Historic Week for Education Budgets!

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Representative Susan McLain

Hello Friends and Neighbors,

I hope you all had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend, spending time with loved ones and commemorating the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives for our country. This week, the Capitol is back in full gear after some needed rest and we're back to voting on important legislation. In addition to my weekly meetings with agency and organizational partners, I am preparing to travel to Salt Lake City, Utah this weekend for the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Summit. I will be joining legislators representing different states across the country to hear from national experts regarding the benefits and challenges of various transportation user fee options, including road usage charges and per kilowatt hour charging fees. On Sunday, I will be moderating the Road Usage Charging Update portion of the conference, where I will be joined by Trish Hendren, the Executive Director at the Eastern Transportation Coalition and Cameron Kergaye, the Director of Research at the Utah Department of Transportation to discuss the status of and next steps for state RUC programs. I look forward to productive conversations with transportation leaders and advocates from around the country!


Yesterday, the Forest Grove High School Mariachi Band performed on the Senate Floor! The band members joined us for a little while on my side to observe the House Floor proceedings as well.




Historic Week for Oregon's Education Budgets 

Logo of Oregon

As a Co-Chair of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Education, I am proud to announce that we passed several historic Education budgets in our Committee this week that will improve educational outcomes and access for all Oregonians.

HB 5015 is the State School Fund Budget and it passed out of both the Sub-Education and Full Ways and Means Committees this week with an investment of $10.2 billion. The State School Fund (SSF) is the primary funding source for the general operations of school districts and educational service districts (ESDs) that serve Oregon students from kindergarten through grade twelve. SSF resources include state General Fund, Lottery Funds, Marijuana Tax revenues, and corporate activity tax revenues from the Fund for Student Success. These state resources are combined with local school revenues (primarily property taxes;

HB 5014 is the Oregon Department of Education Budget and it was funded in our subcommittee this week at $5.5 billion. The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) implements and carries out the state standards, rules, and requirements for elementary and secondary public schools. In addition to administering the State School Fund, the single largest revenue source to local school districts in the state, the Department is responsible for
implementing state standards and requirements, guiding school improvement efforts,
developing and implementing Oregon’s statewide student assessment system, and reporting
student performance. Responsibilities also extend to some public preschool programs, the
Oregon School for the Deaf, regional programs for children with disabilities, education
programs for youth in Oregon correctional facilities, and a variety of other federal and state
education programs. ODE’s activities are funded with a combination of General Fund, Lottery
funds, federal grants, corporate activity taxes and miscellaneous other funds, primarily from
grants and fees.

HB 5025 is the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) Budget and our subcommittee passed an allocation of $3.67 billion to fund Higher Education in Oregon. Our Public Universities will receive $1 billion and Community Colleges will get $800 million. Please read the below Oregonian article on this historic budget: 

The Oregonian: New higher Ed budget would boost college, university funding


The education subcommittee of the Legislature’s funding arm on Thursday recommended spending more money on Oregon’s colleges, universities and scholarship programs than top government leaders proposed earlier this year.

The Joint Ways and Means Subcommittee on Education voted to approve a $3.67 billion budget for the Higher Education Coordinating Commission, which distributes funding to public colleges and universities. The budget represents a 10% increase over what state budget experts said is needed to continue offering current programs and services. That includes a bump for community colleges and universities, an additional $100 million in financial aid for low-income students and some ongoing support for a grant that covers the cost of college for members of Oregon’s nine tribes.

“We are thrilled with the proposed post-secondary education budget,” Nick Keough, legislative director for the Oregon Student Association, said in an email Thursday. “This level of investment in our colleges, universities, and financial aid is historic and momentous.

The budget still faces scrutiny by the full Joint Ways and Means Committee and both chambers before it is finalized. Many Salem insiders think that won’t happen until a special session this summer, given the impasse between Republicans and Democrats in the Senate.

In most areas, the subcommittee’s budget would increase higher ed funding by more than Gov. Tina Kotek and the co-chairs of the Joint Ways and Means Committee proposed earlier in the session. However, the allocations the subcommittee approved are still somewhat lower than the amounts requested by community colleges and universities.

Colleges and universities faced a bleak budget picture early on, when Kotek and top legislative budget writers recommended funding them below the so-called “current service level” needed to sustain their current operations. That picture is looking up after a May revenue forecast came in higher than state economists projected, meaning lawmakers have more funding to allocate.

“Of all the budget meetings I’ve been to, this one makes me the happiest right now,” subcommittee co-chair Rep. Susan McLain, D-Hillsboro, said before Thursday’s vote. “It feels like it’s been a long time coming and it’s also the glue that we hope will bring a future that will be even richer with investment (for) our higher education students.”

The budget would give community colleges $800 million and public universities just over a billion, an 11.2% increase over the 2021-23 biennium for community colleges and a more than 8% increase for the public universities.

Karen Smith, the interim director of the Oregon Community College Association, called the subcommittee budget a “step in the right direction” in a Thursday news release, but said colleges may still have to make cuts.

Included in the education subcommittee budget are two important additions to financial aid that had been missing from the Ways and Means co-chair’s earlier proposal, including the $100 million boost to the Opportunity Grant and $24 million for the Oregon Tribal Student grant.

“The landmark 100 million increase to the Oregon Opportunity Grant is the most significant state investment in financial aid for students at Oregon’s colleges and universities since the grant program was created,” Oregon Institute of Technology president Nagi Naganathan said in an email. “This, in turn, will make higher education even more accessible for lower-income and traditionally underserved students.”

Kotek and the state’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission had asked for $40 million in ongoing funding for the tribal grant, which was established without continuous legislative funding by Gov. Kate Brown before the end of her term.

But legislative analyst Kim To said Thursday that $24 million would cover grant costs given current applicant levels. Kyle Thomas, director of legislative affairs for the Higher Education Coordinating Commission, said an average of 375 students per term have applied for the tribal grant, well below the state’s initial estimates that some 700 students would participate. (The grant is restricted to students who can show proof that they are enrolled in one of Oregon’s tribes, a qualifier that leaves out students who belong to tribes are not federally recognized, or who are descendants of a tribe but not qualified for official enrollment).

Thomas said the commission will continue to fully award all eligible tribal grant students for the 2023-24 academic year and encouraged students to apply. If more tribal students apply for the grant than the $24 million can fund, the commission can ask for additional money from the Legislature’s emergency board, To said.


Part-Time Faculty Benefits Bill Passes In Sub-Education! 

McLain speaking on the Floor in favor of SB 551

I am pleased to report that one of my priority bills, HB 2611, passed out of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Education on Thursday morning! This is an important follow-up bill to fine-tune and perfect SB 551, which I Chief-sponsored in the 2021 Session. SB 551 ensures that part-time faculty members at any public institution of higher education can qualify for employee-only health care benefits if they work at a level that is equal to at least half of a full-time employee. However, SB 551 did not require dental and vision to be included in the health benefits offered to faculty members. This Session, HB 2611 addresses this deficiency and will provide dental and vision benefits to qualifying part-time faculty members. Please click on the image to the right to view my Floor Speech from SB 551 in 2021 or see below for more details on the current bill:

Information on House Bill 2611



Safer Oregon Agenda

safer oregon


Oregon families, small businesses and communities deserve to feel safe in their neighborhoods –free from fear. 

That’s why we announced a $4 Billion Public Safety & Accountability Budget and a Safer Oregon Agenda that responds to this moment with solutions to prevent and solve serious crimes, including gun violence prevention and taking on the fentanyl crisis. 

It includes public safety solutions that would make sure law enforcement has the resources they need to solve crime, make our roads more safe, support children and adults who are victims of sexual and domestic abuse, and more. 

It will also address Oregon’s public defense crisis, so that Oregonians are afforded their constitutional right to representation. 

Through the Safer Oregon Agenda lives will be saved, communities will be safer, criminals will be held accountable, and violence will be prevented. 






town hall


I am inviting all community members, local leaders, organizational leaders and advocates in Washington County to my upcoming Town Halls next Saturday, June 10th. I will be holding these two town halls at two of our district's public libraries. 

Whether you're in Forest Grove, Hillsboro or Cornelius, please join us for a community conversation and please spread this information to your friends, family, organizational networks and social media followings!




Picture of Team McLain staff

Team McLain on a busy Tuesday in the office!


Featured from left to right: Our Legislative Intern, Magali Cruz, our Legislative Aide, Gabby Mijalski-Fahim and our Chief of Staff, Carolyn Lee. Just missing our other Legislative Intern, Ishaan Sinha, who comes in on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays!



By Magali Cruz, our Legislative Intern

human rights


Stability is something that everyone needs and wants to have; however, it is something that takes a lot of work to achieve, and only a few can get it. During this Legislative Session, I had the opportunity to listen to people from organizations like Food for All and Stable Homes. I have also listened to testimonies that showed me realities that I was unaware of and the extent to which they exist. I have learned that we live in a community where not everyone has the same needs, and the issues do not always affect everyone in the same way.

Everyone deserves access to basic services like housing, utilities, education, security, food, and health care. Our community needs to change different aspects of our society to give us opportunities which help us stabilize our lives in various ways. It is necessary that we work on change and fix this lack of stability that affects us today and will continue to affect future generations. We need to understand that we have different ideas and values, but we all deserve the same economic stability which gives us access to basic services. 

As part of the millennial generation, I see and have seen myself in the same situation as the many people who are searching for stability, and we see that it is far from reach. Nevertheless, I do not think that everyone needs to go through this same situation; we can work to change it.

In my time as a Legislative Intern with Representative Susan McLain’s office, I had the opportunity to review and follow bills and read the testimony from different people supporting or in opposition to the bills, and I noticed that there are many issues in our community that we need to improve and programs we need to implement. However, to create a perfect world for everyone, we need time and work together to improve the community's stability. We need to be more engaged in our community issues to be represented, to follow our legislators’ decisions and to be involved in what is happening with our government.




Youth Leaders Program Visit with Students from Forest Grove Community School




Yesterday, I had the lovely opportunity to speak with members of the Young Leaders Program from Forest Grove Community School, who are staying at Willamette University for their big showcase! Gabe Talerico, an eighth grader at the charter school, recently wrote to me to urge my support of legislation that would establish government assistance for Oregonians affected by natural disasters in rebuilding their homes. I had the chance to meet with Gabe, along with his classmates and teachers, to discuss this issue in more depth and hear about the rest of their goals as both students and community members. They asked me thoughtful questions about my work as a legislator. I am proud of the important role this program plays in shaping the future leaders from our district!




2023 Viking House Open House

I had the opportunity to visit Forest Grove High School last year to observe their Career and Technical Education Program. I am excited to hear about their upcoming event this year and I hope many of you are able to make it. Please check out the highlights from last year's visit, located below the event announcement!

open house


The Viking House is a single-family home project built by Advanced Construction students from Forest Grove High School. These young builders perform all of the major carpentry tasks on the home through the course of the school year in conjunction with industry professionals. One project has been completed every year since 1975, and the program is self-funded using profits from previous projects.

Event Information

Date: June 3rd

Time: Noon to 4pm

Location: 1260 35th Ave Forest Grove, 97116

Photos from last year's visit



Last year, I visited Forest Grove High School to observe the fantastic Career and Technical Education (CTE) opportunities available for our students. I toured classes in mechatronics, the culinary arts, woodworking, anatomy/physiology, and welding, and also visited the esteemed Viking House program.

With roughly 12.3 million students enrolled nationwide, CTE classes aim to prepare students of all ages for success in college and career by helping them develop the skills, technical knowledge, academic rigor, and real-world experience for high-skill, high-demand, highly successful careers.

In Oregon, Forest Grove High School is a leader in CTE education. We need look no further than The Viking House as a clear example of innovation and excellence in education. For those not familiar with The Viking House, it is a hands-on class at Forest Grove High School where students work closely with industry professionals to build homes in the Forest Grove area. These homes are known for their classic details, quality workmanship, and energy efficiency. The program has been running since 1975, and students have completed almost 50 houses. To view the most recently completed house, visit The Viking House website or check out this recent KGW Channel 8 story.

The CTE classes provided at the High School will create a generation of high-skilled workers who will be able to get good-paying jobs and contribute in significant ways to our economy, which significantly benefits both the city of Forest Grove and Oregon as a whole. As a community, we should all be exceptionally proud of Forest Grove High School and the CTE classes it provides.


Adelante Farmers Market in Cornelius

TODAY marks the FIRST day of the Adelante Farmer's Market in Cornelius - Come join the fun!



Event Information

1370 Adair St, behind Cornelius Public Library 

Fridays, 4-8pm 

June 2 - September 29, 2023


Adelante Mujeres, in partnership with the City of Cornelius, launched the Adelante Farmers Market (CFM) in Cornelius in the summer of 2020. The mission of CFM is to strengthen our local food system, economic vitality, and community identity. We do this by providing access to fresh, local, and artisan food products sold directly from the farmers and producers themselves. As a program of Adelante Mujeres, and just like the Forest Grove Farmers Market, the Cornelius Farmers Market also serves as a small-business incubator for businesses participating in the Regenerative Agriculture Program and the Empresas Small Business Development Program at Adelante Mujeres.

The Cornelius Farmers Market cultivates a space for sharing and celebrating cultural and community traditions through food, music, and artisan goods. Market vendors offer a wide selection of local products ranging from fresh produce, eggs, meat, honey, baked goods and prepared foods to clothing, cocktails, candles, and more.

The mission of the Cornelius City Council is to promote community involvement in building a safe, livable, and sustainable community by providing fair, efficient and effective public services. The Cornelius Farmers Market furthers the City vision for a vibrant and prosperous town center where we gather to eat, shop, and celebrate and exchange culture and ideas. As such, the City of Cornelius supports the Cornelius Farmers Market through provision of space, equipment, and supplies, as well as annual financial support.


Two Upcoming Community Celebrations

I am proud to represent a diverse district with communities of all backgrounds and identities. It is important that we celebrate our differences and spend time with our fellow community members!


Who's ready for a fun weekend in Hillsboro?? We have TWO great community celebrations on Saturday and Sunday!

First, celebrate Hillsboro Pride on Saturday, June 3 at Jerry Willey Plaza at Orenco Station.

Then, save some energy to celebrate the Latino Cultural Festival on Sunday, June 4 at Ron Tonkin Field!

Pride Party details: https://www.hillsboro-oregon.gov/.../Cale.../Event/122583/20

Latino Cultural Festival Details: https://www.washingtoncountychamberor.com/lcf/

Hillsboro Parks & Recreation | Washington County Chamber of Commerce | Hillsboro Hops




2023 Valedictorians and Salutatorians

Way to go, Vals & Sals! You make us Proud to be HSD!



On Thursday, May 25 the Hillsboro School District gathered and celebrated HSD’s ninety-two Class of 2023 Valedictorians and Salutatorians at a luncheon event at Hidden Creek Community Center. Superintendent Mike Scott, Mayor Steve Callaway, Chamber President Deanna Palm, Hillsboro Schools Foundation Executive Director Aron Carleson, and School Board Chair Mark Watson were all on hand to congratulate our highest achievers and wish them well on their journey beyond high school.

Students’ plans include attending colleges and universities in Oregon, across the U.S., and even abroad. Regardless of their next steps, they have all learned some valuable lessons along the way and took a moment to share their words of wisdom for incoming 9th graders. 


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


Some photos from my view in the Springtime! 

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