August 2023 Newsletter

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Hello friends,

Since the 2023 legislative session ended in June, I’ve had some time to enjoy the summer, visit family, and catch up with constituents and leaders in my district. While the legislature will not be back in session until February 2024, there’s still a lot to do… and to share! Read on for information about my upcoming town hall, important information on new programs for Oregonians, and more.

Upcoming Joint Legislative Town Hall

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

We’ll highlight what we accomplished in the 2023 legislative session, answer your questions about the session, and hear about the issues we should be working on in 2024. If you'd like to submit a question in advance, you can fill out this form. Hope to see you there!

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In the News

After the session adjourned, I wrote several guest opinion columns sharing thoughts on the session, was a guest speaker at the Eugene City Club, and was interviewed by a number of media outlets. Check out the links below to learn more.

There has also been good coverage in the media about the work we did this legislative session:

Paid Leave Oregon Will Start Accepting Applications August 14

Oregon employees who need to take time off work to care for a new child or seriously-ill family member can soon begin applying for paid leave benefits through the state’s new paid family and medical leave program. Benefits for Paid Leave Oregon will start for leaves taken on or after September 3 (with payments going out mid-September), but you can submit an application for benefits starting August 14.

Paid Leave Oregon covers paid family leave, medical leave, and safe leave for working Oregonians. Employees can apply for the following reasons:

  • To care for themselves or members of their family during the birth of a child, or to bond with a child after birth, adoption, or placement of a child in their home through foster care
  • To care for themselves during a serious health condition
  • To care for a family member when they have a serious health condition
  • If they or their child experience sexual assault, domestic violence, harassment, or stalking

Most workers will be able to take up to 12 weeks of paid leave annually through the program, although those who are pregnant, have given birth, or have health issues related to childbirth may be eligible for up to 14 weeks of paid leave.

Employees can apply for benefits online beginning August 14 through the Oregon Employment Department’s Frances Online system at

Learn more about Paid Leave Oregon at, or attend an informational webinar hosted by Paid Leave Oregon. Webinars occur every Thursday through September 28 – you can register here

Paid Leave

Oregon Democrats passed Paid Leave Oregon in 2019 (HB 2005), making Oregon one of 11 states, along with Washington D.C., to offer paid family and medical leave. I was proud to be one of the sponsors of HB 2005, and I’m thrilled that the program will soon be up and running!

Other programs for community members

Summer Food Service Program

When schools let out for the summer, thousands of Oregon children lose access to the school meals that their school provides. Many children and families rely on these school meals to supplement what's available at home.

In response, Oregon hosts summer meal sites all over the state for kids aged 1-18. Families can find a site near them by calling 2-1-1, texting FOOD or COMIDA to 304-304, or visiting this website.

Summer Meals

Heat Pump Program

The legislature created this program in response to the devastating heatwave in 2021, which resulted in the deaths of at least 96 Oregonians. The program offers landlords rebates to install heat pumps or air-conditioning units in rental homes. By installing heat pumps and air-conditioning units, landlords can provide relief to renters during extreme weather events, reduce energy bills, and ensure their tenants have access to safe, cool living spaces. while making our homes more resilient and energy efficient. For more information about the program and how you can participate, click here.

Solar + Storage Rebate Program

Under this program, homeowners are eligible for rebates up to $5,000 for solar and an additional $2,500 for paired energy storage installed together. Low-income service providers – such as nonprofits, municipalities, or other organizations serving low-income Oregonians – are eligible for up to $30,000 for solar plus $15,000 for paired storage. Rebates are issued to approved contractors, who pass the full amount of the rebate on as savings to their customers. You can learn more about the program and how to participate here.

Homeowner Assistance Program

Oregon's Homeowner Assistance Fund Program is open again for applications. This program provides funding for past-due mortgages and other housing expenses, as well as ongoing payment assistance, to qualifying homeowners with low to moderate incomes who have experienced severe financial hardships due to the pandemic. To check to see if you qualify and to apply, visit this link.

Recent Data Breaches

The Oregon Department of Transportation Driver and Motor Vehicles Division (DMV) has had a data breach that included unauthorized access to up to 90% of Oregonians' data, including driver's license information. In addition, the Oregon Health Authority announced that in the same breach, about 1.7 million Oregon Health Plan (OHP) members personal information was accessed.

Both of these breaches were part of a global technology hack that affected more than 2,000 organizations worldwide who use the MOVEit transfer software tool, including the Louisiana DMV, the U.S. Department of Energy, and others. 

Individuals who have an active credential (license, permit, ID card) should assume information related to that credential is part of the breach. OHP members impacted by the data breach can expect a letter in the mail from PH TECH with information on how to access free credit monitoring. PH TECH will not contact you by phone or email. Report scams and fraud by calling the Oregon Department of Justice hotline at 1-877-877-9392.

What you can do to protect yourself:

Check your credit report: Federal law allows individuals to receive a free credit report every 12 months. You can request one online at or by phone at 1-877-322-8228. Check the reports for any activity you do not recognize. For more information you can also visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website on identity theft at

Be vigilant in monitoring your credit activity. If you wish to freeze your credit files, please contact all three monitoring agencies for assistance:

Please visit ODOT’s web page about the DMV data breach for more information and updates. 

Contact ODOT if you have any questions at or (503) 945-5000. 

For additional information on the OHP data breach, please contact PH Tech at 888-498-1602 or by visiting

Good News

St. Vincent de Paul's Hope Factory

In July, I had a great chance to see St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County’s HOPE factory in action! The factory, located in West Eugene, will build low-cost manufactured homes, helping to address the shortage of affordable housing in Oregon. Once the plant reaches full capacity, it’s expected to produce up to 20 single-wide units (or 10 double-wide units) a week and to employ 100-120 people.

Last year, I worked with Representative Pam Marsh to help secure $15 million in funding from the legislature to get this facility off the ground. Rep. Marsh’s district in southern Oregon lost 2,500 homes in the Almeda fire in 2020 and is one of many impacted communities who are still recovering. Production of manufactured and modular housing units will help us more quickly recover from future disasters. It was great to see both her and Senator Jeff Merkley on the tour!

Hope Factory

The Coolest Thing Made in Oregon Contest!

The "Coolest Thing Made in Oregon" contest, organized by Oregon Business & Industry (OBI) in collaboration with Here is Oregon, is an opportunity for Oregonians to celebrate the remarkable products manufactured in the state. Individuals and businesses can nominate products that they believe are the most impressive and unique creations made in the state.

It's a great opportunity for businesses in Oregon to showcase their products – if you're a local business, you might consider nominating one of your products. If you have a product in mind that you believe deserves the title of "Coolest Thing Made in Oregon," don't hesitate to reach out to my office or submit a nomination yourself! It's a straightforward process that only takes a minute or two – the nomination deadline is August 15th.

For more information, including how to nominate a product or participate in the voting process click here.

Whether in session or out, my office and I are always here to help! Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you need assistance navigating local or state government services or to share your thoughts and ideas on the issues facing our community and state. 

Yours truly,

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