Semiconductors Bill Passes Senate, Important Legislation on Horizon

Senate President Rob Wagner

It was another busy week at the Oregon Capitol, especially here in the Senate President’s Office. Both of the Legislature’s early session priorities achieved major milestones since my last newsletter, and some important bills are making their way through the legislature. 

The Senate will soon be voting on legislation that would: prohibit food vendors from using polystyrene food packaging containers, protect volunteers fighting wildfires on private forestland and crack down on dangerous street racing. Our budget writers are also about to embark on a statewide listening tour to hear where Oregonians want their tax dollars to go (more on that later in the newsletter).

Pastor Rayfield Wagner

Senate President Rob Wagner, House Speaker Dan Rayfield and Sen. Kayse Jama meet with the Coaliton of African and African American Pastors in the Senate President's Office. They discussed state funding for housing, behavioral health and education.

Semiconductor Bill Passes Senate 21-8

Senate Bill 4 — our early-session top priority bill in the Senate — passed off the floor Wednesday on a bipartisan vote and is on its way to the House for consideration early next week. This is an incredible achievement for the Senate to pass a bill of this criticality, especially this early in session; major kudos to Sen. Janeen Sollman, who was the Senate lead on this package and passionately spoke about Senate Bill 4 on the floor. She was joined in the effort to pass this bill by Senate Republican Leader Tim Knopp and by House partners, Joint Semiconductor Committee co-chair Rep. Janelle Bynum and Rep. Kim Wallan. This bill will empower Oregon businesses to apply for a share of $52 billion in federal money from the CHIPS and Science Act. That money is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for Oregon to boost its local manufacturing of semiconductors and solidify Oregon's place as a global leader in semiconductor development.

Governor Signs Housing and Homelessness Package

At the moment as Senate Bill 4 was passing in the Senate, Gov. Tina Kotek was holding a signing ceremony for House Bill 2001 and House Bill 5019, our emergency homelessness and housing response package. The bill had previously passed the Legislature with overwhelming bipartisan support. After its passage last week, I hosted a media availability in my office with lawmakers from both sides of the aisle so they could talk a little bit about this achievement.

2001 press conference

A bipartisan, bicameral group of lawmakers who were deeply involved in the crafting of House Bill 2001 and House Bill 5019 spoke to the news media from my office the day after it passed out of the Senate.

Lake Oswego Town Hall April 23

town hall april

Our rescheduled Lake Oswego legislative town hall event will be Sunday, April 23. Hopefully we don’t get snowed out this time! The event will be from 1-2 p.m. the Lake Oswego City Hall Council Chambers with my friends and new State Representatives Jules Walters, Rep. Daniel Nguyen and Lake Oswego Mayor Joe Buck. 

We are there to hear your questions, comments and concerns about anything happening at the local or state level, so come with something to say. It’s always a pleasure to see folks face-to-face and hear from them about the good and bad in their lives and think about where the government might be able to make a positive change.

Budget Writers Want to Hear From You

After a pause two years ago due to the pandemic, our traditional, on-site, biennial Joint Ways and Means Committee budget roadshow is about to commence! This is a great opportunity to speak directly with lawmakers crafting the state’s budget about what programs are important to you. This is a tight budget cycle, so the budget writers are focused on delivering meaningful and targeted investments in areas such as education, health care, housing, homelessness and behavioral health. What they have so far is just a framework, like the frame of a house -- while it is a critical starting point, there is a lot of work left to do until we see what the kitchen looks like. Here are the times, dates and locations of the stops on the budget roadshow and links to where you can sign up to testify in-person:

Saturday, April 8 (10:00 am - 12:00 pm)  Portland
Location: Portland Community College - PAC Auditorium, Sylvania Campus
12000 SW 49th Ave, Portland, OR 97219
Sign Up to Testify Here

Friday, April 14 (5:00 - 7:00 pm)  Newport
Location: Newport Performing Arts Center
777 W Olive St, Newport, OR 97365
Sign Up to Testify Here

Friday, April 21 (5:00 - 7:00 pm) – Roseburg
Location: Umpqua Community College
1140 Umpqua College Rd, Roseburg, OR 9747
Sign Up to Testify Here

Friday, April 28 (5:00 - 7:00 pm MT)  Ontario
Location: Four Rivers Cultural Center 
676 SW 5th Ave, Ontario, OR 97914
Sign Up to Testify Here

Wednesday, May 3 (5:00 - 7:00 pm) - Virtual (Statewide Testimony Opportunity)
Location: Virtual/Remote Testimony accepted
Hearing Room F 
Oregon State Capitol
900 Court St NE, Salem, OR 97301
Sign Up to Testify Here

Headlines From Your Capitol

Statesman Journal: Oregon housing bill includes $5M for on-farm housing improvements

The $200 million housing and homeless package awaiting Gov. Tina Kotek’s signature includes $5 million for on-farm agricultural housing.

The grant program is included in House Bill 2001, an expansive housing bill that aims to declares a housing emergency and invests millions of dollars in housing infrastructure.

Oregonian: Oregon hospitals, unions reach compromise on staffing bill

Oregon’s hospital industry and key unions have been wrangling over legislation on health care staffing since February.

The Oregon Nurses Association, which represents about 15,000 registered nurses and nurse practitioners, has been pushing House Bill 2697 which would impose nurse-to-patient ratios, something the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems has opposed.

Oregon Public Broadcasting: A handful of special education bills moves forward in Oregon Legislature

Several bills moving through the Oregon Legislature this week aim to offer better support for students with disabilities in Oregon.

One bill, Senate Bill 575, would create a statewide education plan for students who receive special education services. The proposal is similar to legislation that created statewide plans for Indigenous students, Black students, Latinx students, and students who identify as LGBTQ+.

Oregon Capital Chronicle: Oregon Senate passes $210 million bill to expand semiconductor sector

The state Senate on Wednesday passed the Oregon CHIPS Act, a move intended to bolster the state’s ability to compete for semiconductor projects and federal money to expand the sector in the state. 

Senate Bill 4 would put $210 million toward giving Oregon a competitive edge and make the state a bigger player for research and manufacturing projects in the semiconductor industry, potentially bringing thousands of jobs to the state and pumping more money into the economy and government budgets for mental health, housing and other services. 

If you would like to contact the Senate President's Office, send an email or call and either myself or a staff member will assist you. If you are a constituent coming to Salem and want to arrange a meeting, I'm always happy to meet, so please let us know well in advance as my schedule fills up quickly.

phone: 503-986-1600
address: 900 Court St NE, S-201, Salem, OR, 97301