Halfway Through Session!

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Representative Susan McLain

Hello Friends and Neighbors,

What a week it has been! We are officially halfway through Session and the pace is ramping up. We've had "Superfloor" every day, meaning extended time on the House Floor to accommodate discussion on the moving bills. The days have felt long but productive, and I'm proud of my fellow Caucus members for their dedication to advancing important legislation.

Last Friday, I was honored to participate in the Joint Committee on Ways and Means Roadshow. There are four more roadshows left, and I plan on being at almost all of them. They offer a great opportunity for the public to testify in front of lawmakers about the state budget. Hundreds of people attended the two-hour listening session last week at Portland Community College's Sylvania campus, where we heard from audience members on how they want to allocate the $32 billion from the general and lottery funds. I was thrilled to hear from the many advocates in the crowd voicing their support for a wide spectrum of efforts relating to education, environment, labor and much more. This evening, I will be driving to Newport to speak at the second Ways and Means Roadshow. I am looking forward to fruitful conversations with community members on the coast!

On Wednesday, I had the opportunity to join the Willamette Women Democrats on Zoom in between Floor votes to share updates on the ongoing Interstate Bridge Replacement Project. We are currently in the phase of the program where the process is critical and clearly defined by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), a federal law that requires federal agencies to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of their proposed actions. Following the NEPA process is essential in ensuring that the public's concerns and priorities are considered in decision-making through a transparent process. Process is also important because infrastructure projects involve significant investment of time, money, and resources. A good process helps ensure that these resources are used effectively and efficiently and the final solution addresses the needs identified for the project. We are engaging in ongoing conversations with community leaders and advocates throughout our project timeline. 


Democratic Caucus Selfie on the House Floor this week!




Partners for Hunger-Free Oregon



On Wednesday, I met with a large group of community leaders, including some of my constituents, who were hosting an Advocacy Day for the Food for All Oregonians Bill (Senate Bill 610) and the Hunger-Free Campus Bill (House Bill 3089). Partners for Hunger-Free Oregon is an organization that raises awareness about hunger, connects Oregonians to nutrition programs and fights for legislative change on the legislative level.

Both of their bills are aimed at addressing food insecurity and expanding SNAP opportunities. I was proud to sponsor the Benefits Navigator bill (HB 2835) during the 2021 Session, which required each community college and public university to hire a benefits navigator to assist students in determining eligibility and applying for federal, state and local benefits programs, and I am proud to support efforts to expand this program this Session. These advocates are taking critical steps to help Oregonians and their families, especially our low-income communities, communities of color and student population, become self-sufficient and thrive in our state. 




Susan McLain in front of the Interstate 5 Bridge

As Co-Chair of both the Joint Transportation Committee and the Interstate 5 Bridge Committee, I have spent much of the last year working hard to ensure that we keep on track in our efforts to replace the I-5 Bridge and that we meet our $1 billion match obligation with Washington State. The Washington State Legislature approved their $1 billion payment to continue moving forward with the Interstate Bridge Replacement program last year, and this Session it is Oregon's turn to pass a $1 billion funding match.  

Oregon and Washington's Governors and Legislatures have been committed to this project for five years, and the Bi-State Committee has been meeting since 2019. Timing is important and we need to authorize our $1 billion match this Session to ensure that we are at the front of the queue for federal transportation grants that are coming due in May of 2023. To that end, I am proud to share that last night the Joint Transportation Committee started this important discussion by presenting House Bill 2098 with the -2 amendment. At our committee hearing, we also heard invited testimony from the Interstate Bridge Replacement Program Administrator, Greg Johnson, ODOT Director Kris Strickler, jurisdictional leaders Metro President Lynn Peterson and Vancouver Mayor Ann McEnerny-Ogle, and user and stakeholder groups.

Last night's hearing was only the start of important discussions this Session and the Joint Transportation Leadership looks forward to robust conversations over the next month. We will have a follow-up informational meeting on House Bill 2098, with the -2 amendment next Thursday, April 20, and are planning a public hearing (with public testimony) on the bill on Thursday, April 27th. Please note that these dates are tentative and subject to change depending on Floor schedules in both the House and the Senate. 

You can watch last night's hearing on OLIS and I also recommend viewing the presentation from Interstate Bridge Replacement Program Administrator Greg Johnson and ODOT Director Kris Strickler. There is also a Legislative Fact Sheet posted on OLIS.


Recent News Articles on the I-5 Bridge Replacement Process:

KGW's recent "The Story" episode on the funding for the I-5 Bridge

The Story on I-5 Bridge

Oregon Capital Chronicle: "Oregon lawmakers hear pitch to pay $1 billion toward replacing Interstate 5 bridge"

The Oregonian: "Lawmakers float $1 billion plan for Oregon’s share of new Interstate Bridge"

World Highways Article on bi-state efforts to replace the I-5 Bridge 

OPB: "Consensus support for I-5 bridge tolling at Washington hearing"

The Columbian: "In Our View: Drawbridge, tunnel miss mark"

The Columbian: "In Our View: Tolling on new I-5 Bridge sensible, equitable"

Pamplin Papers: "OPINION by Senator Gorsek and Rep. McLain: Oregon Must Invest in I-5 Bridge Replacement - now, not later"


Interstate Bridge Replacement Program Updates

April Updates from the I-5 Bridge Replacement Program

Why is the Process so Important?

You’ve been hearing us discuss “process” a lot recently. That is because we are currently in the phase of the program where the process is critical and clearly defined by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), a federal law that requires federal agencies to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of their proposed actions. Following the NEPA process is essential in ensuring that the public's concerns and priorities are considered in decision-making through a transparent process.

Process is also important because infrastructure projects involve significant investment of time, money, and resources. A good process helps ensure that these resources are used effectively and efficiently and the final solution addresses the needs identified for the project.  For the Interstate Bridge Replacement program, this means that we must find a comprehensive solution that will address all six of the following transportation problems: seismic vulnerability, inadequate active transportation facilities, limited public transportation, impaired freight movement, safety concerns with existing roadway design, and congestion and reliability.Overall, following a good process is important for the success of any infrastructure project, but is even more critical on a project as large and complex as the IBR program. 


U.S. Coast Guard Coordination Update

An undertaking as complex and far reaching as the IBR requires the involvement of several federal agencies with regulatory authority over many aspects of the program. The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) is our partner tasked with ensuring the needs of navigation on the Columbia River are met, and is the regulatory authority who ultimately approves bridge height, and issues the required Bridge Permit. After recent discussion around the program’s approach to the environmental analysis of the Modified Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA), the USCG submitted a letter to our federal agency partners requesting the program analyze an option that meets their preliminary navigation clearance determination (PNCD)  for at least 178 feet of vertical clearance.

In response, the program is pursuing two paths simultaneously:

  • Continuing the work necessary to seek a revised preliminary navigation clearance determination from USCG for a vertical clearance of 116 feet. We are working with potentially impacted users to negotiate mitigation agreements. In these ongoing conversations, potentially impacted users have expressed support for the replacement of the bridge and an interest in agreement discussions to offset potential impacts.

  • As part of the Draft SEIS, the program will analyze a movable span that will meet the PNCD as a design variation to the Modified LPA. The program is continuing to work to identify details of what will be analyzed to incorporate a movable span in the environmental documentation. Part of this will include details around lift restrictions to minimize impacts to automobile, active transportation and transit traffic on the bridge.

The results of the studies will be included in our Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS), which will be released later this year for public review and comment. The program is simultaneously continuing conversations with river users potentially impacted by the 116-foot fixed span river crossing design option. We anticipate applying for a bridge permit in the 2025/2026 timeframe. The IBR program is committed to continued collaboration with the U.S. Coast Guard and other federal agency partners to identify a solution that best meets the needs of all travelers through the corridor.


Upcoming IBR Program Meetings

Click on the image below for more information on the Interstate Bridge Replacement Program's upcoming meetings:

Upcoming IBR Program Events




Winner of Hillsboro If I Were Mayor Contest Congratulated by Mayor Callaway

Written by our Legislative Intern, Ishaan Sinha



Maria Solano, a 4th grade student at Witch Hazel Elementary, was awarded first place in the annual If I Were Mayor contest. The contest tasks students with creating a poster for what they would do if they were mayor. Entries are reviewed by the Hillsboro Youth Advisory Council on their creativity and ideas.

Maria's entry will be submitted to the state competition held by the Oregon Mayor's Association for a chance to win a prize. The City awarded Maria a YAC swag bag, a pizza party for her class, and an invitation to speak and share her ideas at the City Council meeting. Maria's entry was written in Spanish and was the first ever Spanish entry to win first place.

Attached below is what Maria said:

"If I were mayor, I would send resources to schools. To better the environment towards students and families. Because as citizens and students, we have to cooperate to make our community a better place.

For example, the resources given will not only help students, they will help our city with food and an improved environment.

Establishing security, equity, acceptance and responsibility between us. Not only for our benefit but to make a change.

To be mayor we must consider not only our own improvement but the improvement of everyone else."





Always a pleasure to catch up with former students!

Luda is now the President of the Associated Students of the University of Oregon (ASUO)

Very proud!




I always enjoy meeting with Junior Achievement and hearing about the future-building opportunities they extend to young people. I am excited for students and families to enjoy this new hands-on, learning space in our community.

Junior Achievement Discovery Center Groundbreaking



On Tuesday, Apr. 4 members of the nonprofit organization Junior Achievement (JA - jaorswwa.org) gathered with representatives from the City of Hillsboro, Hillsboro School District, Northwest Regional Education Service District, and local businesses to commemorate the official groundbreaking for the new JA Discovery Center that will open this fall. In November 2022, the Hillsboro City Council approved a lease with JA for 12,420 square feet of space on the second floor of the Hillsboro Civic Center for the Center, which will host JA’s two signature programs: JA BizTown and JA Finance Park. The Center will provide access to students in Clatsop, Columbia, Tillamook, and Washington Counties, and is the 44th of its kind to open in the U.S.


Inauguración del Centro de Descubrimiento de Junior Achievement

El martes, 4 de abril los miembros de la organización sin fines de lucro Junior Achievement (JA - jaorswwa.org) se reunieron con los representantes de la Ciudad de Hillsboro, el Distrito Escolar de Hillsboro, el Distrito de Servicio Educativo Regional del Noroeste y las empresas locales para conmemorar la inauguración oficial del nuevo Centro de Descubrimiento JA de Junior Achievement que abrirá este otoño. En noviembre de 2022, el Concejo Municipal de Hillsboro aprobó un contrato de arrendamiento con JA por 12,420 pies cuadrados de espacio en el segundo piso del Centro Cívico de Hillsboro para este centro, que albergará los dos programas representativos de JA: JA BizTown y JA Finance Park. El Centro de Descubrimiento brindará oportunidades a los estudiantes en los condados de Clatsop, Columbia, Tillamook y Washington, y es el 44.º de su tipo que se inaugura en EE.UU.


Our city is brighter and better with our diverse population of immigrant Oregonians. I am happy that we recently celebrated the unique journeys of each new citizen and their families in our city!

Naturalization Ceremony in Hillsboro



Family and friends cheered as 40 applicants from 23 countries took the Oath of Allegiance inside the Shirley Huffman Auditorium at the Hillsboro Civic Center on March 30.

Mayor Callaway told the group, “You each have a unique story, you each are on a unique journey. But today one thing you all have in common is that your perseverance, your determination, and your resilience have led you to this moment. You are citizens of the United States of America.”

The event marked the third time that the Hillsboro Public Library has hosted a naturalization ceremony in partnership with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Congratulations to all 40 new citizens and your families!


Ceremonia de Naturaleza en Hillsboro

Familia y amigos celebremos como 40 aplicantes de 23 condados tomaron el juramento de Lealtad dentro del auditorio Shiley Huffman en Centro Cívico de Hillsboro el 30 de Marzo. 

El mayor Callaway le dijo al grupo, “Cada uno de ustedes tiene una historia única, cada uno de ustedes tiene un viaje único. Pero hoy todos ustedes tienen algo en común que es su perseverancia, su determinación, y su resiliencia que los ha llevado a este momento. Ustedes son ciudadanos de Estados Unidos de América.”

El evento marco la tercera vez que la Librería Pública de Hillsboro ha organizado una ceremonia de naturalización en asociacion de Servicios de Inmigracion y Ciudadania de los Estados Unidos (USCIS).

Gracias para todos los 40 nuevos ciudadanos y sus familias



I am sending a warm congratulations to Mariachi Tradicion, a Forest Grove High School band that is enjoying well-deserved success and recognition for their beautiful performances!

Forest Grove High School mariachi band plays for big audiences



Mariachi Tradicion, a band made up of students from Forest Grove High School, has played with the Oregon Symphony, in front of audiences at Pickathon music festival and will now perform later this month at the Jack London Revue. The band was founded seven years ago by Lesslie Nuñez as an afterschool club at the middle school. Now, it is the only band from the Pacific Northwest to attend the International Mariachi Conference in Tucson, Arizona, every year. Nuñez and the band join us for music and conversation.

Band members include:

Marc Fernandez

Xochitl Gonzalez-Viveros

Carlos Marquez Vargas

Raquel Lopez Andrade

Jesus Contreras Aguilera

Citlalli Tinoco Avalos

Emilio Giron

Dulceluna Cebrera Gomez

Aaron Andrade

Erik Bonilla-Vallejo

Ashley Aguilera Hernandez

Lizzly Izquierdo-Mendoza




If you are 55+ and raising a grandchild or other relative, Washington County Disability, Aging and Veteran Services can provide resources and other support through RAPP (Relatives as Parents Program). Learn more at one of two upcoming info sessions. Details on flyer below or call 503-846-3090. Register at https://bit.ly/RAPP-April24 or https://bit.ly/RAPP-April28.

The Oregon CHIPS Act recently passed in Oregon, which will create good-paying, long-term jobs in every corner of our state. If you are interested in working in the semiconductor industry, this training is a great way to earn valuable training and get paid while doing it!

Paid Semiconductor Training



Learn the skills you need for a fast track to employment with Intel and other semiconductor manufacturers- in just 10 days! Training is provided by PCC at Willow Creek Opportunity Center. Participants will receive a $500 training stipend per week. Entry-level positions start at $18-24 per hour. A high school diploma or GED is required.

Join an informational session on April 18 at 10am, or May 4 at 6pm at our economic development center:
Centro de Prosperidad
400 E Main St, Hillsboro, OR 97123
Aprenda las habilidades que necesita para acceder rápidamente a un empleo con Intel y otros fabricantes de semiconductores, ¡en solo 10 días! PCC brinda capacitación en Willow Creek Opportunity Center. Los participantes recibirán un estipendio de capacitación de $500 por semana. Los puestos de nivel de entrada comienzan en $ 18-24 por hora. Se requiere un diploma de escuela secundaria o GED.
Únase a una sesión informativa el 18 de abril a las 10am o el 4 de mayo a las 6pm en nuestro centro de desarrollo económico:

Centro de Prosperidad

400 E Main St, Hillsboro, OR 97123



I am proud to live in a state that protects and affirm every Oregonian’s right to choose.

Oregon Health Authority Commitment to Reproductive Access



Federal district courts in the states of Washington and Texas issued conflicting rulings on access to mifepristone, one of two medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in a medication abortion.

Mifepristone was first approved by the FDA more than 20 years ago and is a safe and effective method of ending an early pregnancy. In 2021, medication abortion accounted for nearly 60% of abortions performed in Oregon, according to Oregon Health Authority (OHA) data.

Oregon Health Authority is committed to ensuring access to a full range of essential reproductive health services, including abortion. State health officials are reviewing the federal court decisions in consultation with the Oregon Department of Justice and the office of Gov. Tina Kotek. OHA wants to reassure patients and providers that mifepristone and abortion remain safe, legal and available in Oregon.

To read the court rulings, visit: http://ow.ly/gqrH50NEs5Zhttp://ow.ly/Bs6n50NEs60


An Update on COVID-19 Related Telehealth Visits and Treatment from the Oregon Health Authority

COVID-19 Telehealth Available for Pregnant People and Youth 12+


Pregnant people and youth as young as 12 can now use Color Health’s online or telephone support to get the COVID-19 antiviral medication, Paxlovid.

Eligible children ages 12-17 must have parental or adult caregiver consent to use the Color Health service.

Paxlovid is an antiviral pill for non-hospitalized patients, taken orally for five consecutive days. It is available by prescription to people age 12 and up infected with the COVID-19 virus who have conditions that put them at risk for severe illness.

To learn more, visit: http://ow.ly/kEoV50NEqmQ



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 business.sos@oregon.gov, using the “Need Help?” button found on most state agency websites or visiting www.oregon.gov/smallbusiness.

Education Links

Local Government

Utilities Assistance

Food and Housing Assistance


Oregon Health Authority

hot air


Springtime means hot air balloons, tulip fields and a clear view of Mount Hood!

Yours truly,

Representative Susan McLain

Representative Susan McLain
House District 29

email: Rep.SusanMcLain@oregonlegislature.gov I phone: 503-986-1429
address: 900 Court St NE, H-489, Salem, OR 97301
website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/mclain