🍎 $10.2 Billion Announced for State School Fund!

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Courtney Neron

Dear Neighbors and Friends, 

We are in the final stretch of the session with just over a month until our constitutional sine die (end of session). My team and I have been busy and working hard on your behalf this session and this newsletter is full of updates to share with you!

Rep Neron at Charbonneau Constituent Coffee


First of all I want to thank the Charbonneau community for attending my constituent coffee this weekend. We discussed tolling, coyote activity, the airport, and more. Please keep in touch via email and monthly events so I can continue to hear your perspectives. My contact information is at the end of this newsletter and I hope to connect with you. 

Table of Contents 

Revenue Forecast

Last Wednesday, we received surprising and hopeful news about the Revenue Forecast. With an unexpected nearly $1.9 billion more in tax revenue than anticipated and a $5.5 billion kicker refund to Oregonians, we are in stable financial shape for the coming biennium. Still, we know that inflation is creating significant burdens for working Oregonians and we need to invest wisely to lower costs and stabilize our communities. 

Stabilizing Schools - $10.2 Billion for the State School Fund

Today, Oregon Democrats announced a plan to invest $10.2 billion in the State School Fund in addition to the $1 billion in funding from the Student Success Act. This will stabilize current resources and make sure that students and educators have what they need to succeed. We know that the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted learning and our students have greater learning, behavioral and mental health needs. 

I left my classroom in 2019 to fight and advocate for stable and sufficient funding. As a teacher, I saw firsthand the impacts of underfunding of K-12 education. Now, as a legislator, I believe that the state must provide stable funding for Oregon’s schools so that we can ensure a strong foundation for all students to grow, learn, and thrive. A $10.2 billion investment into our K-12 State School Fund will allow us to continue responding to significant equity gaps, give students high-quality education, and improve learning outcomes. Achieving this level of investment means the world to educators and their students.

You can read the announcement in this press release linked here. You can watch the remonstrance I delivered last week to advocate for school funding linked below. 

Rep Neron School Funding Remonstrance

Where We Are In Session and What I've Been Up To

Last Friday was the second chamber work session deadline, meaning bills in policy committees must have passed out of one chamber, and be passed out of committee in their second chamber to continue moving forward this session (the Rules, Revenue and Joint Ways and Means Committees follow a different timeline). Bills that passed out of the House but did not pass out of a committee in the Senate are no longer viable. This is one of the last major deadlines before “sine die”, the last day of session in June. Now that the Revenue forecast is out, we are focused on budget refinement and final steps for policy bills.

We’ve had a busy month that included many meetings with constituents, students, and community leaders. We have also held several events in the district and are planning more in the coming month.

Rep Neron outreach photo slides

Huge Win for the District - Pause on Tolling! 

After months of advocacy, Governor Kotek announced a pause on ODOT’s toll project and will convene a special subcommittee to reconsider the tolling project!

Rep Hartman, Rep Walters and I introduced HB 3614 at the end of April (press release linked here).The day it was first read to the House of Representatives, I spoke about the importance of pushing pause on a flawed project and the need to establish a task force with strong representation from a diverse array of stakeholders, including local governments to oversee ODOT’s work relative to tolling. The bill had bipartisan and bicameral support, with 31 legislators signed on as sponsors. 

Rep Neron delivering tolling remonstrance on the House Floor


Our shared advocacy, voices, and concerns have been heard and this is a big win for our district. Shortly after introducing HB3614, Governor Kotek announced that she will put a two year pause on tolling projects and legislative leadership announced the new Joint Committee on Transportation Special Subcommittee on Transportation Planning to ensure oversight and accountability relative to ODOT's work on tolling, consider alternative infrastructure funding options relative to regional mobility and climate, and elevate impacted communities in decision-making. You can read the full press release about our Clackamas County success here, and read the committee announcement press release from the House Speaker and Senate President linked here. 

Working families, residents, and small businesses should not be divided from their town center or shoulder an outsized burden of funding interstate infrastructure. I am hopeful that this committee will ensure equity, logic and communication are at the core of any future work. I will continue to fight for and prioritize our community and hold ODOT accountable. 

My Budget Priorities: Children and Community Investments

As the Chair of the Education committee, I have a tailored budget priority list for our committee work that includes funding our current service level at $10.3 billion (minimum), workforce supports, facilities investments, safety, and education policy priorities. Outside of my education committee, my top budget priorities also focus on upstream investments in young people, as well as investments that promote thriving and connected communities:

Family Preservation Project, HB 2731

The continued funding of the Family Preservation Project (FPP) will allow for the provision of family stabilization and comprehensive wrap-around support services for impacted families and children. Each year, FPP helps dozens of children to either maintain placement with family, or to shorten the amount of time that children remain in care by changing the trajectory of the case from termination of parental rights to “return to parent” plans, saving the state hundreds of thousands of dollars in DHS costs (estimated at $30,000/year/child). 

The Family Preservation Project truly keeps families together and works to break generational cycles of poverty, trauma, and involvement in the criminal justice system. HB 2731 has bipartisan, bicameral support and meets an immediate need for our most vulnerable Oregonians. 

Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children in Foster Care 

In the 2021 Legislative Session, I worked with former Representative Gary Leif to pass HB 2738 to improve efficiency and accountability for the program and to ensure that more children experiencing foster care are supported by well-trained, and culturally responsive CASA volunteers. Since then, the model is paying dividends – for every $1.00 that the state spends on CASA programs, the programs give back over $2.00 in essential services. 

May 18th was CASA Proclamation Day as May is National Foster Care Awareness Month. Continued investments into the CASA program build on this strong foundation and reaffirms our commitment to provide critical wraparound services for Oregon’s children and youth. 

Outdoor Preschool Licensure, HB 2717A 

Currently, there is a significant shortage of childcare slots with only enough childcare slots for 33% of Oregon’s preschool children and the average annual cost of preschool is over $14,000, twice as expensive as public university tuition. My personal bill, HB 2717A would set up a cost-effective preschool licensure program that opens up access to local, state, and federal resources to expand access to strong early learning programs. 

By allowing licensure for outdoor preschools we will start to see more dollars from these programs being leveraged to allow low-income families to enroll children in outdoor preschools. Licensure also means low-income families and children enrolled in services such as Early Intervention can have access to outdoor preschool through subsidized systems that provide financial support, personalized coaching, and resources. 

King City Priority: King City Park Investments 

Senior friendly communities are a top priority for my district. The King City Community Park walking path is in desperate need of repaving to ensure ADA compliance and accessibility for community members of all ages and abilities. As a small city without a park and rec district for such maintenance, I am working on getting state dollars to address the safety hazards at this community hub. I have also been in touch with Kinder Morgan about park improvements and look forward to working with them to ensure pathways and bridges are part of the plan where they have their easement under the power lines. 

Wilsonville Priority: Regionally Specific Industrial Sites Program (RSIS), HB 2258

I continue to advocate for the Regionally Specific Industrial Sites (RSIS) program, a development tool that allows the local community to advance industrial sites to a “shovel-ready” status. This program is an important tool for incentivizing development of infrastructure and family-wage employment opportunities. This bill is a City of Wilsonville top priority and is an investment in future jobs and local businesses. Our bipartisan bill awaits a work session in Ways and Means.

Sherwood Priority: Cedar Creek Trail Highway Undercrossing and Stream Restoration Project

The City of Sherwood, Metro, Senator Woods, and I are collaborating to bring funding to Sherwood for preliminary engineering and hydraulic analysis to replace the current HWY 99W Cedar Creek culvert. This project is a top priority for the City of Sherwood as it will connect the city under the highway, ensure access to safe walkable nature trails, restore fish and wildlife passage, and improve water quality. 

Spanish Driver Safety Education, HB 2951 

Road safety and driver training go hand in hand. My office, in partnership with Centro Cultural, has worked to establish funding for a pilot program for a Spanish Driver’s education program that can serve as a model for other communities throughout the state. Oregon’s Spanish-speaking community members face barriers when trying to obtain a license, including poorly translated driving test questions and inaccessible training opportunities. Analysis from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office found that much of this disparity can be linked to drivers who do not have licenses. The bill to ensure access to driver education in Spanish had a work session in the Joint Committee on Transportation this week and moved to Ways and Means for funding. This investment will improve safety on our roads and address barriers that lead to disproportionate levels of citations of Latinx drivers.

Senate Republican Walkouts 

Much of the unfinished legislative policy and budget work is currently at risk of dying due to the Senate Republicans walking away from their job during a critical time in session. Oregon voters were clear with their overwhelming recent support for Measure 113 - abandoning our democracy is not acceptable. Ten Senate Republicans have decided to challenge the new law and walked out for a total of 10 unexcused absences. They will no be eligible to run for reelection. Their absence denies the quorum necessary to conduct voting in the Senate chamber.

Legislators were elected and sworn in to complete their constitutional duty in representing their constituents and responding to the most pressing issues for Oregonians. By walking out, Senate Republicans are holding up critical legislation, including some of my top priorities which are waiting for a final vote in the Senate before heading to the Governor’s desk. I remain hopeful that they will return, but like so many Oregonians, I am upset by their actions that deny fellow legislators the opportunity to represent their constituents through voting and diplomacy. 

Updates on Some of My Top Policy Priorities 

Coming to the House Floor 

School Ventilation, HB 3031 

Air quality in schools is directly connected to health, absences, attentiveness, and learning outcomes. My school ventilation bill passed the House Rules committee earlier this week and will be heading to the House Floor before going to the Senate. HB 3031 promotes healthy learning environments by helping school districts to pull in state and federal funds for HVAC improvements to upgrade, test, and report air quality in school ventilation systems. 

Despite pandemic emergency dollars, many schools across the state still need support to modernize their ventilation systems and this is another step to support healthy schools. The Oregonian found in 2022 that “testing identified nearly 500 out of 2,000 classrooms - or 25% - in elementary and middle schools with exceptionally low ventilation and filtration rates, even with the purifiers running full blast.” 

Bills Waiting for Final Consideration and Passage on the Senate Floor 

Preservation of Publicly Supported Housing (PuSH), HB 3042 

HB 3042 will stabilize our low-income Oregon renters in publicly supported housing with modest protections when rent is about to rise. Notification that rent may go up, a three-year safe harbor period where rent may only rise by a reasonable 5% before requiring review by our housing agency, and extending the opportunity for affordable housing providers to purchase a complex before it is sold to market rate rental investors, are three essential components of this bill that align with my goal of preserving publicly supported housing and stabilizing our most vulnerable renters. The bill passed with bipartisan support in the House, and awaits its vote in the Senate. This is critical work and I implore the Senators to return to complete their work. 

Toxic Free Kids Modernization Act, HB 3043 

We should not have to worry if the toy our child puts in their mouth is carcinogenic. Oregon has the opportunity to modernize our Toxic Free Kids Program by removing the cap on how many toxins the Oregon Health Authority may identify each year for phase out. My bill will also improve manufacturer disclosure requirements to make them more consumer friendly, and it will allow OHA to phase out whole classes of harmful chemicals from children’s products to prevent companies from switching to equally harmful alternatives. Please read and learn more about the bill in this article covering the bill by Environment Oregon.

Domestic Violence and Survivor Support, HB 2719 

In partnership with the Safe Family Justice Center in Clackamas County and the Oregon Law Center, my office has been working on HB 2719. This bill makes a small change in our current statutes relating to HIV testing for victims and defendants. By aligning with federal eligibility requirements providers can access existing federal funding to support survivors of domestic violence. 

Rep Neron and Honorary Page Kennedy Keim


In closing, in this busy legislative session it is my honor to serve as your representative. Please stay in touch with me and connect on the issues you’re tracking most closely. You can reach my office by email at rep.courtneyneron@oregonlegislature.gov or call my office at 503-986-1426. 


Rep Neron signature

Capitol Phone: 503-986-1426
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, H-281, Salem, OR 97301
Email: Rep.CourtneyNeron@oregonlegislature.gov
Website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/neron