News from Representative Conrad

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Friends and Neighbors,

First, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy summer! I hope you can to find time to relax, enjoy friends and family, and stay safe!

Since the 82nd Legislative Session ended on June 25th, I have certainly enjoyed the time I’ve spent with my family and friends. I have also had time to reflect on the session - the bills that passed and didn’t pass, issues that were raised and remain unaddressed, and the relationships I’ve developed with my colleagues.

The unofficial numbers for the session are:

· 2970 measures introduced by both chambers

· 775 measures came to the House floor for a vote

· 616 measures passed both houses.

Many people invested a lot of time, energy, and effort throughout the session, and I’d like to acknowledge and thank all of the legislative support staff for their work – they are integral to the process and key to successful outcomes!

A few themes that I heard throughout the session and areas that still need to be addressed in future sessions include:

1. Workforce shortages that are occurring in every sector, especially healthcare, public safety and education.

2. Improving our mental and behavioral health system, which is adversely impacted by workforce shortages and contributing to our homeless and drug abuse crisis.

3. Improving our emergency management preparedness, response, and recovery statewide. I expect extreme climate changes to impact us year-round, and we need an adaptable and efficient emergency management process.

4. Improving the efficiency of several key agencies, especially OHA, which is both impacted by workforce shortages and contributing to them.

5. Improving Oregon’s attractiveness to businesses, which dropped from 18 to 21 in CNBC’s recent rankings.

Each of these issues is linked to and impacts the others. In looking at these issues as a system, a primary focus of mine during the interim is continuing to learn the in-depth workings of our behavioral/mental health system to identify where we can make needed improvements, both for the short and long term.

The second area I will be focusing on is exploring how additional volunteer firefighters can be recruited. They are an invaluable resource for rural fire districts and are in short supply, when they used to be abundant. If you know someone that might be interested, please encourage them!

The ever-present polarization depicted in the media, especially with regard to national politics, is not as prevalent in Oregon. Our natural world functions because of various forces – some push, others pull. For people, fear is a powerful (if not the most powerful) motivating force that can bring people together... or drive them apart. Fear is used and manipulated by people at both ends of the political spectrum to attain their personal goals.

The antidote to fear is to recognize it for what it is, and break it down to its constituent parts and use reason to address the core issue. Many of my colleagues recognize this process and are willing to engage in logical and reasoned discussions – that is why I am optimistic that together we can accomplish the difficult tasks that lay ahead. It goes without saying that people identifying, supporting, and voting for legislators who represent them, and who are willing to engage in discussions focused on policies aimed at improving people’s lives, are the foundation for progress and prosperity.

With that, thank you for your continued support and I hope you have a safe and incredible summer!



McKenzie Business Visit

In the District

It was great to meet yesterday with the McKenzie Business Association — thank you to Chad Cordell (President of the MBA) and the rest of his team for having me! I look forward to further discussions on how we can continue to support our business community.

August Town Hall

Join me, Rep. Julie Fahey, Rep. Paul Holvey, Rep. Nancy Nathanson, and Sen. James Manning for a joint town hall at 4 pm, Saturday, August 12th, at Harris Hall (125. E. 8th Ave).

We’ll be sharing our thoughts on the 2023 legislative session, highlighting what we got done, and answering questions about on the issues facing our communities. If you'd like to submit a question in advance, you can fill out this form:

I hope to see you there!

August Town Hall

State Budget Allocations to Lane County

During this 82nd Legislative Session my office received multiple Capital Construction requests from all over House District 12. The funding for approved requests comes out of SB 5506, an end of session omnibus spending bill, which is often referenced as the "Christmas Tree Bill". We often do not know what will be funded until the last minute, and are pleased to announce the following projects for HD 12 and Lane County have been approved by the Legislature for funding:

Lane County for the Behavioral Health Stabilization Center  $  5,058,410
Lane County for Emergency Response Functionality  $  5,000,000
FOOD for Lane County to purchase land for Food Farm  $  1,150,000
City of Lowell Water Treatment Plant Upgrades  $     306,420
Row River Fire Response for Emergency Communication Equipment  $     143,000


2023 Legislation Highlights

Legislation Highlight

After every legislative session, the Legislative Policy and Research Office prepares Summaries of Legislation. For this recent long session, LPRO has prepared “Legislative Summary Briefs,” which summarize changes to Oregon’s policy landscape based on measures considered during a legislative session.

The Summary of Legislation page is set up for browsing by policy topic, checking out full summaries of legislation available by year, or searching for past summaries. 

Here are a few bills from this recent session that I would like to highlight:

HB 2513: Update to Measure 110

Makes changes to the implementation of Ballot Measure 110, the Drug Addiction Treatment and Recovery Act, including clarifying the responsibilities of the Oregon Health Authority and Oversight and Accountability Council.

HB 2001: Housing and Homelessness

Establishes the Oregon Housing Needs Analysis within Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS), with the stated purpose of furthering housing production and housing choice at all levels of affordability.

Expands the uses of Emergency Housing Account funds to include services and assistance to school-aged children or their families who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk of experiencing homelessness.

SB 4: Semiconductors

Establishes the Oregon Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce
Semiconductors (CHIPS) Fund to provide grants and loans to qualifying
businesses for the purpose of growing the semiconductor and advanced
manufacturing industry in Oregon.

HB 3201: Broadband

Requires the Oregon Business Development Department to provide grants and
loans for supporting broadband access, affordability, and adoption through
grants or loans.

HB 2982: Disaster Recovery

Requires insurer to offer 70 percent of coverage insured previously purchased for contents of residence to insured who holds policy of personal insurance without requiring inventory of loss if total loss of contents occurs as result of major disaster.

HB 2522:  Wildfire Prevention

Instructs State Fire Marshal to establish Rural Structural Fire Protection Review Committee to review certain provisions concerning structural fire protection and report on review and related recommendations to one or more relevant committees or interim committees of Legislative Assembly.