Updates from Rep Conrad

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June 2023 Newsletter

2023 Oregon House

2023 OR House

The pace and urgency of the 82nd Legislative Session have picked up during this final week.  In a sense, this is “finals week” for the legislature as we are graded based on the policy bills passing out of Ways and Means with funding.  Not all good bills have successfully passed through this gauntlet, so they will need to be worked in another session.

One of the key bills legislators have been waiting for is the “Christmas Tree” bill which combines funding requests for our districts into one bill.  HB 5506 passed out of committee this past weekend, so we now know which projects received funding.  I am excited that two of my project requests are on this list: $306,420 for the City of Lowell to upgrade their wastewater system, and $143,000 to the Row River Fire Response to help them purchase equipment.  Helping Lowell stave off an environmental disaster resulting from infrastructure failure and working to prevent a wildfire disaster through preparation and training exemplify why I ran for the legislature – to help communities in the district provide for their residents and improve their lives.

Additional projects I support that received funding include:

  • $1,150,000 for Food for Lane County to purchase  land for a food farm
  • $5,000,000 to Lane County for a Behavioral Health Stabilization Center
  • $1,643,889 to rehab the Cottage Grove Airport

Amid this good news, it’s important to remember that the state continues to face significant challenges, particularly workforce shortages in multiple sectors.  This complex issue will take money, time, and well thought out polices to resolve, but hopefully we made progress with several workforce incentives this session, including apprenticeship programs in HB 2294 and HB 3596, and investments in our universities and community colleges SB 523.

Several other sectors are facing system issues, including juvenile behavioral health and our rural fire departments.  My intent is to participate in workgroups during the interim to find ways we can start to fix these issues.  Unfortunately for our youth, our behavioral health system is broken and, in addition to providing additional staff and facilities, we also need to fund programs that are shown to be effective and have good outcomes.  My goal is to see if we can use M110 funding to stand up programs that will help divert youth who are on a path that leads to the Oregon Youth Authority and incarceration. 

Finally, since the pandemic, the number of rural fire department volunteers has dwindled significantly, and this is impacting departments’ abilities to respond to calls and participate in fighting conflagrations.  I will continue to work with our fire departments to find ways to incentivize recruitment, training, and retention of volunteers who are crucial to protecting our communities.

I look forward to the interim to work on finding solutions to these issues and many others that impact our lives. I hope you have a wonderful summer!


Recent Visitors to Salem

Civil Air Patrol

Civil Air Patrol

On May 24th, Col. William Ham and the Civil Air Patrol Color Guard provided opening ceremonies for the House floor session.
Lane BH

Lane County Behavioral Health

Representatives from several Lane County behavioral health organizations visited Salem in May to discuss their important work.

District News

Lane County

Access Lane County's New Ballot Return Dashboard

Lane County has launched a new dashboard to track ballot returns.



Lane County Transit Service Survey

Help Lane County prioritize transit service options that work for you, and enter to win a $50 gift card!


Bills to Watch


Let's Keep in Touch!





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