Kicking off the 2023 legislative session!

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Hello Friends,

The 82nd Legislative Assembly has been sworn in, and the 2023 session is officially underway! Read on for updates on the policy agenda of the House Democrats, how you can participate in the legislative process, a February town hall, and more.

The 82nd Legislative Assembly

On Monday, January 9th, returning and newly-elected legislators gathered in Salem to take the oath of office and be sworn in to serve in the 82nd Legislative Assembly. It was wonderful to be with my colleagues, their families, and honored guests at the Capitol to celebrate!

Inauguration Day

We start the 2023 legislative session in a time of transition – we have new leadership in the Governor’s office, new legislators (21 of 60 members in the House are newly-elected), and new legislative leadership. For each of the six top legislative leaders (Speaker, Senate President, and House & Senate Democratic and Republican Caucus Leaders), including myself, it will be the first long session in their new roles. All this transition is a challenge, certainly, but it’s also an opportunity for us to move forward and make progress together on the issues impacting all our communities.

We have the opportunity to fix what’s broken, ensure that our investments are fulfilling their promises, and hold our state agencies and schools accountable. In collaboration with the new Governor, the legislature will improve oversight of our government, focusing on increasing accountability and effectiveness of the programs Oregonians depend on. Over the past several sessions, we have made big investments in Oregon communities; now we must ensure that these programs are working effectively. 

In addition to my role as Democratic Majority Leader, this session I’ll be serving as Chair of the House Committee on Rules and as a member of the House Committee on Housing and Homelessness. After serving as the Chair of the House Housing Committee for the last two years, I’ve passed the gavel to Rep. Maxine Dexter, but I still plan to be closely involved in our work to address the housing needs of Oregonians. As Chair of the House Committee on Rules, I’ll be working on policy ideas to strengthen our democracy and help restore Oregonians’ trust in their elected government, including bills to reduce the influence of big money in politics, increase transparency and accountability of state government, and improve access to voting.

House Democrats Policy Agenda

To kick off the legislative session, Speaker Rayfield, Republican Leader Vikki Breese Iverson, and I hosted a joint press conference to talk about our agendas for the session and how we plan to take on the big issues facing our state. By working together – across chambers, across parties, and across communities – we can use this session to regroup and rebuild for the future in a way that reflects our shared values as Oregonians. 

Press Conference

The top priorities for the Oregon House Democrats are housing, homelessness, behavioral health, strong schools, safe communities, and a healthy economy – you can read the full House Democratic agenda here. These priorities are presented as separate issues, but they are all interdependent and interrelated in building the kinds of communities that we all want to see.

  • Housing: Removing barriers to construction to address our shortage of 100,000+ homes; protecting those facing eviction or foreclosure
  • Homelessness: Working with local governments and investing in programs that work to get people off the streets, connected to services, and in stable housing
  • Behavioral Health & Addiction Treatment: Addressing the workforce shortage, increasing residential treatment facilities, and ensuring that agencies are rolling out programs effectively
  • Schools: Ensuring that investments are having a real impact in our classrooms; supporting students whose needs weren’t met during the pandemic
  • Safe Communities: Holding people accountable for their actions; investing in more resources for solutions proven to prevent crime and keep us safe
  • The Economy: Supporting the semiconductor industry, boosting small businesses, addressing workforce shortages, and championing workers' rights

How can you participate in the 2023 legislative session?

Throughout the 2023 session, I’ll be providing updates on key bills as they work through the legislative process. I encourage you to reach out if you have any thoughts, questions, or concerns on any bill you might be interested in. 

This session, Oregonians will have both in-person and virtual opportunities to provide testimony in support or opposition of proposed legislation. My office has prepared this testimony guide to help you navigate the process of submitting testimony on a bill.

If you’ve never testified in a legislative committee, know that you don’t need to be a policy expert or lawyer. Legislators prioritize hearing from members of the public whose lives are impacted by the policy they are considering. The most important thing is to talk about is how the issue affects you, your family, or your community. 

Changes to House District 14

Across Oregon, new district maps went into effect at the start of January. These districts were approved during a special legislative session in 2021, and are designed to meet specific criteria as laid out by federal law, the Oregon Constitution, and state law. These laws require that districts must be contiguous, of equal population, and connected by transportation links. They must also use existing geographic or political boundaries and reflect the diversity of communities of interest in our state. You can find PDF maps of the new districts here or an interactive map of the new districts at this link (click on Content in the left sidebar, then expand Adopted Maps to select the Oregon House, Oregon Senate, or Congressional maps that were adopted by the legislature). 

HD 14

If you live near a boundary of the new HD 14 map, and aren’t sure if you’re still in HD 14, you can use the “find my legislator” tool to confirm your House and Senate district. If you find that you are in a new district and would like help connecting with your new Representative or Senator, my office is always available to make an introduction.

OLCV Town Hall


On February 22nd, Rep. Nathanson (HD 13, North Eugene), Sen. Manning (SD 7, North and West Eugene, Veneta) and I will be hosting a virtual town hall with the Oregon League of Conservation Voters. We’ll talk about our individual legislative priorities and the work we’ll do this session on environmental and climate issues.

In the past two years, Oregon has seen increasingly destructive wildfires, persistent drought, tumultuous winter storms, and heat events, much of which is directly attributable to climate change. These events have led to deaths and the destruction of homes, businesses, and farmland. Oregon may not be a large state, but we have and will continue to set the pace for the rest of the country, and I look forward to the opportunity to share more about our plans for the 2023 session. You can sign up to attend here.

As ever, my office and I are here to help. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you need assistance navigating local or state government services, or if you have thoughts about bills for the 2023 legislative session. Your input is valuable as I consider what to prioritize in the coming months.

Yours truly,

Fahey signature

Capitol Phone: 503-986-1414
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE, H-295, Salem, Oregon 97301