Rural Northwest ​Oregon Capitol Updates Vol 21

Senator Suzanne Weber

Dear Neighbors and Friends,

Here we are, well into the 82nd legislative session and things have taken a turn.  Floor sessions this week provided quite the show for any who found themselves watching.

Floor Sessions

Follow the law

Although I was excused from the Senate this last week for medical reasons, I support the actions of my colleagues both Republican and Independent and have since joined them in protest.  This is about two things:

  1. Protecting the rights of parents to be involved in the personal medical decisions of their children.
  2. Insisting that those who sponsor legislation, as well as the public, fully understand what is in that legislation.

The contents of HB 2002 are extreme. Allowing children to undergo serious, life-altering procedures without even notifying parents.  Decriminalizing the concealing of the corpse of a newborn, which HB 2002 does, is wrong. The bill is dangerous, unnecessary, and of questionable constitutionality.  Please see the bill here:  HB 2002

When I ran for the Senate I stated that I did not anticipate abortion coming before the Legislature next session and that we have too many other issues that need to come before us.  I stand by my statement and still believe that abortion rights are not at risk in Oregon and we should be working together on mental health, homelessness, housing shortages, education, and transportation.

While I understand you may not agree with decisions made by me or my colleagues in this case, it is clear to me that many, many do. The number of emails and calls I’ve received from those who oppose our decisions has been in the dozens. The number I’ve received in support has been in the hundreds. While I certainly don’t expect every one of my constituents to agree with all of my votes and choices, I strongly believe that most do in this case. I respect those who disagree with me and genuinely appreciate you taking the time to reach out and voice your opinion.  

Again, it is my hope that we can move beyond this extreme legislation as soon as possible, so we can return to addressing the real concerns that are facing Oregonians that we were sent to Salem to address for the good of all Oregonians.  

It is clear that legislation we adopt must be plainly written and easy to understand. Anything less disenfranchises Oregonians across the state and violates the law in the process. If Democrat leadership refuses to comply, it is our responsibility to hold them accountable to process and rules which I have copied here if you would like to understand them better.

Oregon Senate Rules 2023.pdf (  Rule 13.02 directs you to ORS 171.134 which I have noted below.

“Any measure digest or measure summary prepared by the Legislative Assembly shall be written in a manner that results in a score of at least 60 on the Flesch readability test or meets an equivalent standard of a comparable test. [1979 c.270 §1]”   ORS 171.134 - Readability test for legislative digests and summaries 

HB 2002


Below you will find my recent press release regarding this situation.

Press Release

What Is the Flesch Reading Ease Score?


Rudolph Flesch may not have had a very shiny nose, but he still went down in history. During the 1940s, Flesch developed a formula to improve the readability of newspapers. It produced a score based on the percentage of the population able to read at each writing level. Although the percentages have since lost their relevance, it is still one of the most widely used measures of readability.

The Flesch Reading Ease Score grades your writing from 0 to 100. It calculates this using your average sentence length and the average number of syllables per sentence. The higher your score, the more readable your content is. Have a look at the below Flesch Reading Ease chart for reference.

Flesch Reading Ease Chart

Flesch reading score Reading difficulty

90-10 Very easy

80-90 Easy

70-80 Fairly easy

60-70 Plain English

50-60 Fairly difficult

30-50 Difficult

0-30 Very difficult

Content with a score of 70 is easy to read for most of the population. Content with a score of 0-30 is much more challenging to understand and is more suited for academic papers.

What Is the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level?

The Flesch Reading Ease Score is a great tool in theory but lacks real-world meaning.

The Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level puts the Flesch Reading Ease Score into context. It assigns each score bracket with a corresponding grade. The scale typically ranges from 0-12 to represent each of the US school grade levels. Contrary to the reading ease score, the lower your Flesch-Kincaid grade level, the higher your readability.

For those outside America, you can think of it as the years of education needed to understand your writing. For example, copy with a score of 12 would require 12 years of schooling to understand.

As a rule of thumb, you should aim for a Flesh Kincaid Grade Level of eight or lower. This doesn’t mean that you need to “dumb down” your content. It means that you should strive to communicate your ideas in the clearest way possible. Typically, using shorter sentences and keeping your content straight to the point does the trick.

How Do Flesch Tests Work?

Now that you know what they are and why they’re useful let’s break down the formulas for each of the Flesch Tests.

The Flesch Reading Ease formula:

206.835 – 1.015 * (words/sentences) – 84.6 * (syllables/words).

The Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level formula:

0.39 x (words/sentences) + 11.8 x (syllables/words) – 15.59.

As you can see, there are two key variables that adjust the readability score of your content. These are the average amount of words per sentence and the average amount of syllables per word.

 Flesch Reading Ease: Everything You Need to Know​ (

 Flesch Kincaid Calculator | Good Calculators

Local Matters

Local Medicine

I want to say thank you to the very talented dentists, doctors and other medical professionals that choose to work on the Oregon coast! Below is me at my recent dentist appointment where my dentist was kind enough to take this photo.


Joint Ways and Means Committee Hears from Dozens at Ontario Community Budget Meeting


During a two-hour community budget hearing in Ontario, Oregon, 60 Oregonians directly testified to members of the Joint Ways and Means Committee on Friday. People traveled from various locations in Eastern Oregon to voice their beliefs about how politicians should use taxpayer funds in the upcoming 2023-2025 biennium. This hearing was the fourth destination on the 2023 Ways and Means "roadshow."

On Saturday, lawmakers received a presentation on the particular challenges and prospects that Malheur County faces due to its proximity to Idaho, along with ways that the Oregon Legislature could assist the region. Following this, the party was given a tour of a 3D printed home facility in Ontario, a new technology that could help Oregon attain its ambitious housing production objectives.

Photos of the committee hearing and the Saturday tour are available here.

The Joint Ways and Means Committee’s community hearings will continue with a virtual meeting this week:

Wednesday, May 3 (5:00 - 7:00 pm) - Statewide Virtual Testimony Opportunity

Location: Hearing Room F, Oregon State Capitol

900 Court St NE, Salem, OR 97301

Virtual/remote testimony accepted

Members of the public can register to testify here

North Coast Opens For Razor Clam Harvesting

Crab People

The Oregon Department of Agriculture and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife announce a new shellfish opening. Razor clamming is open from the Washington border to Tillamook Head, just south of Seaside. Recent samples show levels of the marine biotoxin domoic acid have dropped below the closure limit.

Razor clamming remains closed from Tillamook Head to the California border for elevated levels of the marine biotoxin domoic acid.

Recreational crabbing is closed on the southern Oregon coast from Takenitch Creek (8 miles north of Winchester Bay) at N 43° 47’, to Cape Blanco, at N 42° and 50’, for elevated levels of the marine biotoxin domoic acid. This includes Dungeness crab and red rock crab harvested from the ocean, in bays and estuaries, and on beaches, docks, piers and jetties.

Recreational crab harvesting is open from the Washington border south to Takenitch Creek (8 miles north of Winchester Bay), and open from Cape Blanco south to the California border. This includes the ocean, bays and estuaries, and on beaches, docks, piers and jetties.

Mussel and bay clam harvesting remain open along the entire Oregon coast. The Oregon Department of Agriculture will continue to test for shellfish toxins twice per month, as tides and weather permit. Reopening an area closed for biotoxins requires two consecutive tests with results below the closure limit. Contact the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife for recreational license requirements, permits, rules and limits.

For more information call Oregon Department of Agriculture's (ODA) shellfish biotoxin safety hotline at (800) 448-2474, the Food Safety Division at (503) 986-4720

Recreational crabbing closed along southern Oregon coast due to elevated levels of marine biotoxin

Recreational crabbing has been temporarily banned along the southern coast of Oregon due to increased levels of marine biotoxin. The Oregon Department of Agriculture announced that all crab harvested from the south coast, from Cape Arago to the California border, is unsafe for consumption. These areas include popular recreational crabbing locations such as Coos Bay, Charleston, and Brookings.

The ban does not apply to commercially harvested crabs sold in retailers or restaurants, as they are tested for toxin levels regularly. The department is monitoring the situation and will lift the ban once toxin levels have decreased to safe levels. You can read more about the situation here.

Tillamook High School: State Champions and going to Nationals in Atlanta!

Tillamook High School is celebrating the success of three seniors who achieved outstanding results at the 2023 Oregon Future Business Leaders State Conference in April. Daniel Carillo and Jaden Spence won first place for their E-Business project that involved creating a website and a business plan for a lodging service in Tillamook County. Their achievement secured them a place at the FBLA Nationals in Atlanta this summer. Another senior, Adan Rios, earned a top-four finish for his sales presentation on financial advising, which also qualified him for Nationals.

The FBLA Nationals provide members with an opportunity to learn about career opportunities in business, entrepreneurship, and technology information. Tillamook's FBLA delegates are excited about participating in FBLA Nationals for the first time. In addition to Daniel, Jaden, and Adan, two other members of the THS FBLA team provided excellent performances in cybersecurity and leadership programming. 

To help cover the cost of attending the Nationals, Tillamook HS FBLA is working to raise $10,000 over the next five weeks. The team members are eager to participate, and they are relying on community support to reach their fundraising goal and represent their school in Atlanta. Tillamook HS FBLA acknowledged the kind donations made by Burden's Towing, Donnie & Michelle Jenck, and Grocery Outlet. For those interested in contributing to the Tillamook FBLA trip, information is available from FBLA advisor Tayler Howard at

Tillamook High School's FBLA program is making an impressive debut appearance at the state FBLA conference. Four out of the five students representing THS qualified to participate in the State Finals. The accomplishments of Daniel, Jaden, and Adan in the state competition have given them an exciting opportunity to represent Tillamook and Oregon at the FBLA Nationals, highlighting the school's commitment to high-quality business education. The FBLA members are looking forward to rising to the challenge and learning more about business management, leadership, and technology information.

Other Matters

Shemia Fagan resigns as Oregon secretary of state following cannabis consulting scandal

Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan is resigning from her position due to recent discoveries regarding her business entanglements with a cannabis business called La Mota. According to reports, Fagan had taken up a job with the company as a paid consultant, making $10,000 a month as well as a $30,000 new location bonus everytime she was able to establish a new location outside of Oregon and New Mexico for the company to build new storefronts. The owners of La Mota also made campaign contributions to Fagan during her race to become Secretary of State. 

Fagans office was undergoing an audit of the cannabis industry, and in particular La Mota. The company has quite the substantial amount of back taxes owed to the state. Although Fagan recused herself from the audit, reports find that their input affected the direction of the audit. Fagan cited her salary of $77,000 a year not being enough to support her family as the primary reason for taking up the job. You can read more about the situation 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.

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.

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:  ​​