Rural Northwest Oregon Capitol Updates Vol 26

Senator Suzanne Weber

Hello Neighbors and Friends,

We are very close to the end of the session. Less than two weeks remain and my work at the Capitol continues. As the session winds down, I am taking stock of my experiences over the last few months. The 82nd Legislative Session has shaped up to be quite an interesting one to say the least.

With Sine Die drawing near, my staff is beginning to schedule Town Hall meetings so I can share information and hear from constituents. I am very much looking forward to the opportunity to get back in touch with members of my community that weren’t able to visit the Capitol during the session.


Committees are continuing to discuss important matters such as budgets and various bills. This last Wednesday in the Joint Committee On Ways and Means Subcommittee On Education, we went over HB 3198 -7, which establishes the Early Literacy Success Initiative. I offered some of my perspectives on the bill and the importance of literacy for all and how it should be made to be a universal program, which you can watch here.


Local Matters 

Oregon Summer Star Military Service-Connected kids summer camp.


For the past 18 years, Oregon Summer Star and its parent organization, the Tsuga Community Commission, have been dedicated to serving the military children of Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. Oregon is one of five states without a major military installation and many of the military kids they have served come from communities where they and their siblings are the only military children they know.  Senator District 16 is fortunate to have facilities such as Camp Rilea, home to Army and Air Guard units, as well as Coast Guard Sector Columbia River and Station Tillamook Bay.   As a result of those resources, we have one of the larger populations of service members in Oregon, although still a very small number when compared to other states with large active duty stations.  That is why it is so important to find ways our community can support our local service members and their families.  

Oregon Summer Star grew out of their past partnership with the NMFA through Operation Purple Camp Oregon and the desire to expand who they could serve to include families of veterans, the National Guard, and kids with other military connections. They strive to serve Oregon’s military kids by building community, teaching resilience, and instilling pride in their heritage. Their programming is trauma-informed and custom tailored to serving military children.

Their camp serves as a model for how they can continually invest in military kids through camp as they age out of being campers. This year, 73% of our counselors were former participants, as were 50% of their senior staff. They invest in their campers and develop them into leaders with a desire to support other military kids

Oregon Summer Star Mission: Oregon Summer Star designs intentional and financially accessible summer camp programming to empower military-connected youth to build resilience and community through their shared identity.

Oregon Summer Star Vision: We teach critical skills such as communication, leadership, stewardship, and reflection through trauma-informed practices.

This is an excellent opportunity for military service-connected families.  My Chief of Staff has two daughters that attended as they were growing up while she was active duty and now her oldest is one of the senior staff. It was a great way to connect with other kids that deal with the uniqueness of military life.  

Camp takes place from Sunday, July 30th through Friday, August 4th at Camp Canyonview in Silverton, OR.  Spaces are limited, so register and submit your $50 deposit to secure your spot today!  They will follow-up with a request for more information and additional payment if needed. 

Also if you feel inclined to help keep this camp going, you can donate using the same link below.

Providence - ONA delivers strike notices

Last Thursday evening the Oregon Nurses Association delivered three strike notices to Providence Portland Medical Center, Providence Seaside Hospital and Providence Home and Community Care. This took place after a negotiation session that ended early in the morning that same day. The strike at the three locations is scheduled to begin on Monday, June 19 and will last five days. In total, nearly 1,900 nurses and other caregivers are expected to participate in the strikes. You can learn more about this developing situation here


Source: KGW8/Oregon Nurses Association

Oregon State workers warn of a potential strike

In other areas of our state we are seeing people using similar negotiation tactics, such as the case with the 1,000 state employees that took to the Capitol mall this last Thursday, calling for a potential strike over wages. Service Employees International Union Local 503 (SEIU 503) called for its 22,000 members to potentially stage a strike. This number represents nearly half of the state’s workforce. A big portion of their concerns lay in the over 8,500 state positions that were found to be vacant in April of this year. Citing a lack of desirable wages driving the reduction in staffing. You can read more about this here.


Source: Ben Botkin/Oregon Capital Chronicle

Washington County sheriff warns of ‘bad batch’ of fentanyl on the street.

The drug crisis continues to cause damage to our communities, even in my own district. Over the last week, Washington County saw at least four fatal overdoses. During that same span of time, police in the county responded to 15 overdoses. According to the sheriff's office all of the overdoses were “likely related to fentanyl use.” They also warned people in the county that there could be “a potentially dangerous batch of drugs circulating the street marketplace.” You can read more about this ongoing problem here.

Meth, fentanyl pose new problems for Oregon’s overwhelmed detox providers

Over the last year, 2,700+ people were admitted into the Hooper Detoxification Stabilization Center’s inpatient withdrawal management program in Portland. Adding to the seriousness of the situation, 2,100 people were unable to be received and were turned away as a result of lack of resources, staff and space to accommodate the influx of people entering the detox. 

This problem is not exclusive to Hooper alone. Across the state, detox availability is growing scarce. According to the Oregon Health Authority’s data, there are 308 licensed withdrawal management beds across the entire state. But staffing shortages ensure that a portion of those beds remain unused. Coupled with the fact that some of these facilities only accept private insurance, which can limit the number of people even considered eligible for their services. You can read more about this ongoing crisis in this OPB article.

OR 6: Wilson River Highway Corridor Study

You might recall in November last year that ODOT provided an opportunity to give feedback on HWY 6, and in particular the Wilson River Highway Corridor Study. They did so again in February of this year. Between both community events they were able to get feedback from 1,000 people. And as a result of that feedback, they produced potential solutions to problems that were brought to their attention. 

In order to better review the study information, ODOT has established two stakeholder committees to assist. They have met with both committees twice so far and are planning another meeting. One of those committees is called the Stakeholder Advisory Committee and consists of 22 community members who review ODOT’s findings and provide their extremely valuable local knowledge. The other committee is called the Technical Advisory Committee which reviews their findings and provides recommendations and guidance on technical issues by collaborating with city and county partners. You can learn more about these committees and ODOT’s efforts here.


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! 

Please email or call and my staff will get you on my calendar. We are here to help! If you have a problem, question or comment, please feel free to email me at or

Capitol Phone: 503-986-1716  District Phone: 503-300-4493
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE, S-405, Salem, Oregon 97301
Email: Sen​
Website:  ​​