Productive Conversations Around Education!

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Representative Susan McLain

Hello Friends and Neighbors, 

I hope you're all enjoying Spring Break with your loved ones! This week, I've enjoyed a series of productive conversations around education efforts.

Earlier this week, the Oregon Substitute Teachers Association (OSTA) stopped by my office to support Senate Bill 283, which requires the Department of Education to conduct a study to determine how to address the workforce shortage in education. It is important that we support substitutes, teachers and classified workers across our state who serve our community every day and prepare our future leaders.

I sat down with Western Oregon University advocates and they shared updates about their Strong Start program, "Destination Western", which is a two-week residential bridge program crafted to set new students up for success. In this program, students are put into cohorts based on identity markers with peer student leaders. They take non-credit courses to build skills and confidence while connecting with faculty, and participants receive a $1,000 wage-replacement stipend to decreases barriers to participation. This program means a lot to me because I received my teaching degree from WOU and I was one of the early legislative advocates for the pilot Strong Start program. The programs were set up with intentions to serve BIPOC and students from underserved communities, provide a summer bridge kick-off, continue wrap-around services throughout the school year, build strong academic skills and create a community of support for students, especially after the pandemic caused disruptions in high school and community college instruction, and ultimately impacted the academic and developmental growth of incoming university students. Strong Start students have proven to have higher retention rates, higher GPAs and increased completion of credits by the end of their first terms, in comparison to their standing when initially entering the program. Here is a video produced for the students in the program that provides an insight into the two week experience. I have enjoyed collaborating with WOU on funding and maintaining this important program that has offered students across the state a guided path to success. 

I also met with representatives of the Oregon Student Employees Association (OSEA) and Foundations for a Better Oregon (FBO) to discuss two education policy bills moving forward this Session. OSEA discussed House Bill 3014, which directs the State Board of Education to adopt rules that allow for reimbursement of school district expenses incurred in lieu of transporting students. FBO discussed House Bill 2710, which requires school districts to file with the Superintendent of Public Instruction information about allocations and expenditures of money received from the State School Fund.

These conversations are becoming increasingly relevant and frequent since this is the first week that we've started approving budget items in the Education Budget Committee. I am looking forward to meeting with more agencies, advocacy organizations, unions and colleagues to brainstorm education planning and funding. 


Left: Team McLain in my office


Top Right: Hillsboro Education Association President, Mary Kay Babcock and me in Education Budget Committee


Bottom Right: On Wednesday, the dance group, Guelaguetza Ballet Folklorico performed "La Calenda" on the House Floor, a traditional dance from Oaxaca, Mexico. Beautiful performance!







Thank you to all who have RSVP’d so far to my Constituent Coffee events in Hillsboro and Forest Grove.

We have changed the date and time for the Forest Grove Coffee event. It was originally scheduled for this Friday, but it will now take place:

This Saturday, April 1 from 9:30-11am at the same location, BJ's Coffeehouse (2834 Pacific Ave C Forest Grove, OR 97116)

I hope you all can still make it. The Hillsboro event remains the same.

Please see the information on the updated flier below.

RSVP here if you haven’t yet:




Cartoon bill

As mentioned last week, we are fast approaching the First Chamber deadline on April 5th. This is the last day for policy committees to move measures introduced in their chamber (i.e. Senate bills in the Senate, House bills in the House) out of committee. The deadline does not apply to Ways & Means, Revenue, Rules, and other joint committees like Joint Transportation. All Legislators are in a rush to get their bills through committee to keep them alive. With the large number of bills introduced this Session, we have needed extra committee hearings to accommodate as many as possible before the deadline. This has made for a hectic week for both Legislators and staff needing to testify at hearings or be present for work sessions. Here is an update on activity this week and upcoming next week on bills I am the Chief Sponsor of:  

House Bill 2614 - This bill has a work session in the House Committee on Climate, Energy, and Environment on on 4/3. This bill would require transportation network companies (like Lyft and Uber) to meet or exceed specified targets for a percentage of their service miles to be provided by zero-emission vehicles and establish a Rideshare Electrification Fund. If passed, this bill will support electrification of the transportation sector and development of alternative vehicles and fuels, thus reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to mitigate the effects of climate change.

House Bill 3197 - This bill had a public hearing on 3/28 and is scheduled for a work session on 4/4 in the House Committee on Housing and Homelessness. I am sponsoring this bill on behalf of Washington County and it would limit the requirement that development regulations be clear and objective to only development of housing within urban growth boundaries. Local governments may deny or condition the approval of applications for housing development based on a variety of factors, including whether the application proposes to develop on land zoned for residential uses and the nature of the property ownership. House Bill 3197 clarifies a local government may adopt and apply only clear and objective standards, conditions and procedures regulating housing development on land within an urban growth boundary and not on rural land outside the boundary.

House Bill 3300 - This bill had a hearing on 3/27 and passed unanimously out of the House Committee on Behavioral Health and Health Care on 3/29. It will authorize the Oregon Board of Licensed Professional Counselors and Therapists to issue limited permits and removes the requirement that licensed professional counselors and marriage and family therapists be renewed annually. I am sponsoring this bill on behalf of the Mental Health Regulatory Agency. Their objective is to reduce service gaps and possible discontinuity of care for clients who rely on behavioral health services in Oregon.

House Bill 3595 - This bill had a hearing on 3/22 and will have a work session on 4/3 in the House Committee on Education. The bill establishes the Juvenile Justice Education Fund for the purpose of paying for educational services provided to youths in the Youth Corrections Education Program (YCEP) and the Juvenile Detention Education Program (JDEP). Additionally, it establishes the target funding levels for the programs and outlines which factors must be considered when the Superintendent of Public Instruction enters into a contract with an education service district or school district to provide educational services to youths in either the YCEP or JDEP programs. This bill is essential to ensuring adequate funding for educating youth in the juvenile justice system and I believe it is one of the most critical education investments we can make. 

House Bill 3458 - This bill had a hearing in House Committee on Agriculture, Land Use, Natural Resources, and Water on 3/27 and had a work session on 3/30 where it passed unanimouslyI put forward this bill on behalf of the City of Portland to help streamline the process for land use decisions. The City of Portland worked with 1,000 Friends of Oregon to find a way to improve the process without weakening our land use policies. HB 3458 limits the issues that may be used as the basis for an appeal of land use decisions in cases where local governments amend a comprehensive plan or land use regulations. It also requires the  Land Use Board of Appeals to approve land use regulations that are not in strict conformance with the comprehensive plan if they actually further the goals of that plan. 

House Bill 3113 - This bill has a hearing in Joint Transportation on 4/6. The bill promotes transportation safety in our communities by appropriating money to the Department of Transportation for improving safety and increasing access to walking, biking, and transit on state highways that serve as community main streets. 

House Bill 2613 - This bill has a hearing in Joint Transportation on 4/6. As you may have heard, the Department of Environmental Quality will be suspending rebates for the purchase of electric vehicles after April 30th. This bill would address the funding shortage the program is currently facing by depositing $30 million into the Department of Environmental Quality's for Zero-Emission Incentive Fund.


Spotlight on Safety and Justice:

My office met with the Partnership for Safety and Justice this week to discuss their legislative priorities. They are working to transform society's response to crime with innovative solutions that ensure accountability, racial justice, and healing. Here are two of their priorities this Session that I am proud to support:

  • Restorative Justice Grant Program: This program began as a pilot program in 2021 to broaden pathways for crime survivors to seek accountability and healing for the harm they have experienced. This year's funding proposal seeks $4 million for the next biennium. 
  • Senate Bill 579 - Guaranteeing the Right to Vote: This bill would restore voting rights to people currently incarcerated in Oregon's prison system. Research shows that our communities are safer when people feel more connected and invested in their future. Guaranteeing the Right to Vote for those who are incarcerated will ensure that we keep people involved in their communities and make our communities safer.


Spotlight on House Bill 2005 - Gun Violence Prevention

Right now guns are the  #1 cause of death of children ages 1-18 in the United States. It doesn't have to be like this. We all deserve to feel safe in our communities. That's why as Democrats, we're responding with the Gun Violence Prevention bill (HB 2005). This will keep guns out of the wrong hands, help law enforcement do their jobs, make our communities safer, and respect responsible gun owners. 

Thoughts and prayers can only go so far, and after what we saw in Tennessee, inaction is not an option. I’m proud to support this package and make Oregon a safer place. Continue reading below for more information on how the Gun Violence Prevention bill will make Oregon safer:

Gun Safety Package


HB 2005 - Keeping Ghost Guns Out of the Wrong Hands: Ghost guns are homemade guns with parts that can be purchased without a background check or a serial number and can be made with a 3D printer. Ghost guns have emerged as a weapon of choice for violent criminals, gun traffickers, dangerous extremists, and, generally, people legally prohibited from buying firearms. Our plan gives law enforcement the tools they need to keep our communities safe and keeps guns out of the wrong hands by prohibiting the sale, manufacturing, or importing of ghost guns. People convicted of possession of an undetectable firearm would face a misdemeanor on the first offense, which carries up to 364 days in jail, a $6,250 fine, or both. Second offenses and beyond would carry up to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both. After discussions with gun hobbyists, legislators have put together an amendment to give time for gun owners to ensure their firearms are serialized, thus bringing them into compliance. 

HB 2005 - Raising the Age of Purchase & Possession: Six of nine of the deadliest mass shootings in the US since 2018 were carried out by people 21 or younger. This policy brings firearm purchases in alignment with the age to purchase a handgun, which federally is 21 years of age. Raising the age to 21 for all firearms, with certain and specific exemptions, including hunting and military service, is a rational, reasonable, and responsible approach to the very real dangers we face. The bill provides clarity for what people 18 to 21 can possess and purchase, instead of a blanket prohibition on all firearms ownership until 21. It is a balance between community safety and individual liberty – an Oregon approach to a growing challenge. 

HB 2005 - Local Control for Firearms on Public Premises: In 2021, the Legislature gave local school districts the authority to prohibit firearms on school grounds. However, other local jurisdictions like city councils and county commissions were not given the same local control over firearms. Local communities know what is best for them. That’s why this policy gives locally-elected governments the ability to adopt rules restricting firearms and concealed carry in their facilities and adjacent grounds if they desire. This would have no effect on firearms carriage outside of public buildings and their adjacent grounds and would not mandate that any community take action if they do not wish to.





Investments in affordable living is an investment for our entire community. We are increasing economic mobility for future generations and bolstering our local economy as well. I am very happy to hear about this new development!


More affordable housing is coming to Hillsboro!



The City Council approved the selection of Hacienda CDC's proposal to build the “Dolores” affordable housing development.

The Dolores development will be sited in the Tanasbourne neighborhood on two land parcels. It will include 67 new affordable homes in a 3-story, elevator-served, community-inspired building with 74 off-street parking spaces.

All 67 affordable units in the Dolores are designated for community members earning 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI) and below.

Ten of the apartments will be reserved for Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) to serve individuals and families exiting homelessness. New Narratives will partner with Hacienda to provide wrap-around services for individuals and families served by permanent supportive housing.

Learn more about this exciting project:


This week, the Governor signed the $200 Housing and Homelessness package. I am happy our county and our state are making strides in addressing the roots of the homelessness crisis. The video below is an informative resource for people hoping to learn more about the root causes and how we can support our homeless neighbors.

Addressing Homelessness in Our County



Washington County and its partners are working hard together to address the homeless crisis. This first of three short videos, Addressing the Homeless Crisis, explores how a person may become homeless.




Another example of Centro Cultural meeting students where they are at in our district and providing unique opportunities for the future! I recommend students registering and taking advantage of this exciting chance to network! 

Centro Cultural de WashCo: Portland Youth Fair



Portland Youth Fair is happening next month! The Portland Youth Fair is an opportunity for youth to speak with dozens of regional employers and have the opportunity to be hired on the spot. The Centro de Prosperidad Workforce Development team will be taking students to Portland on April 13. The team is available to help students to write resumes, practice interviews, and more. To register your student please contact us at 503-336-9895 or email Jessica Pedroza-Cruz at


¡La Feria de la Juventud de Portland se llevará a cabo el próximo mes! Esta es una oportunidad para que los jóvenes hablen con docenas de empleadores regionales y tengan la oportunidad de ser contratados en el acto. El equipo de desarrollo de la fuerza laboral del Centro de Prosperidad llevará a los estudiantes a Portland el 13 de abril. El equipo está disponible para ayudar a los estudiantes a escribir currículos, practicar entrevistas y más. Para registrar a su estudiante, contáctenos al 503-336-9895 o envíe un correo electrónico a Jessica Pedroza-Cruz a




Food benefits for eligible students are rolling out over the coming weeks

Oregon sending out $170 million in pandemic EBT cards to 434,000 eligible children



Over the next few weeks, the Oregon Department of Human Services and Oregon Department of Education will issue $391 in food benefits to each eligible child in Oregon, according to an announcement from the two agencies.

The additional food benefits are part of a temporary program started during the pandemic meant to give additional food support for children whose access to food provided through school programs may have been impacted by COVID-19.

Pandemic EBT or P-EBT is in addition to any benefits that recipients already receive on their normal electronic benefit transfer cards. The P-EBT cards will be sent by mail to each eligible child starting in late March and will be sent in batches through the end of May 2023, state officials said.

Children are eligible for the P-EBT if they:

  • Were eligible to receive free or reduced-price National School Lunch Program meals during school year 2021-2022 or attended a Community Eligibility Provision school.
  • Were under the age of 6 and enrolled in SNAP during the summer 2022 months.

The state will send out two pieces of mail addressed to each eligible child. The first will be a letter notifying them they are eligible to receive the P-EBT benefit and a second letter with their P-EBT card with $391 of food benefits loaded onto it.

Households with multiple eligible children will receive individual letters and cards for each eligible child. Households will start receiving notification letters at the end of March and P-EBT cards will begin arriving in April.

In January, the state announced that it would halt additional Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits offered during the pandemic as federal funding for the program expired — meaning that SNAP benefits for households throughout the state reverted to pre-pandemic levels.

P-EBT does not replace any child nutrition program already offered, officials said, and families are encouraged to continue to participate in meal programs in their schools and communities.

Visit for more information about the P-EBT program. 

Families with specific questions about their child’s eligibility or P-EBT card can contact the P-EBT Call Center at (844) ORE-PEBT or (844) 673-7328. The P-EBT Call Center is available Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Pacific in English, Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese, Somalian, Mandarin and Cantonese. Callers may also request a translator for additional languages.





COVID-19 Booster Eligibility Update for families with children who have already received their primary vaccine doses.

COVID Booster Eligibility Update



The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized, and CDC has recommended, a bivalent Pfizer booster for children aged 6 months through 4 years who completed a 3-dose monovalent Pfizer vaccine primary series.

Children who received a bivalent dose in their primary series may not receive a bivalent booster.
Parents with questions are encouraged to talk to their child’s healthcare provider to learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine and the importance of keeping children up to date with recommended vaccinations.

For more information, 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


Sunrise on the way to work!

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