The final weeks of the 2023 session

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Hello Friends,

Fahey Hike

I hope you’ve all had a chance to enjoy the warmer weather with family and loved ones. I’ve been incredibly busy in Salem as we near the end of the 2023 legislative session, but I did manage to get some time off last weekend to go camping and hiking on the North Coast for a couple of days – it was great to get a chance to recharge a bit and enjoy the natural beauty that Oregon has to offer.

There’s a lot to catch up on, so read on for legislative updates, resources for Oregon Health Plan members, good news from HD 14, and more!

Session Update

I believe that as legislators we were elected to address the issues that are most important to Oregonians: homelessness, housing affordability, behavioral health, education, and community safety. That includes expanding access to abortion and protecting health care providers so they can deliver the care that Oregonians need, without interference from the government – 72% of Oregonians, including 62% of rural Oregonians, support abortion rights. Those priorities and values are reflected in our agenda and our work this session – as they should be.

A month ago, Senate Republicans walked out on the job in an attempt to stop the legislature from passing HB 2002, which would protect and expand abortion rights in Oregon. I believe wholeheartedly that disagreement is a critical part of our democracy and helps us make better policy. But in a representative democracy, we show up, we debate the issues, and we vote. The public deserves an open, transparent process for every bill and budget being considered by the Legislature. To fulfill that commitment, Senators need to do their jobs by debating and voting on every bill in full view of the public on the floor of the Senate.

The bottom line is that the state of Oregon has big, urgent problems to deal with – by holding up our democratic process, Senate Republicans are delaying our work to pass policies and a robust budget investing in public safety, education, climate and drought, behavioral health and healthcare, housing, and homelessness. Senate Republicans are refusing to show up, shutting down state government, and keeping us from passing critical bills and budgets that matter to Oregonians. The anti-abortion views of 10 Senators should not get to cancel out the will of the voters and all the work they expect us to be doing this session. In the face of this obstructionism, Democrats will continue to show up, fight for the entire state, and find a way to complete our work here in Salem.

HB 2107


In May, the Oregon House passed a policy that I've been working on for a couple of years now — HB 2107, which will expand Oregon’s Automatic Voter Registration (AVR) system.

Oregon has long been an established leader in championing voter rights. In 2000, Oregon became the first Vote By Mail state, a model many states have since followed and which continues to be enormously popular with Oregonians. In 2015, the Legislature passed Oregon’s AVR law, which automatically registers Oregonians to vote when they interact with the Department of Motor Vehicles. This law has succeeded in getting ballots into the hands of hundreds of thousands of eligible voters.

Even with Oregon’s success with AVR at the DMV, the current system isn’t reaching every eligible voter. Roughly 10% of Oregonians do not have a driver’s license, and younger and lower-income populations are less likely than other groups to have a license or interact with the DMV. Currently, there are more than 200,000 Oregonians who are eligible to vote, but who remain unregistered.

HB 2107 addresses this gap by expanding AVR to the Oregon Health Plan (OHP). A recent report showed that the vast majority of unregistered eligible voters who don’t access the DMV do interact with OHP. This will increase the number of Oregonians registered to vote, and it will improve the security and accuracy of voter registration data by adding another source of information to update addresses.

This bill is the next step in a years-long effort to give every eligible Oregon voter a meaningful opportunity to cast a ballot. Oregonians have consistently embraced the value that voting should be convenient, accessible, and secure, and HB 2107 will ensure that more Oregonians can participate in the democratic process and make their voices heard. The bill is now in the Senate, but it cannot move forward unless Senate Republicans come back to work.

K-12 Funding


Two weeks ago, Democrats in the legislature announced a record $10.2 billion budget for the K-12 State School Fund. Together with local property tax revenues, funding will reach $15.3 billion, which is a 12% increase over current resources. This unprecedented investment in our children will make Oregon’s schools stronger, give students a high-quality education and improve learning outcomes–including graduation rates.

Schools will also receive additional funding from the historic Student Success Act, a commitment Democrats made to Oregon’s schools and students back in 2019, reversing decades of underfunding. This targeted funding will go towards mental and behavioral health support for students, smaller class sizes, more instructional time, culturally responsive programs, and more. 

May Revenue Forecast

Every fiscal quarter, state economists join a joint meeting of the House and Senate Committees on Revenue to discuss their forecast for economic and revenue trends in Oregon. These reports tell the legislature what resources are available as we craft the state’s budget for the next two years and determine funding levels for critical programs.

I’m happy to report that the May revenue forecast was a promising one – not only will we have more resources available for the next two-year budget cycle, but the projections several years out also look favorable. This forecast demonstrates the underlying health of Oregon’s economy, and it suggests that the investments we’ve made in working Oregonians have been successful. Unfortunately, we know that too many Oregonians continue to struggle to make ends meet, and not all wages are keeping up with inflation. This means that it’s critical we focus the state’s budget on the most pressing issues Oregonians face – education, behavioral health, safer communities, homelessness, and stable, affordable housing for Oregonians.

Oregon Health Plan Redetermination

If you're an Oregon Health Plan member, it's extremely important that you keep your contact information up to date! Especially because the state is going through a process this year to re-confirm eligibility for everyone currently on OHP. So, update your contact information, look for a renewal form from OHP in the next few months, and complete your form (if you get one).

There are a few ways you can update your contact info:

  • Online: Create an account at Once you've entered your contact information, check the boxes to receive important text or email messages about your benefits.

  • Via your CCO (coordinated care organization): Find your CCO contact information by visiting or by phone at: 833-647-3678

  • By mail: ONE Customer Service Center, PO Box 14015, Salem, OR 97309

  • By Phone: 1-800-699-9075 or TTY 711. Phone lines are open Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. PST. Hold times are shortest in the morning from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. There are also toll-free language lines available in 16 different languages here:

  • In Person: At any Self-Sufficiency Program, Aging and People with Disabilities or Area Agency on Aging office. Find locations at:

Good News

A few weeks ago, I had the chance to visit the amazing students and staff at Clear Lake Elementary School. I spent the morning visiting classrooms and talking with Principal DeBlois Grimes and Nicole Butler-Hooton, past Oregon Teacher of the Year in and current Instructional Coach in the Bethel School District.

Clear Lake Visit

Thank you, Principal DeBlois Grimes!

One of the highlights of my visit was hearing more about how Clear Lake has been implementing the new SAVVAS reading curriculum. SAVVAS combines scientifically based research with personalized learning experiences so students can learn reading in a more effective way. Reading is a foundational skill, and students’ reading levels in third grade have a significant impact on their likelihood of graduating high school. But in 2021-22, less than 40% of Oregon third graders met the state standards when tested in English Language Arts. 

While I’m thrilled to see Bethel invest in programs like SAVVAS, I want every student in Oregon to benefit from modern teaching strategies driven by proven scientific research. This session, I’m proud to be one of the sponsors of HB 3198, which will invest $140 million in an Early Literacy Success Initiative to promote evidence-based, culturally responsive, targeted early literacy strategies inside and outside of the classroom.

As this legislative session nears adjournment, I’ll continue to share our work tackling the big challenges facing our state. In the meantime, my office and I are here to help if you need assistance navigating local or state government services, or if you have thoughts about bills being considered in the 2023 legislative session.

Yours truly,

Fahey signature

Capitol Phone: 503-986-1414
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE, H-295, Salem, Oregon 97301