bills that support our major goals, as well as on my personal bills. 

Events from the past week




Please join me for my first Town Hall of 2023, which will also be the last before the start of the 2023 Legislative Session! Come hear about the new Session and the impactful issues we'll be taking up. I also want to hear what your priorities for the Legislature are and to share an update about my personal bills and committee work. I'll talk about the challenges we face with the state budget, and major topics we will be working hard to address, like Transportation and Infrastructure, Education and support for our teachers and students, homelessness, and water resources.  

Date: January 11, 2023

Time: 6:00-7:30 PM

Location: On Zoom


Town Hall Flyer




How to participate!

A positive thing to come out of the pandemic was that the Legislature had to find a way to ensure public participation in the process, despite the Capitol being closed. We turned to online committee hearings that allowed citizens to either call in or use Microsoft Teams to participate. The benefit was we heard the voices of Oregonians from every part of the state, who took advantage of the new format to engage in the policymaking process, often for the first time. Next Session we are returning to in-person hearings, but the ability to testify remotely will remain. Below are resources for how you can participate in 2023, and I hope that you will consider doing so.


Visit the Oregon Legislature's Citizen Engagement Page HERE

Citizen Engagement page at the Oregon State Legislature


Watch House and Senate Floor Sessions and Committee Hearings HERE

Watch Committee Meetings and Floor Sessions Here



Track all 2023 Session bills and votes on OLIS HERE

Track Bills here


Video Instructions for tracking bills and votes through OLIS HERE

Instructions for OLIS



Instructions for how to testify remotely on a bill:

Committee hearing image


English instructions HERE

AQUI están las instrucciones  




I5 Bridge Replacement Program Logo


Community Engagement on the Bridge Replacement Program


The IBR program continues to offer and provide informational briefings to neighborhood associations and community-based organizations throughout Portland and Vancouver. Information is shared regarding the current status of the program, upcoming work planned, and how to best provide input once the Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement is published for public review and comment next summer. 

Want to request a briefing for your organization or community group? If so, please reach to info@interstatebridge.org for scheduling 

Additional engagement events such as public open houses and listening sessions will be available during the upcoming winter and spring months. Details for all public engagement opportunities hosted by the IBR program are posted on the Meeting & Events Calendar.  

Recent Meeting Highlights

Equity Advisory Group Meeting - October 17 – Program Administrator Greg Johnson provided an update to EAG members regarding recent and upcoming program work. The group discussed how the IBR program will measure success related to established equity objectives. EAG members shared recommendations regarding key performance indicators. 

Bi-state Legislative Committee Meeting - October 31 – The Bi-State Legislative Committee received information about federal funding opportunities, U.S. Coast Guard bridge permitting process, community engagement efforts, and next steps for advancing the IBR Modified Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA) through the NEPA environmental evaluation process. The committee also discussed forthcoming updates to cost estimates and financial plans for the IBR program. 

Community Advisory Group Meeting - November 10 – CAG members received an overview of partner conditions on the IBR Modified LPA and reviewed proposed program improvements that will be evaluated through the NEPA environmental evaluation process. The group also received information about Community Benefit Agreements (CBA) and how the IBR program is working to develop a CBA.


Interstate Bridge Program Centering Equity

In my role as Co-Chair of the Bi-State Bridge Committee, I have been able to observe the Interstate Bridge Program's commitment to equity in their processes and outcomes up close. They are engaging the community by elevating the voices of equity priority communities throughout the processes and ensuring these communities can access the program’s economic and transportation benefits. Read more about the program's equity commitment here or click on the video below: 


IBR Program Equity video




Glencoe Graduate Interns for Rep. McLain

By Ishaan Sinha

I interned for Representative Susan McLain because I wanted to give back to my community and refine my career interests. One of my favorite experiences was delivering a written statement on behalf of Representative McLain at a candidate forum held by Centro Cultural. The experience, alongside many others, showed me the interconnectedness between, local, county, House, and Senate forms of government. Through attending events and also responding to constituents, I'm making an impact by connecting with my community. Mentorship and guidance from Rep. McLain and staff has helped me understand how politics work and improve on skills I needed to work on. This week, I'm looking forward to traveling to Salem to see how legislators make decisions on bills. Interning has inspired me to pursue political science as I enter university, and hopefully hold public office myself one day. 

Intern Ishaan SInha




Vollyball players

Sherwood, Forest Grove, Hillsboro Area Netters Earn Honors

Earning spots on the first team of the Pacific Conference were Glencoe junior setter/right side/outside hitter Elisabeth Levick and Forest Grove junior outside hitter Jadyn Punchocar.

Punchocar led Forest Grove in kills and per her coach, Jeff Leo, was a consistent force on the outside, helping to lead a resurgent Vikings team to a 13-9 overall record and state playoff bid.

Forest Grove's senior setter Jordan Ingram earned second team honors due to — amongst other things — her consistency, which made her invaluable to the Vikings.

Leo also spoke affectionately for senior outside Hannah Carlson who was one of just six conference players who earned honorable mention, citing her commitment upon returning from a knee injury that forced her to miss her junior season.


Dance Team

Vikettes Off to a Good Start!

The Forest Grove High School dance team — the Vikettes — competed in their first event of the season a week ago and took home medals both as a team and individually Saturday, Nov. 19, at David Douglas High School.

The Vikettes placed first in the Pom category, while sophomore Eva Torres Bustamante earned a medal individually, finishing amongst the top 10 in the Novice Drill Down competition. The Vikettes were also the only team at David Douglas to have a Pom score qualifying them for the Category Championships in January.

The team is next scheduled to compete Saturday, Dec. 10, at Rex Putnam High School, while the Category Championships are scheduled for Jan. 21, 2023.


Blood draw image

Century High School Community Blood Draw

Participate in Century High School’s Blood Drive from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, December 19. Health Sciences students have coordinated with Bloodwooks Northwest to host the drive, and invite all eligible people to consider donating. 

Sign up online for your appointment.


food pantry

Forest Grove Pantry Serving Community 

A storage facility outside Forest Grove High has been successfully converted into a food pantry, as the school community helps fight some of the hunger and food insecurity gripping communities across Oregon this holiday season.

The Forest Grove High School food pantry is open on a first-come, first-serve basis Monday afternoons from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. 

Coping with high inflation and following the end of the child tax credit, the Oregon Food Bank estimates 1.5 million people will have visited the state's food banks and pantries by the end of the year, compared to 1.7 million people in 2020.




Holiday Season Photos at Forest Grove Library

Have your holiday photos taken at the Forest Grove City Library. Digital copies of your photos will also be provided.

*Please note, photos will be taken by a library staff member, not a professional photographer.


Holiday photo session flyer



Centro Cultural Toy Drive Seeks Donations and Volunteers

Teddy Bear image

Centro Cultural de Washington County is asking for games and volunteers to ensure all local children open gifts this holiday season.

The organization's annual toy drive is open through Dec. 13. Then from Dec. 14 through Dec. 17, Centro Cultural is looking for volunteers to organize and distribute toy bags for families.

Toys can be dropped off at Centro Cultural's headquarters in Cornelius as well as Centro de Prosperidad, Hillsboro Pediatric Clinic, Reser's Fine Foods in both Hillsboro and Beaverton and Phat Cart Cafe.

An 'Amazon Wish List' offers examples of popular toys. Volunteers can sign up at CentroCultural.org/events.


Location of Hawthorne Walk-in Center

Hawthorne to Accept Walk-In Patients Again

The Hawthorn Walk-in Center, which had to pause all walk-in services in June due to staff shortages, says it will be moving back to accepting walk-ins during limited hours starting next week.

Washington County says, beginning Monday, Dec. 12, the Hawthorn Walk-in Center will start accepting walk-ins again from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The clinic is located at 5240 N.E. Elam Young Pkwy in Hillsboro.

Even during walk-in hours, the county encourages community members who need help to call the Washington County Crisis Line at 503-291-9111 before going into the clinic.




DHS Announces Extension of REAL ID Full Enforcement Deadline

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced its intent to extend the REAL ID full enforcement date by 24 months, from May 3, 2023 to May 7, 2025. Under the new regulations published to execute this change, states will now have additional time to ensure their residents have driver’s licenses and identification cards that meet the security standards established by the REAL ID Act. As required by the law, following the enforcement deadline, federal agencies, including the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), will be prohibited from accepting driver’s licenses and identification cards that do not meet these federal standards.  

The extension is necessary, in part, to address the lingering impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the ability to obtain a REAL ID driver’s license or identification card. 

For more information on REAL ID, visit www.dhs.gov/real-id

Sample of Oregon Real ID




Governor Brown Issues Executive Order in Response to RSV Surge

Governor Kate Brown today is exercising her executive authority under ORS Chapter 401 in response to a surge of adult and pediatric cases and hospitalizations of respiratory viruses––including Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), influenza, and COVID-19––across Oregon. The executive order will give Oregon hospitals additional flexibility to ensure there are enough health care workers to meet current needs, allow them to draw on a pool of medical volunteer nurses and doctors, and take other steps to provide care to patients. In addition to the Governor’s executive order, the Oregon Health Authority is pursuing supplemental nurse staffing contracts of up to $25 million to help address critical workforce shortages.

State health experts at the Oregon Health Authority encourage all individuals, particularly those at increased risk of severe disease (and their caregivers), to take steps to prevent RSV and other respiratory infections this flu season.

  • Stay up to date on flu and COVID-19 vaccinations. (There is not currently a vaccine for RSV.)
  • Stay home and avoid holiday gatherings and events when sick, and keep your child home when your child is sick, if possible.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes, clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces, and regularly wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water or use hand sanitizer.
  • Consider wearing a mask indoors, especially during crowded indoor gatherings and events, particularly if you or a friend or family member are at risk for getting severely ill from RSV and other respiratory infections.

More information on how to protect yourself and loved ones from RSV, the flu, and COVID-19 are available on OHA’s website.




OEM has put together this list of contacts to help speed up the process of replacing these documents:

The Governor’s office has put together a Wildfire Resources page that you can access from the Governor’s home page.  It has links to many of the most important updates about the status of fires and resources for evacuees.  This website will be updated regularly.  

Legal ResourcesOregon State Bar’s Lawyer Referral Program, Oregon lawyers, through the Oregon State Bar, are partnering with FEMA and the American Red Cross to provide legal assistance on FEMA claims, contract claims, insurance claims, landlord-tenant matters and more.

The Department of Forestry’s Wildfire Response and Recovery Overview has ongoing updates about firefighting efforts, damage reports, and more.  

FEMA UpdatesFEMA has provided several different Fact Sheets and resources for accessing benefits, determining eligibility and avoiding scams.




picture of veterans

Mental Health Services:

  • Washington County Crisis Line | 503-291-9111
  • Crisis Text Line | Text “Connect” to 741741
  • Suicide Prevention Lifeline | 1-800-273-8255
  • Trevor Lifeline | 1-866-488-7386




Employers and Employees

The following list of resources is from Oregon’s Secretary of State’s Office. The fastest way to get in touch with the SOS team is by emailing business.sos@oregon.gov, using the “Need Help?” button found on most state agency websites or visiting www.oregon.gov/smallbusiness.

Education Links

Local Government

Utilities Assistance

Food and Housing Assistance


Oregon Health Authority


Holiday Decor


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-477, Salem, OR 97301
website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/mclain