Reflections on the 2023 Legislative Session

View in Browser
Representative Courtney Neron

Dear Neighbors and Friends,

The 2023 Legislative Session officially ended on Sunday, June 25, our constitutional Sine Die (final adjournment). Speaker Rayfield in the House and President Wagner in the Senate hit their final gavels in unison, officially closing Oregon’s 82nd session and concluding all policy work. Despite the second-longest legislative walkout in US history, we were able to deliver for Oregonians on housing, homelessness, healthcare, behavioral health, public safety, economic investments, education, and so much more.

Rep Neron on the House Floor


From start to finish, my team and I have worked hard, stayed focused, and showed up for the issues I promised to champion and for the people who sent me to Salem. As always, it is my honor to serve as your Representative in our legislature. I hope we will continue to hear from you during the interim now that session is complete. 

Reps Dexter, Bowman, Neron, and Senator Woods at Joint Housing Town Hall


In this newsletter I will give a broad overview of the biggest takeaways this legislature was able to deliver and focus on some of our district successes. Here’s a quick KGW News review of the final weekend of the session.

End of Session Town Hall

I would also like to invite you to my End of Session Town Hall on Saturday, July 29th from 11 am - 12 pm at the King City Civic Association. Please see the graphic below for more details. 

Joint End of Session Town Hall


Just as we began session with a Town Hall together at the King City Civics Association, Senator Woods, Representative Bowman, and I will bookend our legislative session with a collaborative recap together. If you have any questions about the event or need any accommodations, please reach out to my office at

Thank you to everyone who has reached out to share their thoughts on policy and issues impacting our community! It is so meaningful to me that so many of you have engaged with my office and have followed us through the session. 

Table of Contents

Rep Neron 2023 Legislative Photo Album

Big Takeaways for Oregonians

Our 82nd legislature delivered big for Oregon this session. We are making record investments in housing production, homelessness response, education and working families. Not only did we pass a climate package and a drought package that invest in resiliency and resource efficiency while maximizing federal funding opportunities, we also passed the CHIPS Act to attract quality semiconductor industry jobs to our state.

Our health and safety work includes investments in mobile crisis response and coordination of care, increased penalties for possession of fentanyl and increased access to naloxone, fixes to Measure 110 implementation, and funding for the 9-8-8 Suicide Prevention Line. To further improve community safety, we invested $4 billion in law enforcement and $1.3 billion for Emergency Management. We further protected victims of bias crimes and addressed ghost gun loopholes. We also passed policies to ensure safe staffing for nurses and improved access to life-saving HIV-prevention treatment. We protected comprehensive reproductive healthcare and providers' ability to give appropriate care.

We fought for and achieved fully funded K-12 education at $10.2 billion, and a higher education appropriation that increases the need-based Oregon Opportunity Grant by $100 million, in addition to continuing the Oregon Tribal Student Grant. 

For families with young children, we created Oregon's first $1,000/child tax credit and continue to support our new Department of Early Learning and Care

Oregon Child Tax Credit Graphic

District Win: Pause on Tolling

As mentioned in a previous newsletter, we delivered a big win for toll-impacted communities in Clackamas County and our local communities when Rep Walters, Rep Hartman and I introduced HB3614 to pause tolling. We organized 31 cosponsors and stood up for the communities facing disproportionate impacts of tolling along I-205. The bill was a catalyst for Governor Kotek’s announcement of a pause on tolling until 2026 and creation of a new legislative Special Subcommittee on Transportation Planning to oversee ODOT’s tolling work and ensure inclusive communication with impacted communities. This will serve to provide accountability for ODOT and rebuild trust from our communities. ODOT’s transportation planning must carefully consider alternative options, community feedback, safety impacts, mitigation of diversion, environmental assessments, and economic concerns.

Rep Neron voting on the House Floor

Major Education and Early Childhood Accomplishments

As the Chair of the House Committee on Education, I worked hard to ensure that we focused on supporting our educators and students with resources and policies that truly bolster learning outcomes. 

Chair Neron leading the House Education Committee

I advocated for full funding of the current service level for our public schools. I am thrilled that we achieved this investment with a $10.2 billion for the State School Fund (SSF). Schools need stable and sufficient funding to support our students, families and educators. The Legislature has also made targeted investments in addition to the SFF, like the $140 million investment in Early Literacy to close gaps in reading and writing proficiency.

Additionally, our Educator Workforce Package (SB 283) passed with significant funding for providing registered apprenticeships. The bill addresses wages, recruitment, hiring practices, and basic but critical job protections for classified workers. Read the press release on the passage of SB 283 here

As a legislature, we were able to deliver many more essential education policies and investments (Excellent OPB article), including future and financial planning graduation requirements (SB3), support for students with disabilities (SB819, SB756, and SB91), and equity investments such as the Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander Student Success Plan and the training for educators who teach Oregon’s Ethnic Studies Standards

Rep Neron and advocates

These tenacious advocates showed up daily to share their stories and fight for students civil rights. I am so honored to have worked with so many tireless advocates this session. 

My Education Bills that were Successful This Session

  • HB 5014 ODE budget bill, Universal School Meals- will allow hundreds of more schools to provide free or reduced meals to students.  
  • HB 3031 School Ventilation- Helps schools access federal dollars to improve school ventilation systems.HB 2717 Outdoor Preschool Licensure - allows outdoor preschool programs to seek licensure which allows access to local, state and federal resources. This will incentivize the expansion of existing programs and creation of new programs, as well as ensure greater access to preschool for underserved families.
  • HB 3037 Outdoor School Data Collection - will inform intentional, inclusive and equitable outreach to improve outdoor learning and program participation 
  • HB 2708 Classified School Employees Week - the bill honors our educators and declares the first week of March as Classified Employees Week.  
Rep Neron speaking at the Childcare for All Oregonians Press Conference

We will continue to advocate for full funding of Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education (EI/ECSE), as well as funding to ensure access to Employment Related Day Care (ERDC).

Reducing Toxins and Humane Treatment

  • HB 3043 Toxics Free Kids Act Modernization - will expand protections for kids from toxic chemicals in children's products. (article)
  • SB 546 Toxic Free Cosmetics - creates a program to identify and phase-out the use of toxic chemicals in cosmetics, lotions and hair products.
  • HB 3213 Humane Cosmetics - bans the sale of cosmetic products tested on animals.
  • HB2915 - Humane Pet Stores - bans the sale of puppies and kittens in Oregon pet stores. ***I’m thrilled to report that Critter Cabana in Wilsonville has already stopped selling puppies and shifted to selling pet supplies! Selling dogs and cats is not in the best interest of the animals and allows irresponsible breeders to profit when they contribute to pet overpopulation. 


  • SB 611 Rent Stabilization - Caps annual rent increases at the lesser of either 10% or 7% plus the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rate.
  • HB 3042 Preservation of Publicly Supported Housing - will provide basic protections for families who rely on federally subsidized, affordable housing. This is in direct response to what we learned from Woodspring Apartments in Tigard and helps Oregon be better situated to respond effectively in the future. 
Keep Woodspring Affordable! Save Senior Housing! Sign

KOIN news coverage of HB3042

Good Governance

  • HB 3028 Protecting the Right to Serve - ensures employment protections when Oregonians serve on a state board or commission. 
  • HB 2805 Government Ethics Commission Investigations - creates a complaint-driven process for requesting investigations into potential violations of public meeting laws. 
  • HB 2806 Cybersecurity in Executive Sessions - gives our public bodies the ability to discuss sensitive safety issues without making these discussions available to potential bad actors who aim to exploit their online vulnerabilities. 
Rep Neron and Rep Sosa with the passage of HB 2805

Supporting Survivors

  • HB 2719 Support for Survivors of Domestic Violence - aligns Oregon statute with federal policy in regards to prompt testing and notification for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Providers in Oregon will now be eligible for critically needed federal funding to provide services to vulnerable community members. 
Rep Neron and King City Mayor Fender with Artwork

King City students made this artwork that Mayor Fender recently gave House District 26. It is proudly displayed on the wall of my office. Thank you, students!

Funded Priorities!

  • $137,000 for the King City Park Path Repair and Resurfacing Project - the project will ensure ADA accessible pathways at the community park by repairing and resurfacing the current path, installing tree root barriers. These needed improvements will ensure safety and equitable access and use of the park for everyone, including youth, seniors and community members with disabilities.
  • $650,000 for the Family Preservation Project - 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” plan, saving the state hundreds of thousands of dollars in DHS costs (estimated at $30,000/year/child). 
  • $5.9 million for the Court Appointed Special Advocates Network to recruit and train volunteer advocates - Evidence-based studies show that children in foster care with a CASA volunteer are more likely to access trauma-informed services like mental health counseling, more likely to graduate from high school, and have significantly fewer foster placements. This is truly life-changing volunteer work and a very smart state investment. 
  • $65,500 for Outdoor Preschool Licensure (HB 2717) - the bill creates a path to licensure for outdoor preschool programs, allowing them to operate for full days and opening up access to local, state and federal funding that is only available for licensed outdoor preschools.
  • $60 million for the completion of the new Clackamas County Courthouse (SB 5506) - 
Clackamas County Courthouse Funding

Rep Neron testifying in committee

We will try again in the future

As with every legislative session, not all bills made it through the entire process. In fact, hundreds of bills died. This is not always a bad thing. Many bills need more work, more refinement, more stakeholder involvement, and more momentum to pass through both chambers and be sent to the Governor. For many bills we will continue to work to bring them back in the short session (Feb 2024) and beyond, always aiming to craft a stronger democracy and more equitable institutions. Here are just a few of the bills that didn’t pass, but that I will advocate to consider again:

  • HJR 30 - Quorum requirements should be set at a majority (50%+1) of Senators or Representatives. This is common sense, aligns with many other states, and addresses walkouts appropriately. Currently, as few as 10 people in the state can stop the will of the majority of Oregon voters. This must change.
  • HB 3035 - Threatening mass harm should be a crime so that law enforcement has reasonable statutory tools to act swiftly and keep our communities safe. This bill would have closed a gap in existing criminal laws that limits the ability of law enforcement to intervene, even in cases where an individual is making credible threats to carry out a violent attack, whether at a grocery store, school, library, or any other place where people gather in our communities. 
  • SB 531 - Stable funding for K-12 summer learning opportunities help students learn and thrive. We have to structure funding so that our school districts can plan ahead for staffing and programming that supports learning outcomes.
  • HB 2258A - Our economy benefits from the Oregon Industrial Site Readiness Program. This bill would have extended the sunset from 2023 to 2033 and would have appropriated $40 million to the Program Fund. I will continue to help our communities advocate to convert agreed upon employment lands into shovel ready sites.
  • HB 2951 - Drivers Education Equity will improve coaching, testing and quality of study materials for Spanish-speaking drivers. 
Rep Neron delivering a floor speech

Thanks to my team!

I want to thank Pablo Nieves Valenzuela and Sara Kim for being such a kind, stable, talented, cohesive, fun, and all-around incredible legislative team. Thanks to these two, this session we passed 29 bills that I chief-sponsored (many more that I regular-sponsored), prepared and delivered over 100 written and spoken testimonies, gave over 25 floor speeches on bills that are top priorities for the district and the state, connected with hundreds of constituents in-person or through virtual office hours, and responded to thousands of constituent emails. 

Rep Neron, Pablo, and Sara

Pablo has been my legislative director since 2019 and Sara joined soon after in 2020. Throughout these years, Pablo and Sara’s thoroughness, thoughtfulness, hard work, care for our district, and focus on strong policy shines through daily. I am deeply grateful for their commitment to service and our accomplishments together over the years, including this successful 2023 session. 

Thank you, Pablo and Sara!!!

Summer in House District 26

There is SO much to do this summer in our district. From parks to splash pads, festivals to farmers markets, I hope you get out and enjoy all our district has to offer. 

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Music on the Green

Please Stay Connected!

While the 2023 session has come to a close, the work doesn’t end here. I will continue to send out newsletters, work on policy solutions, go on tours and site visits, and host town halls and constituent coffees throughout the interim months leading up to the February 2024 short session. My office stands ready to help and support our communities. 

Rep Neron speaking at a Charbonneau Town Hall

Upcoming events will be listed on my legislative page and, as always, you can reach me at  



Courtney Neron Signature

Capitol Phone: 503-986-1426
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, H-281, Salem, OR 97301