Rural Northwest ​Oregon Capitol Updates Vol 18

Senator Suzanne Weber

Rural Northwest ​Oregon Capitol Updates Vol 18

Hello Neighbors and Friends,

As we reach the midpoint of the 82nd legislative session, floor sessions are beginning to occupy a significant portion of our days. The sessions have been so intense that some of them have continued until as late as 9 PM, disrupting the legislators' committee schedules. The workload is expected to remain heavy, with there likely to be more lengthy floor sessions in the coming weeks.

Floor Sessions

Bill Pulls

In a bid to bring attention to bills that might have gone unnoticed, Senate Republicans attempted to withdraw 16 bills from committees that focused on safety and natural resources. Despite the effort, none of the bills were allowed to be heard on the Senate floor.

On Monday, we focused on measures that could have made Oregon communities safer, such as strengthening criminal penalties, controlling the trafficking of fentanyl, expanding the number of patrol troopers on the roads, and addressing issues with Measure 110. The list of bills was extensive, and the aim was to prioritize those that would have had the most impact. The complete list of bills can be found here.

This highlights the challenges faced by minority parties in the legislative process, where they have limited ability to control the agenda. However, the effort made by Senate Republicans underlines the importance of prioritizing bills that could make a significant difference in people's lives.

Bills of Note

I am very pleased to announce that SB 409 passed out of the Senate this week.  This bill requires school boards to post a link to the Oregon Department of Education website, which parents can click to see the list of textbooks and other instructional materials adopted by the State Board of Education.  As simple as this seems, it is very impactful for parents.  By empowering parents with the knowledge of what their children are being taught, we are better positioning them to be able to help their children learn essential skills like reading, writing and math. You can read more about it here: Oregon Senate Passes SB 409

Local Matters

Lewis and Clark Bridge Emergency Closure

As many of you know Washington Dept of Transportation (WSDOT) announced that Wednesday April 12th that starting at 6 p.m., the Lewis and Clark Bridge, which spans the Columbia River and connects Longview, Wash. to Rainier, Ore., would be closed to all vehicles for emergency repairs. 

State officials said maintenance crews had discovered a fractured floor beam that needed immediate repair. The bridge re-opened at 6 a.m. Thursday April 13th.  

However, it seems the issue that is shown in this picture was brought forward in the fall of 2022 by a concerned community member and may indeed be the cause of the other issues on the bridge. Learn more here: WSDOT says emergency repair was temporary fix


I know I am stating the obvious when I say this bridge is very important to our district and it should be given the proper attention. I am pleased to see that the plan is still going forward to take care of some of these issues this summer.  You can see the Project overview here: SR433 Lewis & Clark Bridge Finger Joint Replacement Project

Consuming Local Seafood Contributes to a Healthier Environment

Buying and consuming locally grown or produced food is beneficial for our physical health and the environment. The Oregon Coast Visitors Association's research shows that 90% of seafood consumed in Oregon Coast is imported from far-off sources, despite the state exporting seafood widely overseas. By purchasing more local seafood, Oregonians can cut emissions significantly and contribute to the local economy. In 2021 alone, $105 million was spent on imported fish.

“Reducing the carbon footprint of Oregon’s seafood industry while protecting oceans in other parts of the world just makes sense,” OCVA Executive Director Marcus Hinz said. “Currently, planes are leaving Oregon with exported seafood and passing planes that are flying in from around the world with imported seafood that we are actually selling and consuming on the Oregon Coast. To make matters worse, the fishing practices of most of these countries are destroying ecosystems with outdated gear and fishing practices.”

The Ocean Seafare initiative by OCVA aims to increase the economic and environmental benefits of the local seafood catch in Oregon Coast's communities. Currently, re-importing seafood by shipping it overseas for processing and then back to the United States for consumption nearly doubles the carbon footprint of our food, making up a significant portion of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. For instance, in 2018, China processed 57 percent of American seafood exports before shipping them back to the United States.

Shortening supply chains and connecting local seafood producers, harvesters, retailers, and consumers can make Oregon's food industry more climate-friendly. Sourcing seafood within the state can save transportation costs and reduce seafood-related carbon emissions by 76 percent, as food production makes up a quarter of all human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. By supporting the Ocean Seafare initiative, Oregonians can help combat this trend and capture more economic and environmental value from their local seafood catch.

“Wild seafood has a lower carbon footprint than red meat, cheese and chicken,” OCVA Deputy Director Arica Sears said. “Across the globe, consumers are making more conscientious food choices to reduce their carbon footprints. Oregon’s food industries – and particularly our coastal seafood industry – have a special opportunity to support this trend by increasing availability of foods, saving the atmosphere from the carbon cost of food transportation.”

You can learn more about the program here:

Another 4.0 earthquake rumbles off Oregon’s coast

The recent detection of a magnitude 4.0 earthquake off the coast of Oregon has captured the attention of many residents in the area. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) reported that the temblor occurred on Sunday morning, approximately 270 miles west of Yachats. Although the earthquake was relatively minor in strength, it still caused concern among locals and residents of nearby communities.

Despite the USGS's initial report, there have been no reports of casualties or property damage resulting from the earthquake. Additionally, only three people have completed the USGS's "Felt Report" survey, indicating that the earthquake may not have been noticeable to many people in the area.

Oregonian/OregonLive Real-Time Earthquake Map

However, earthquakes of this magnitude are not uncommon in the region, as evidenced by the Oregonian/OregonLive Real-Time Earthquake Map(as pictured above). The map, which is updated every 15 minutes, shows that similar earthquakes have occurred in the area in recent weeks. For instance, a magnitude 4.0 earthquake struck around 132 miles west of Coos Bay on March 26, while a magnitude 4.3 earthquake occurred in the same area of the Pacific Ocean on March 17. Fortunately, these earthquakes caused no damage or tsunami warnings.

As residents in the area become more accustomed to the frequent earthquakes, it's important to remember that being prepared for natural disasters is always crucial. Earthquakes can strike at any moment, and it's essential to have an emergency kit, a disaster plan, and stay informed about potential hazards in your area. While the recent earthquake may not have caused any significant damage, it's still a reminder of the importance of taking preventative measures to ensure the safety of yourself and your loved ones. You can read more about the recent seismic activity here.

From the District

From The District with SW State Senator


Please listen here on SoundCloud or view the episode here on YouTube.

Other Matters

The May 16 Election is Fast Approaching


The Oregonian/OregonLive

As we approach the May 16 election, the deadline for registering to vote is also quickly approaching. If you want your voice to be heard in the upcoming election, it’s important that you register to vote by Tuesday, April 25th. This is an opportunity for citizens to have a say in their local community by casting their votes on a variety of local races.

The May election is an important time for local races, as it includes various races such as school boards, water districts, fire districts and other important roles within our communities. These local races have a major impact on our communities, and it’s essential that voters take the time to research and learn about each candidate that is running for office.

In some areas, the school board races are shaping up to be rather heated and potentially costly for those involved, with Oregon’s sixth-largest school district being a notable example. In addition, Multnomah County voters will decide on a county commission seat, which will play a critical role in shaping the policies and direction of the county.

As citizens, it's our responsibility to participate in the electoral process and ensure that our voices are heard. By taking the time to register to vote and cast our ballots, we can have a meaningful impact on the future of our local communities. So, don't miss out on this critical opportunity, make sure to register to vote before the deadline and make your voice heard in the upcoming election.

Preparing Oregonians for benefit changes

During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE), the federal government extended health coverage, including services and supports for people with disabilities and older adults, and provided extra food benefits, along with other regulatory flexibilities. The flexibilities and temporary programs will end as the federal COVID-19 PHE phases out.

The Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) and Oregon Health Authority (OHA) are working together to prepare for the unwinding of the COVID-19 PHE. Together the agencies provide benefits and services to one in three people in Oregon through the Oregon Eligibility (ONE) system. The joint agency effort focuses on the medical services and support for people with disabilities and older adults, and food benefits issued through ONE.

Oregon Legislative Information System

Both committee hearings and floor proceedings are available to watch online. You can track bills and be notified when a hearing is scheduled. I recommend spending some time learning about it by visiting Oregon Legislative Information System (OLIS). Links to the instructional videos for each of the "How To" lines below are included in the attachments.

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:  ​​