Rural Northwest Oregon Capitol Updates Vol 13

Senator Suzanne Weber

Dear Neighbors and Friends,

Another week down, and there is still much work to be done in Salem. It appears weather is returning to normal in the valley and with daylight savings kicking in over the weekend it is obvious that spring is just around the corner. Soon, the trees will regain their leaves and the flowers will begin to bloom.

Rural Northwest Oregon Capitol Updates

Constituent Meetings

Habitat for Humanity

For the first time since 2020, more than 50 advocates got the opportunity to meet with myself and my colleagues during Habitat At The Capitol last week. 

At a time when housing costs outpace incomes and while our state experiences a well-documented shortage of affordable homes, it’s more important than ever to support policies and systems that expand new home production and sustain access to critical matched-savings programs that help create pathways toward homeownership.  Learn more about Habitat Oregon’s Legislative priorities: 


OSEA Legislative Education Day

This week members of Oregon School Employees Association (OSEA) were in Salem for their Legislative Education Day. They stopped by and we had a chat about their legislative priorities. The OSEA is a member-driven union representing more than 22,000 workers in public schools, community colleges, libraries, parks and Head Starts.


Tillamook Bay Community College  

I got the opportunity to meet with faculty and President Ross Tomlin from Tillamook Bay Community College to discuss matters of significance to the college students and faculty. TBCC is an important part of our community and serves as a gateway to success for many of our students. I appreciated getting the chance to meet with them and learn more about their legislative and educational priorities.


Floor Sessions

Aside from passing legislation and extending courtesies, floor sessions are an opportunity for legislators to address issues of concern and bring awareness to those issues through what is called remonstrances. Last week I gave my opinion on SB 603 and the harm it could cause if allowed to pass. SB 603 would have us handing out $1,000 dollars a month, paid for by the taxpayer. Is this the best and most equitable way to decrease homelessness and increase financial stability permanently? The answer is, of course, no. You can watch the video of me speaking out in opposition to the bill here.


OCCA Legislative Summit

On Wednesday last week, in between floor sessions and committee meetings, I snuck out of the capital to attend the OCCA Legislative Summit over at the Salem Convention Center. This event is an opportunity for college presidents, board members, campus advocacy coordinators, students and other advocates to learn more about impacts to community colleges during the Legislative Session. Me and some of my fellow legislators had the opportunity to speak with people who attended the summit and engage on matters relating to higher education policies and budgets. 


Oregon Dairy Woman's Dinner and Auction

This week I also had the pleasure of attending the Oregon Dairy Woman’s scholarship dinner and auction that took place during their annual convention. While we were lucky enough to sit with the Dairy Princesses, me and my chief of staff Katy were the only ones without tiaras at the table. We had a wonderful time learning about the efforts being done by Oregon Dairy Women (ODW), which is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization whose main objective is to promote the dairy industry. The ODW mission is to promote greater use of all dairy products through outreach and educational programs. Since 1959, ODW has promoted the dairy industry in collaboration with the Oregon Dairy Farmers Association and the Oregon Dairy Nutrition Council.


Oregon Legislative Information System

As always, I encourage all my constituents to follow your legislature and to be informed of what goes on every day. You can watch committee hearings and floor proceedings. You can track bills and be notified when they are up for a hearing. I encourage you to visit and spend some time getting to know it. I have attached links that bring you directly to the tutorial video's on each of the "How To" lines below.

Bills of Note

The first deadline for most bills is coming up this Friday, March 17. Bills in policy committees have a work session scheduled by no later than then if they are going to have the possibility of moving forward. The work session doesn’t have to occur by Friday, but does need to be scheduled by Friday. Unfortunately, some bills that I have sponsored have not yet been scheduled for a work session. These are good bills that will help Oregonians. Below are some of the bills that still need to be scheduled, as well as what committee they are in and who the chair of that committee is. Please consider reaching out to these chairs and asking them to schedule a work session as soon as possible.

SB 639 - Requires the Department of Education to transfer funds to school districts necessary to pay for school resource officers. Currently in the Senate Committee on Education. The chair of this committee is Senator Michael Dembrow.

SB 665 - Requires State Forester to actively manage state forestlands to achieve and maintain low forest fuel load levels. Currently in the Senate Committee on Natural Resources. The chair of this committee is Senator Jeff Golden.

SB 933 - Prohibits Oregon Transportation Commission from establishing toll on Interstate 205 or Interstate 5. Currently in the Joint Committee on Transportation. The co-chairs of this committee is Senator Chris Gorsek and Representative Susan McClain.

SB 1025 - Prohibits Department of Environmental Quality from imposing effluent limitations or other requirements in seafood processing wastewater permit that are more stringent than requirements established under federal law or that would result in substantial and widespread economic and social impacts on coastal communities. - Currently in the Senate Committee on Energy and Environment. The chair of this committee is Senator Janeen Sollman.

Local Matters

TCCA’s Annual Meeting


On Saturday I attended the Tillamook County Creamery Association’s (TCCA) annual meeting. The meeting was a celebration of the success of creameries within Tillamook county. The meeting held panel discussion featuring topics such as marketing, supply chains and challenges facing the industry. I also ran into Tillamook DPA Mackenzie Mitchell for the third time this week as well as Rep. Cyrus Javadi! 

Tillamook Today Interview

Tillamook Today

I managed to sneak in a quick update with Lisa on Tillamook Today as I was exiting my Subcommittee on Education at 9:30 AM and heading to another meeting at 10:00 AM.  The work we do in the capitol building is important, but if we don’t find time to share with the constituents in the district then the work is for not. It is important for me to stay in touch with my constituents and Tillamook Today provides me a platform to communicate directly with the community. You can listen to the interview here

Board of Forestry


On March 8th Shaelyn was one of more than one hundred citizens of Oregon that showed up, some many hours from home, to testify in Corvallis.  Many were there to ask the Board of Forestry to please consider a more balanced HCP.  You can watch her testimony here: Oregon Board of Forestry Testimony March 8th, 2023 

In addition to testimony I’ve submitted previously to the Board of Forestry, my colleagues and I have also reached out to Governor Kotek regarding the Habitat Conservation Plan. You can read the latest letter below:

Governor Kotek:

As representatives of rural and coastal districts, we write to you today to express our concerns about the Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) being pursued by the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) and the impact it may have on the communities we represent.

As you know, our districts are renowned nationwide for their natural beauty and their economic production. Forest harvests generate revenue for state and county operations and services, and support thousands of workers, hundreds of family-owned businesses, and critical wood manufacturing infrastructure. We recognize the need to implement an HCP, but we also recognize that it must strike a balance between conservation and economic viability.

The recently released State Forest Implementation Plans (IPs) are a source of disappointment and alarm for us. The projected harvest levels of 165-182.5 million board feet (MMBF) reflect a 27% reduction from the 225 MMBF average ODF suggested the HCP would deliver as recently as November 2022 and a 34% reduction from what the agency projected at the start of the HCP process in 2018. We fear that these IPs are reflective of a plan that could instead commit our communities to an unsustainable future.

A reduction in harvestable timber of this size would devastate local taxing districts' budgets that provide essential public services like public safety, education, and infrastructure maintenance. This would make our communities more reliant on the State School Fund, and other state funds, straining already limited resources.

We urge the ODF to explain and address the shortcomings of the recently released State Forest IPs and suggest removing the HCP constraints from the IPs until an HCP is adopted by the Board of Forestry (BOF). As representatives of the impacted communities, our view is that an alternative plan that achieves the harvest levels ODF claimed their HCP would produce would more appropriately consider the economic impacts of the HCP while also addressing conservation issues that must be rectified.

We urge both your Office and your Administration, including the BOF and ODF, to consider and pursue an alternative plan and to work collaboratively with our communities to avoid the pitfalls and unintended consequences of the HCP. Our constituents deserve to have their interests represented and safeguarded in this process.

We also recognize your goal "that every part of the state can be successful." We believe that ODF has the ability to draft a better plan that will sustain higher timber harvest volumes, meet both the conservation goals of the ODF and the economic needs of the coastal and forest regions.

In conclusion, we urge you to direct ODF to improve the HCP to increase timber harvest volumes before it is too late. We believe that by working together, we can develop a plan that better serves our communities while providing adequate protection for sensitive wildlife.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.


Representative Cyrus Javadi District 32 
Senator Suzanne Weber House Senate District 16
Senator David Brock Smith Senate District 1  
Representative Boomer Wright House District 9
Representative Court Boice House District 1 
Representative Brian Stout House District 31
Senator Dick Anderson Senate District 5

Public Testimony

I also find the time to weigh in on matters that don’t specifically fall into my committee assignments. This week I provided testimony in opposition to Senate Bill 85. Read my testimony below or watch it here.


Senate Bill 85

Thank you for the opportunity to provide comments in opposition of Senate Bill 85. As a legislator, I am deeply concerned about the potential negative impact this bill could have on our state's dairy industry and the families and communities it supports.

Tillamook County is home to the largest concentration of dairies in Oregon, many of which have been operating for over a century. These multi-generational family farms are a vital part of our state's economy and provide high-quality milk to consumers across the country. However, SB 85 and its proposed amendments threaten to limit the growth and flexibility of our dairy farmers and make it more difficult for the next generation to succeed in this industry.

One of the key provisions of SB 85 is the limitation on the size of Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). This will have a direct impact on our dairy farmers' ability to meet the growing demand for milk and other dairy products. Moreover, the -1 amendment would prevent any existing Tier 2 CAFOs from renewing their permits before the moratorium is lifted, which could force many local businesses to shut down.

As you heard in the recent informational hearing, Oregon's Department of Agriculture and Department of Environmental Quality have a robust permitting process in place to ensure that animal welfare and environmental stewardship requirements are met. Adding more regulations to this process could create unnecessary burdens and make it even more difficult for our dairy farmers to succeed.

Oregon's dairy industry is a critical part of our state's economy, providing billions of dollars in economic impact and supporting countless families and communities. I urge you to join me in opposing SB 85 and its proposed amendments.

House Bill 3201

I also weighed in legislation that I am supportive of. HB 3201 "Requires Oregon Business Development Department to provide financial assistance to support broadband access, affordability and adoption." As many are aware, the rural north coast is in need of some serious broadband infrastructure. You can watch the testimony here.

HB 3201


Senate Bill 762 (2021) establishes the Wildfire Programs Advisory Council to advise and assist the State Wildfire Programs Director. There are two (2) positions vacant on the council.  

  • Forestland owners whose property is wholly or partially within the wildland-urban interface 
  • Environmental justice community

Persons interested in being appointed to represent either the forestland owners whose property is wholly or partially within the wildland-urban interface  or the environmental justice community on this council should complete and return the attached form by Wednesday, March 22, 2023 at 5 PM to and

Coastal Housing Matters


Housing is a big problem as many of you are very aware. However, one of the unique problems of living on the coast is finding housing at any cost.  At this year's Housing Summit in Seaside I had the opportunity to hear from hospitals that are struggling to keep qualified health care professionals because they can’t find housing.  

A Seaside hotel has been purchased with plans to turn it into housing units for medical staff and people with behavioral health needs. Healthcare organization CareOregon tells KATU News that they purchased the Red Lion Inn & Suites in Seaside, located at 900 South Holladay Street.

The project will create 50-60 housing units with two-thirds reserved for healthcare workers and the remaining one-third will be dedicated as permanent supportive housing for Columbia Pacific members with behavioral health needs. Officials say the project will fill a need by creating both workforce and permanent supportive housing.

Read the full article here:

From the District!

From The District with SW State Senator

Other Matters

10 States With Highest Income Taxes
Generally coming in first place would be a good thing, but in this case I’m glad we didn’t win that honor. Second place isn’t very reassuring either. Here are the 10 states where people will pay the highest share of their income in taxes: 

  1. Massachusetts (24.07%)
  2. Oregon (23.48%)
  3. Connecticut (23.37%)
  4. Maryland (22.85%)
  5. New York (22.70%)
  6. Hawaii (22.66%)
  7. Virginia (22.20%)
  8. New Jersey (22.10%)
  9. Minnesota (21.94%)
  10. Illinois (21.50%)

Here are the states where residents will pay the biggest share of their income in taxes this year | The Hill

Here are the states where residents will pay the biggest share of their income in taxes this year | The Hill

Where's my Refund
The Oregon Department of Revenue has begun issuing refunds due to taxpayers who have filed their 2022 tax returns. If you filed a tax return, you can check the status of that refund by using the Federal Where’s My Refund tool here, or for state refunds you can check on the Oregon Department of Revenue website here. It is important to be aware of your return status, especially if you are qualifying for a refund. This year, it is unlikely that the filing deadline will be extended so be sure to file if you haven't yet! 

ODOE Now Accepting Applications for Community Heat Pump Deployment Program
An online application portal is now available for eligible entities and Tribes to apply for grant funding to support local heat pump deployment programs. The Oregon Department of Energy’s Community Heat Pump Deployment Program will be awarding funds totaling $10 million to ODOE program administration and grants to 11 Oregon regions and the nine federally recognized Tribes in the state. This program offers financial assistance for heat pump installations. You can learn more about the program here.

Hillsboro Hops Announce New Ballpark Project
The Hillsboro Hops are a High-A baseball team in Washington County, Oregon. You can find them over in the Ron Tonkin Field as that is where they currently play. The field however, is in need of some repair and upgrades in order to bring it up to the new full-season standards of Major league Baseball (MLB). Beyond just hosting baseball games, the field could be utilized for events, concerts, festivals and other community events. The city of Hillsboro sees the park as an opportunity to “a regional entertainment destination.” They recently put out a press release detailing their plans to build the new ballpark. You can read more about the project as well as read their press release here.


R&E Program 21-23 Legislative Report Executive Summary
The Recreation and Enhancement program was established by the Oregon Legislature in 1989 to help invigorate the state’s commercial and recreational fisheries. Since the start of the program, nearly $70 million has been raised through recreational fishing license fees and commercial salmon fees. These funds were then invested back into the fishing industry. You can read more about the summary for yourself here.

Stay Connected! 

Don’t forget to follow me on my social media pages! That is one of the best ways to keep up with what I am up to. I post regular updates and commentary about local and statewide issues. Below you will find several links, feel free to follow me on whichever platform you prefer.

We are here for YOU!

As per usual our floor schedule is beyond our control.  But we will make time for you. Please email or call and my staff will get you on my calendar. My staff and I are here to help you! If you have a problem, question or comment, please feel free to email me at or

I do ask you to PLEASE include your phone number and your address. This allows me to call you to follow up or ask any questions I might have. Your address lets me know that you’re a constituent. I get thousands of emails every week, but I always make sure that constituents get top priority. If you’d prefer, you can also call us at 503.300.4493.

If you’d like to visit me in Salem, you’re always welcome to come by! If you drop by without an appointment, I’ll do my best to meet with you, but to ensure that I don’t have any other commitments, please call or email first for an appointment. That way I can make sure to give you my undivided attention.

Thank you so much for this opportunity to be your State Senator. It truly is the honor of my life, and I look forward to being your voice in the Senate for the next four years!​

Capitol Phone: 503-986-1716  District Phone: 503-300-4493
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE, S-405, Salem, Oregon 97301
Email: Sen​
Website:  ​​