One month into session

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Rep. Mark Owens


As we enter the second month of the session, time seems to be moving swiftly. I have found this to be the most bipartisan session I have participated in so far, where legislators are given the opportunity to have a voice. I am grateful for my colleagues' intentional efforts to have a diverse range of bills in each committee, encompassing both liberal and conservative viewpoints. As the first session deadlines for bill drafts and filing approach this next week, we will continue to work through the bills.

One of the most meaningful aspects of this session has been the presence of my community and constituents. It has been heartwarming to see them visit and testify in person or participate remotely, and to hear their perspectives on bills being considered by the committee. If you happen to be in Salem, please feel free to drop by the office and say hello. If you plan to visit, kindly give my staff advance notice, and we will make time in my schedule to meet with you. I understand that traveling can be a significant undertaking, and I value and acknowledge your efforts.

You can contact my office with questions, needs, comments and ideas, and anything else that is important to you. Reach us via email at or (503) 986-1460 and we will get back to you as soon as possible. 

Thank you and be safe. 

Mark Owens
State Representative
House District 60

Land, Water, Sky, Soul

Harney County

I want to share Land, Water, Sky, Soul. Through the eyes of the filmmakers and a blending of community voices sharing authentically about their commitment and passion for Harney County, this three-minute video communicates a compelling collective identity for this southeast corner of frontier Oregon and a spirited vision for its future. Watching this you will see why people collaborate and work together for Harney County's land, water, sky and soul.

Student Spotlight: Luis Amaral

Luis Amaral

Our first Student Spotlight is senior Luis Amaral from Adrian, located in Malheur County. Luis has attended Adrian School District his entire life. His native language is Spanish, however, he became fluent in English very early in his elementary career. He currently has a 3.84 GPA, and has taken six dual-credits of college level courses through Treasure Valley Community College during high school. Luis is a member of National Honor Society, participates in basketball, and is a leader at school. He coached youth soccer last year and is a great role model for the younger Antelopes.

He has also earned many "Citizenship of the Semester" awards and his principal Billy Wortman said, “Luis is a true example of overcoming barriers through hard-work and he makes no excuses.” He recently hosted "Noche de Padres" or Parent Night for Adrian’s Hispanic community, in which he earned a $1,000 scholarship to TVCC. He has also received a scholarship from the College of Idaho.

Luis, we could not be more proud of your accomplishments during high school. Thank you for setting an example to your peers and your community. 

Citizen Engagement

With the session just getting underway there will be plenty of opportunity to have your voice heard on bills you support or oppose. Using the Oregon Legislative Information System (OLIS) you can sign up to testify in person and remotely or submit written testimony on a bill.

Here are some helpful links to get you familiar with OLIS

How to Submit Written​​ Testimony​​ on a Bill​

How to Register to Testify​

How to Find a Bill 

If your question is not answered above or you encounter other issues, please reach out to my staff, they will be happy to help and answer questions.

OTEC/Harney Electric Guatemala Project


Many of us take daily conveniences for granted, such as electricity. I discovered recently four employees of rural electric cooperatives from House District 60 are joining forces with the Oregon Rural Electric Cooperative Association (ORECA) and other Oregon co-ops to embark on an ambitious project to electrify a remote village in the mountains of Guatemala. In March, three volunteers from Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative (OTEC) and one volunteer from Harney Electric will join a team of other volunteers from Oregon’s rural electric cooperatives to bring power to an area that has none. The project will create a foundation for the village to achieve future economic prosperity and experience an improved quality of life.

The project site is in the department (state) of Jalapa, east of Guatemala City. The team will work for up to three weeks wiring poles and homes to receive first-time electricity. Upon completion, homes, schools, and health centers will benefit from access to electric power. As of now, the locals live humbly without running water, food refrigeration or the use of electronic appliances.

The team will work on a stretch of close to three miles in mountainous terrain to wire the village and will equip each home with lightbulbs, light switches, and electrical outlets.

I want to express my gratitude to this team and wish them the best on their project.

Bills of Interest

With thousands of bills submitted it can be tedious to wade through them all. I wanted to highlight a few bills that are important to our communities in House District 60. 

HB 2410: Ontario Community Recreation Center 

This bill is a prequel to secure funding for the Ontario Community Recreation Center. This week there was a public hearing with an impressive presentation from Andrew Maeda, Executive Director. I hope you take a few moments to watch his presentation. 

HB 3065: Occupational Licensure in the Eastern Oregon Border Economic Development Region

Allows out-of-state applicants seeking occupational license in Oregon more time to meet Oregon standards if the applicant is already licensed in another state and is seeking to work in the Eastern Oregon Border Economic Development Region. This will help our workforce and economy in eastern Oregon. 

SB 292 -1 Amendment: Small School Exemption for Statement of Economic Interest

In 2022 after HB 4114 passed I heard from many of the small school board members with concerns to fill out a statement of economic interest. While this form is something I fill out yearly, it is cumbersome and feels intrusive to someone who is in a volunteer position, especially those who are in small school districts. I have been working with Senator Dembrow to refine the requirements of the bill to provide a correction for districts in the Oregon Small Schools with ADMw under 1650. 

Successful Bills

As of this week, I have successfully taken three bills through committee and passed on the House floor. They are all headed to committees in the Senate to begin the process on that side of the chamber. 

HB 2764A: Missing and Endangered Persons Task Force

The idea for this bill came to me from a constituent, not long after Michael “Monkey” Vaughn disappeared just over the border in Fruitland, Idaho. Washington and Idaho have passed legislation related to missing and endangered persons, when alerts such as Amber Alerts do not always apply. HB 2764A passed the House unanimously this week and is headed to the Senate. 

HB 2689: Small Scale Rabbit Meat Processing

I was approached by the father of a young constituent who has been raising meat rabbits for five years as a business and part of his FFA project. His has been severely limited by outdated meat processing regulations in Oregon. By adding rabbits to our already defined statute for poultry processing this bill will update Oregon to allow rabbit meat processing for small scale, local farms. 

HB 2411: Dissolves the Oregon Alfalfa Seed Commission

Oregon has had commodity commissions since 1943, with currently over twenty commodity commissions that provide volunteers who provide their time for the economic betterment of the commodity. In some cases, such as the Oregon Alfalfa Seed Commission, this commodity is no longer necessary. Oregon had over 300 growers at one time, but now this is down to under twenty. The Alfalfa Commission came to me to request a bill to dissolve and remove it from statute. 

I am also working on a number of complex water bills and will highlight these in my next newsletter. 

March Community Conversation

March JVTH


Join Senator Findley and I for our next virtual town hall on Wednesday, March 1 from 5:30 PM - 6:30 PM PST.

We'll discuss and take questions about the legislative session, what to expect on the policy horizon, issues in our communities and your priorities for the legislature this year.

We have learned a lot from you in these town halls and this helps us serve you better by being your voice in Salem. Most importantly, we want to hear from you and give you an opportunity to ask questions, share what's on your mind and how we can help represent you. Questions can be submitted in advance, using Q&A during the event or asked live during the virtual town hall.

The event is open to the public and media. You can join us via Zoom or join us via Facebook Livestream. If you decide to participate via Zoom, you must register prior to attending the event.

Stay in touch

Capitol Phone: 503-986-1460
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, H-475, Salem, OR 97301
Capitol Email:
Capitol Website:
District Phone: 503-413-2482
District Address: 85 W. Washington St., Burns, OR 97720