Setting Goals for Progress!

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Representative Susan McLain

Hello Friends and Neighbors,

This week, we heard from various presenters in the Education Budget Committee, which I am proud to chair. On Monday, we heard from the Oregon Department of Education. They discussed the State School Fund Current Service Level, which is an estimate of the cost to continue current legislatively approved programs through the Department of Education in the next biennium. The presentation outlined the breakdown of the budget calculation through slides displaying elaborate formulas and methodology. On Wednesday and Thursday, we heard from small licensing boards, such as the Mortuary and Cemetery Board, the Board of Naturopathic Medicine, the Veterinary Medical Examining Board, the Health-Related Licensing Board, the Board of Medical Imaging, the Occupational Therapy Licensing Board, the Board of Examiners for Speech Pathology and Audiology and the Licensed Health Care Workforce Supply. Our state's licensing boards are invaluable as they prevent possible exploitation and harm. Licensing boards like the ones I mentioned work to protect people and make them feel secure with the knowledge that those providing care and treatment are subject to oversight and regulation. 

We also held a public hearing on HB 2611, our Part-Time Faculty Healthcare bill, which is a follow-up bill to fine-tune and perfect SB 551 from 2021. SB 551 ensures that part-time faculty members at any public institution of higher education can qualify for employee-only health care benefits if they work at a level that is equal to at least half of a full-time employee. However, SB 551 did not require dental and vision to be included in the health benefits offered to faculty members. This Session, HB 2611 addresses this deficiency and it received a public hearing yesterday. 

HB 2611 information


We had Floor twice this week




Cartoon of a bill

In week 4 of the Legislative Session, we had hearings on several bills related to the goal of both Governor Kotek and the Legislature to improve mental health treatment access and other mental health resources. I am so glad to see that we are having robust conversations about how to tackle this complex public health issue. 

HB 2646 has been introduced by Representative Sanchez and would require the Department of Education to provide a program to train school employees on signs and symptoms of mental illness, psychiatric or psychological disorder, depression or substance abuse disorder, de-escalating mental health or substance use disorder crisis and assisting students in crisis. It requires school districts to designate mental health points of contact to coordinate and facilitate access for youth and their families to appropriate mental health and substance abuse disorder services and resources. There was a hearing on HB 2646 in the House Committee on Education on 2/8/23. You can view the hearing here

HB 2757 has been introduced by Representative Sanchez and Representative Nosse and it expands and provides funding for coordinated crisis services system including 9-8-8, the suicide prevention and behavioral health crisis hotline. There was a hearing on HB 2757 in the House Committee On Behavioral Health and Health Care on 2/6/23. You can view the hearing here


Upcoming Hearing on 2617 (Newborn Screening)

HB 2617 is one of my top priority bills and I am excited to announce that it has a hearing on 2/15/23 in the House Committee On Behavioral Health and Health CareThis bill will improve our newborn screening processes in Oregon and ensure that it is a pristine and transparent process that keeps up-to-date as scientific reviews bring important breakthroughs.

I thank Chair Nosse for giving me time to present this important bill and I look forward to sharing the testimony with you all next week. If you would like to watch the hearing live or recorded, you can access it here







This will be a big year for the Interstate Bridge Replacement Program, as the Oregon Legislature considers funding for the Bridge. I am continuing my efforts as Co-Chair of the Joint Committee on the Interstate 5 Bridge to keep you updated on the progress being made. I recommend reading the Interstate Bridge Replacement Program's January newsletter. And as we kick off 2023, take a look back on the work the program team and partners accomplished in 2022. From hosting equity roundtable discussions to receiving unanimous support from the eight program partners on the Modified Locally Preferred Alternative, it was a big year for moving the IBR program forward.



I would also like to share the most recent editorial that my Co-Chair, Senator Chris Gorsek, and I wrote highlighting the urgency around replacing the Bridge sooner rather than later. This editorial was printed in the Portland Tribune and other surrounding Pamplin papers on February 7, 2023:

OPINION: Oregon must invest in I-5 bridge replacement — now, not later

When Congress passed the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) last year, it provided a historic once-in-a-generation funding opportunity to improve our nation’s crumbling infrastructure systems.

As part of the funding package, $12.5 billion was designated for the most “economically significant bridges in the country.”

Important to our region, President Joe Biden named the Interstate Bridge as one of the projects most likely to benefit from this investment.


The Interstate Bridge is a key regional, national, and international transportation link. Replacement of the bridge is critical for environmental, equity, and economic improvements.

The funding provided in the IIJA presents us with a unique window of opportunity. However, in order to fully capitalize on this moment, we must act now. These federal dollars are designated explicitly for essential interstate bridge replacement projects and cannot be used for other transportation programs.

In 2022, the Washington State Legislature authorized $1 billion to fund their portion of the Interstate Bridge Replacement program (IBR). Now it’s Oregon’s turn.

If Oregon’s funding is delayed until mid-2025, this will put immense pressure on the final years of IIJA funding cycles, when much of the funding will already be allocated to other large projects around the country. That is why this legislative session, we will continue our meaningful conversation about Oregon’s contribution to replace the Interstate Bridge.


Part of our conversation will center on the need for increased road safety, which is a critical component of the IBR program’s design for the new bridge.

The IBR team is working hard to address safety across the bridge, which is wholly inadequate now. Not only is the bridge seismically vulnerable, but there are no safety shoulders, which leaves no room for emergency vehicles.

Beyond the bridge itself, the team is considering the safety of all modes of travel through the entire program corridor, which includes active transportation, transit, and roadway conditions.

We learned last month that the program anticipates it will require approximately $6 billion to achieve equitable and climate-conscious multimodal infrastructure through the program corridor (paid for through a combination of Washington and Oregon funding, federal grants, and tolls). This cost estimate reflects 10 years of delay from the prior attempt to replace the bridge, and future delays will only increase the replacement cost.

We want a bridge that is equitable, reduces congestion without inducing demand, and promotes various transit options — each of these components are critical values that Oregonians embrace. It is now time to invest in the future that we want.


We have a time-sensitive opportunity to leverage billions in federal grant dollars and support tens of thousands of jobs across multiple industries throughout construction.

These federal dollars represent an infusion of funding into the regional economy that will only exist with the bridge replacement.

To compete for those federal dollars, we must demonstrate that we have the non-federal matching funds to leverage those programs. It is time for Oregon to join Washington in committing funding for the bridge in 2023.

An investment in replacing the I-5 Bridge means an investment in the long-term viability of our region’s economy. It is an investment in the safety of all multimodal travelers, not just the vehicles it currently serves. Additionally, it is an essential investment in public transit and bike/pedestrian pathways across the river.

We must remain resolved to see these critical investments move to completion. We are fully committed to supporting the IBR program in its delivery of an equitable and climate-friendly multimodal replacement bridge and transportation system that improves the safety of all travelers.




We are very delighted to welcome a new intern to our team, Magali Cruz! Magali is a student dually enrolled at Pacific University and Portland Community College, and she will be helping us with various projects and assignments throughout Session, such as tracking and researching legislation, writing correspondence letters and using her bilingual skills to maintain communication with our Spanish-speaking communities. We are excited for her to make our materials, such as our newsletter, social media and town hall events, more accessible to all Oregonians through translation. Magali's experience with advocacy work at Adelante Mujeres brings a fresh and necessary perspective to our office.

Read more about Magali in her introduction below!

"Hi! My name is Magali. I am from Mexico, and I moved to Oregon 7 years ago. I am a sophomore majoring in International Studies & Politics & Government at Pacific University and a student with dual enrollment at Portland Community College (PCC). When I moved, I started to take ESOL classes. After finishing my English classes, with the support of my family and members of Portland Community College, I continue taking regular classes to get my Associate of Science. During that time, I got my GED in the Centro de Prosperidad, and I had the opportunity to participate with the Portland Community College centers such as Women Resource Center and Dreamers Resource Center. In WRC and DRC, I have been working in supporting the student community, especially with the Transiciones Oeste group, Hispanic and Dreamers students. There I began to be more involved with my community and met organizations that work for my community as Adelante Mujeres and others, where I participated in some workshops and programs from the Leadership and Advocacy Program.

In 2021-2022, I was part of the community Organizers from Adelante Mujeres, and there I learned a few about the Legislative Sessions process and why it is so important in the democracy of our country. Then I had the opportunity to go to the Capitol in Washington DC in support of our Dreamers, and that was when I decided to study Politics & Government. Last year I received a scholarship to transfer to Pacific University to continue my education in International Studies and Politics & Government; however, I continued taking classes at PCC. In October, I saw the Oregon Legislative Intern Program at PCC, which supported me and encouraged me to have and find an Internship on the Legislative Sessions. Where the representative Susan McLain will allow me to learn and succeed in my academic studies and future professional goals."

rep mclain and magali

Our new Legislative Intern, Magali and me in my office




After the last few years of disruption, Oregonians deserve stability, safety and opportunity, and we're going to work hard to deliver. Here's our plan and roadmap to how we get there and bring every Oregonian along. 


Click the image above to view the full Caucus agenda.


Overview of 2023 Legislative Goals 

Housing: Removing barriers to construction to address our shortage of 100,000+ housing units; 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: Addressing the workforce shortage, increasing residential treatment facilities, and ensuring that agencies are rolling out programs effectively

The Economy: Supporting the semiconductor industry, boosting local economies, addressing workforce shortages, and championing workers' rights

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 more in resources for solutions proven to prevent crime and keep us safe




This February, we celebrate the accomplishments and history of Black Oregonians. Here are some resources, literature and events in Washington County that amplify Black voices.

black history



All Month Long: Black History Month Virtual Festival

Author talks, panel discussions, and more, hosted by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. Most events are free.

View the Festival Schedule.


Black Resistance

The official theme of Black History Month 2023 is Black Resistance.

Visit the Association for the Study of African American Life and History website to learn more about what Black Resistance means and discover the many avenues that black communities have used throughout history to resist oppression and reclaim identities of their own.


Support Black-Owned Businesses and Organizations

Make a pledge to support local Black-owned businesses and organizations during Black History Month and beyond when you are eating, shopping, and doing business online or in person.

Washington County Chamber's Black Advisory Business Council is a culturally specific council working to inspire, empower, and promote the economic growth and sustainability of Black businesses and professionals within Washington County.


Community Organizations

Washington, Multnomah, and Clackamas Counties are home to many organizations that exist to support, serve, and celebrate Black residents and people of color. 

Community Organizing and Policy

Health and Housing




It is essential for our local governments and residents to collaborate on brainstorming solutions for the issues facing our community.


Hillsboro's 2023 State of the City

hillsboro town hall

Click image above to watch!

In this annual community update, Mayor Callaway and the City Council highlight Hillsboro's challenges, opportunities, and progress on:

  • Affordable housing & houselessness
  • Economic development
  • Equity & inclusion
  • Livability & sustainability
  • Public safety
  • and much more


Weekly resource and event for our Spanish-speaking families in Forest Grove!

Story-time at Forest Grove Library

forest grove library


All parents and caregivers, want your little ones to learn English and Spanish while having fun? The Forest Grove City Library is excited to announce the new bi-lingual story and song time. Join them on Thursday's at 10:30 AM for a fun and educational experience.



I am very excited for this new education site in our district! I have been working with and supporting Junior Achievement for years. This project will create many opportunities for young people achieve economic success and workforce readiness.


Junior Achievement Will Open a ‘JA Discovery Center’ at the Hillsboro Civic Center



Junior Achievement (JA), the national leader in youth financial literacy and business education, is announcing plans to open a ‘JA Discovery Center’ in Downtown Hillsboro in Fall 2023. This will be JA USA’s 44th site in the United States.

In November 2022, the Hillsboro City Council approved a lease with Junior Achievement for 12,420 square feet of space on the second floor of the Hillsboro Civic Center directly above Outdoors In: Park @ the Plaza in Downtown Hillsboro.

The new JA Discovery Center in Hillsboro will provide access to approximately 98,000 students from the four counties in the Northwest Regional Education Service District (NWRESD):

  • Clatsop (4,835 students)
  • Columbia (7,040 students)
  • Tillamook (3,274 students)
  • Washington (82,377 students)

Delivering programs throughout the NWRESD will help Junior Achievement reach diverse student populations, including rural students, students from ethnically diverse backgrounds, and students from low-income families.




Congratulations to Dania! As a former Speech and Debate coach, it makes me proud to watch Speech and Debate students thrive in their academic environments. We wish you the best of luck on your exciting journey!

Dania Fuentes Moreno: Century High Rotary Student of The Month



Congratulations Century High senior Dania Fuentes Moreno who is Hillsboro Rotary Student of The Month. Dania was accompanied by her proud mother Leticia Moreno Ponce and Century AVID teacher Christina La Tour. Dania is grateful to her mother and teachers for making her into the person she is today. Starting high school during the pandemic was a challenge, but Dania learned quickly she could persevere and make the most of her studies, choosing the hardest classes she could manage. She also joined the speech and debate team to help her improve her ability to speak in front of others. Dania loves to learn and considers herself a lifelong learner. She plans to attend Oregon State University to study chemical engineering. Violin and chess are also on her list. We wish Dania much success in all her endeavors!





Year-Round Shelter in Hillsboro



Hillsboro is leading with compassion to meet the needs of all members of our community by reducing homelessness through collaborative and proven solutions, including creating adequate options for year-round shelter with rapid pathways to housing.

To address the community's critical need for more shelter space and safe sleeping options, the City acquired property at the corner of SW 17th Avenue and TV Highway(External link) to create a future Year-Round Shelter.

The property, which includes ample greenspace and two vacant structures, currently hosts the temporary Safe Rest Pods on SW 17th Avenue(External link), which are providing safe sleeping spaces and support services as the Year-Round Shelter project moves forward.

Carleton Hart Architecture and the City of Hillsboro are excited to share the early design concept, which includes indoor congregate beds and individual shelter pods in a village-style model.

Please note, the design and timeline are both subject to change as the project evolves.




Justicia Ambiental y Liderazgo



El programa de Justicia Ambiental y Liderazgo apoya a nuestros participantes a aprender, conocer, y capacitarse para ser líderes acerca del cuidado del medio ambiente y justicia ambiental. Nos enfocaremos en temas como el manejo de la basura, el reciclaje, recursos en la comunidad, cómo ser parte de la toma de decisiones en nuestra comunidad, ¡y mucho más!

Regístrate aqui hoy.

Fecha: 8 de Marzo a 17 de Mayo

(Cada Miércoles durante 12 semanas)

Hora: 6:00 p.m. a 8 p.m.

Lugar: Oficina de Adelante Mujeres.

Adelante Mujeres

2030 Main St. Ste A

Forest Grove, Oregón 97116


Mitigation Plan



Earthquakes, dam failures, extreme heat and more. We want to prepare for disasters of all kinds. Learn about our Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan by visiting an online open house:







It is now easier for those at increased risk of severe COVID-19 illness to get treatment. People who are eligible to receive the medicines Paxlovid and Lagevrio no longer need to have a positive COVID-19 test. This allows prescribers to base treatment decisions on symptoms and exposure history to diagnose and treat COVID-19.

These medicines can lessen the chance of severe COVID-19 illness in those at risk. This includes people aged 50 years and older. It further includes those with underlying medical conditions and people who are under- or unvaccinated against COVID-19. Also, people from communities of color hardest hit by severe COVID-19 can benefit from these medicines.

We’ve partnered with Color Health, Inc. to offer free telehealth visits and treatment for people in Oregon who need it. During the visit, you can find out if you are eligible for COVID-19 oral antiviral medicine. To learn more, visit




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, using the “Need Help?” button found on most state agency websites or visiting

Education Links

Local Government

Utilities Assistance

Food and Housing Assistance


Oregon Health Authority

view from window

Willamette University Campus from my Office Window


Yours truly,

Representative Susan McLain

Representative Susan McLain
House District 29

email: I phone: 503-986-1429
address: 900 Court St NE, H-489, Salem, OR 97301