Highlighting Important Investments in Behavioral Health

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Representative Susan McLain

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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Communities across the country are being impacted by behavioral health issues and drug addiction. Here in Oregon, I am proud of the actions the Legislature took in the 2023 Session to get people the help they need now. Many of our emergency solutions just got signed into law this week by Governor Kotek. These critical policies will benefit Oregonians across the state and can't come soon enough. You can read more about the Legislature's actions in my "Legislative Updates" section in this newsletter.

WOU Student Success Center Groundbreaking

 I want to extend a special congratulations to Western Oregon University (my alma mater) on the groundbreaking of their new Student Success Center. I was proud to support the $21,615,500 allocation from the Legislature to fund this replacement of the Old Building of Education with the new Student Success Center. The Center will house several student focused resources, including: Tutoring, Math Center, Writing Center, Office of Disabilities Services, Center for Professional Pathways, Student Advising Center, and a first generation student area. This center will create an equitable and accessible one stop location for the support and aid of  WOU students, and help generations to come in navigating the often complex realities of college and realize their dreams of graduating. My Chief of Staff, Carolyn Lee, was able to attend the groundbreaking ceremony this week and I look forward to being there for the building's opening soon.

Last weekend I briefly stepped away from legislative work to attend the National Federation of State High School Association's Policy Debate Topic Selection meeting which was held in Portland this year. I started attending this meeting as a very young debate coach and teacher in 1983, and it is a very special gathering for me. It's a weekend where fabulous educators, students, and policy experts from all over the country come together to select debate topics for the 2024-25 academic year. Sixty-one delegates from 25 states, the National Speech and Debate Association, the National Association for Urban Debate Leagues, the National Catholic Forensic League, and the National Debate Coaches Association all attended this year. State delegates and participants deliberated for three days to winnow down the choices to five topic areas: Agricultural Subsidies, American Arctic Policy, Critical Infrastructure, Intellectual Property Rights, and Nuclear Weapons Reduction. After several rounds of balloting this Fall, the topic for 2024-25 will be announced this coming January. I look forward to seeing which topic is chosen, and of course to seeing my Glencoe High School Speech and Debate students take on that topic in a year's time.

Meeting attendees enjoyed a cruise on the beautiful Willamette River:

Cruise on the Willamette



Click on the image below, or here, to register for my joint Town Hall with Representative Sosa and Senator Sollman. There is an option to list the topics you are interested in talking about and I encourage you to fill that out we know what issues are important to you. 

Joint Town Hall Flyer


SECTION HEADER: Legislative Updates


2023 Legislative Session Review Continued

Our communities are dealing with a behavioral health and addiction emergency. These problems are not unique to Oregon – nationwide, states are grappling with spikes in drug-involved overdose deaths and behavioral health challenges – but we are making real progress, and I believe the work we did this year will deliver even better results.

In the 2023 legislative session, we took action, passing bills that will get people the help they need now, and on August 8th, Governor Tina Kotek signed many of these bills into law. Below is a summary of the key legislation.

HB 2235 requires the Oregon Health Authority to convene a work group to study the major barriers to workforce recruitment and retention in the state's publicly financed behavioral health system, with the goal of identifying and removing workforce barriers. 

In SB 629, we changed the composition of the Oregon State Hospital Advisory Board by reducing seats for advocates from three to two, reducing seats for health care professionals from three to two, increasing the number of seats for consumers of mental health services from two to three, and increasing seats for family members from one to two to improve representation and widen perspectives on the Board. 

The Opioid Harm Reduction Package, which saves lives by making emergency opioid poisoning treatment more widely available (House Bill 2395).

Funding for Oregon’s mobile behavioral health crisis response system, including the 9-8-8 Suicide Prevention & Behavioral Health Line (House Bill 2757).

The bipartisan Hope and Recovery bill which improves implementation of voter-approved Measure 110 and works to make sure addiction and treatment services are more available (House Bill 2513).

An opioid overdose prevention measure requiring patients discharged from opioid-related treatment to be sent home with two doses of overdose reversal medication (Senate Bill 1043).

Education for Oregon students about the dangers of synthetic opioids (Senate Bill 238).

A new task force to review alcohol pricing and funding for addiction services (House Bill 3610).

When voters approved Measure 110 in 2020, they sent a clear message: the days of making behavioral health and addiction worse by criminalizing it are over. We have a mandate to fix this problem with a more effective public health strategy that takes on the root causes of behavioral health and addiction issues. We have more work to do, but I am confident that the bills the governor signed into law will make a difference for Oregonians – and save lives. Learn more here.





Interstate Bridge Replacement Program Office Hours!


Curious about the IBR program? Come to our Vancouver, Washington office, in person or virtually, and get your questions answered!  

Starting in August, the IBR team is offering weekly time slots for community members to sign up for a 30-minute appointment to connect one-on-one with a member of the team. Office Hours will be available at various times and days of the week as the team hopes to make them as inclusive and accessible as possible. 

In an effort to ensure they have the right staff available to answer questions, community members are asked to sign up at least 24 hours in advance. You can view upcoming Office Hours opportunities on their Meetings & Events calendar and sign up for an appointment via SignUpGenius, by emailing info@interstatebridge.org, or by calling 888-503-6735. Please provide your contact information so that they can confirm your appointment and provide you with the necessary details. 


SECTION HEADER: Back to School


As a teacher of over 42 years, back-to-school time was always filled with excitement, anticipation, and of course a little sadness that came with the end of Summer. Over the coming weeks, I will use this section to provide updates on important information related to the new school year, including links to calendars, school lunch options, important events, and available resources. 


Back-To-School Immunization Event at Century H.S.

The school-based health center at Century High School is hosting a back-to-school immunization event from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 30. For a list of immunizations that are required for school attendance (note that COVID-19 is not required) click this link: EnglishSpanish. Students must either have all required immunizations or a completed medical or non-medical/religious exemption form on file prior to mid-February to remain in school.


M&M Marketplace's Annual Back-To-School Event

Join M&M Marketplace for their highly anticipated Annual Back To School Event! They'll give away FREE school supplies, including backpacks, to students preparing for the new school year. 🎒✏️

Fun activities, community booths, prizes, and more await.
🕐 Date: August 26th
⏰ Time: 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
📍 Location: M&M Marketplace
📧 If you'd like to become a Sponsor and contribute to this event, please get in touch with us at info@mandmmarketplace.com.

Marca tu calendario el 26 de agosto 🍎

¡Unete al evento anual de regreso a la escuela! Estaremos regalando útiles escolares GRATIS, incluyendo mochilas, a los estudiantes que se preparan para el año nuevo escolar. 🎒✏️
Actividades divertidas, puestos comunitarios, premios y más te esperan.
🕐 Fecha: 26 de agosto
⏰ Hora: 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
📍 Ubicación: M&M Marketplace

📧 Si deseas ser patrocinador y contribuir a este evento, contáctanos a info@mandmmarketplace.com.

Back to school event


KGW School Supply Drive

Help students start the school year with the supplies they need! Because each fall, over half of our local students don't have the basic school supplies to succeed. Without these tools, kids face scarcity and stress and they aren't able to be part of the classroom.

You can make a huge difference! Donate to the KGW School Supply Drive today! 





Last Weekend of El Sol Festival

Don't miss out on the last weekend of the second annual El Sol Festival at M&M Marketplace (346 SW Walnut St, Hillsboro)! This is a free festival of dance and music from around the globe that takes place every Saturday from July 8 to August 12 from 4 to 7 pm. This festival offers a unique opportunity to experience the richness and diversity of cultures worldwide. A wide range of delicious food options from various cultures will create a culinary adventure for the taste buds. Produced by M&M Market owner Jaime Miranda with support from the City of Hillsboro’s Cultural Arts District, this festival promotes cultural exchange and creates a welcoming atmosphere for all-ages audiences. With fantastic food, lively performances, and a vibrant atmosphere, the El Sol Festival is a thrilling experience for the whole family. Take a look at last year’s fun.

Dancers at El Sol Festival


Celebrate National Farmers Market Week Locally

The purpose of Farmers Market Week is to acknowledge the hard work and major impacts of the farmers market community here in our state. As the daughter of a farmer who lived on small farms growing up, I am proud our state recognizes that farmers markets are an integral part of our food systems!  They also serve as small business incubators and hubs for farm-direct marketing, and they provide vital connections between urban and rural communities.

Our community is fortunate to have an organization like Adelante Mujeres, who created and run our local farmers markets in both Cornelius and Forest Grove. In 2005, Adelante Mujeres launched the Forest Grove Farmers Market, fostering cross-cultural exchange during this family-focused community event. 15 years later, in partnership with the City of Cornelius, Adelante Mujeres launched the Cornelius Farmers Market in the summer of 2020. The mission of the Farmers Markets is to strengthen our local food system, economic vitality, and community identity. They do this by providing access to fresh, local and artisan food products sold directly from the farmers and producers themselves.

One of the most diverse events in the area, the outdoor Forest Grove and Cornelius Farmers Markets attract a weekly total average of more than 2,500 visitors of all ages and demographic groups to share good food and listen to local musicians. They strive to provide an outlet for small farmers and food producers so that they may connect with the community by offering fresh, local goods.

Market vendors offer a wide selection of local goods ranging from fresh produce, eggs, meat, honey, baked goods and prepared foods to flowers, plant starts, hand-crafted soaps, wine, and more. The markets also serve as a small-business incubator for businesses participating in the Regenerative Agriculture Program and the Empresas Small Business Development program.

Farmers Market information


Celebrate Farmers Market Week with a visit to one of Adelante Mujeres' Farmers Markets in Cornelius and Forest Grove!


Farmers Markets

Farmers markets



Flicks At The Park in Cornelius!

Looking for that perfect summer evening activity for the whole family? Flicks at the Park in Cornelius is a great options, and this week moviegoers will be joined by BARLEY from the Hillsboro Hops!

Flicks at the park poster


*Don't forget to look for the Cornelius Book Mobile from the Cornelius Public Library while you're at Flicks At The Park!






REMINDER: Paid Leave Oregon Applications Open August 14

Employees who need to take time off for important life events can apply for benefits for Paid Leave Oregon starting Aug. 14, 2023.

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

To apply for leave, employees will use the Oregon Employment Department’s (OED) new online system called Frances Online

The state Legislature created Paid Leave Oregon in 2019 (House Bill 2005), making Oregon one of 11 states (plus Washington D.C.) to offer paid family and medical leave. Oregon’s unique program also covers safe leave in addition to family and medical leave. Safe leave supports survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, harassment, or stalking so they can take time to seek safety.

In January 2023, employers and employees started contributing to a trust fund that will pay for employee paid leave benefits. During the 2023 legislative session, the Legislature passed Senate Bill 31, which requires OED to make sure the Paid Leave Oregon trust fund is solvent before launching benefits. 

Based on current trust fund data and projections, Employment Department leaders have decided the trust fund is ready to launch benefits the week of Sept. 3, as planned. This will be the first week employees can take paid leave, with payments going out within two weeks.

Detailed information for employees, including eligibility requirements, tutorial videos, a benefits calculator, and much more, will be available on the Paid Leave website on Aug. 14. Employees can now go to the employee overview page and find many resources, including a guidebook. 


OHCS Reopens Federal Homeowner Assistance Fund 

Oregon Housing and Community Services reopened the federal Homeowner Assistance Fund (HAF) Program to new applications this week. The program offers federal temporary COVID-19 emergency mortgage relief intended to support homeowners who have experienced severe financial hardships due to the pandemic. It provides funding for past-due mortgages and other housing expenses, as well as ongoing payment assistance, to a limited number of homeowners with low to moderate incomes. 

Homeowners can apply through the online portal or speak with a homeownership counselor who can help them apply and find other resources. Search the full list of free certified housing counselors by county.

Do you need emergency housing or rental assistance? Visit the OHCS website by clicking the image below:


Rental Assistance


*Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) is Oregon's housing finance agency, providing financial and program support to create and preserve opportunities for quality, affordable housing for Oregonians of lower and moderate income.


Important Announcements


Activate Credit Monitoring After OHP Data Breach

Following Performance Health Technology’s (PH TECH) announcement last week that Oregon Health Plan (OHP) members are among those affected by a coordinated data hack, the state is urging OHP members to take steps to protect their personal information.

The data breach PH TECH announced today did not involve or compromise state systems.

PH TECH is a private vendor that provides services to many Coordinated Care Organizations (CCOs) to help manage OHP member data. The company said a security vulnerability from Progress MOVEit software resulted in a data breach because attackers were able to access the personal information of an estimated 1.7 million members.

PH TECH told state officials they conducted extensive forensic analysis through July 25. This analysis identified individuals who were affected so OHP members could be notified. PH TECH began mailing notification letters on July 31 to impacted individuals. The letters will include an offer of free credit monitoring.

OHP members are encouraged to:

  • Watch for additional information from PH in the mail and follow instructions to activate 12 months of free identity theft protection. OHP members will be contacted by regular first-class mail, not by phone or email.
  • Request a free credit report. OHP members have the right to request one free copy of their credit report from each of the three major consumer reporting companies (EquifaxTransUnion and Experian) every year. OHP members may be able to request reports from one company every few months throughout the year. Credit reports and monitoring can help people identify signs of identity theft and stop thieves from using information for fraudulent purposes.
  • Contact PH TECH for assistance at 888-498-1602 or by going to https://response.idx.us/PHTECH for more information.

OHP members will also be able to receive ID theft recovery services via PH TECH at no cost, if needed.

SECTION HEADER: Important Resources


My office has compiled a list of resources for our community. You can click on the images below to open a document with the relevant links. If you know of a resource that should be included here, or you need a resource and are having trouble finding the information, please reach out to my office at rep.susanmclain@oregonlegislature.gov.


Wildfire Prevention Logo


Click hereor on the image to the right, for important resources related to wildfire prevention and recovery. This list includes links to current fire restrictions and recreation site status maps, the Oregon Department of Forestry's fire prevention tip page, and important resources for wildfire victims. 


Resources for Veterans


Click here, or on the image to the right, for a list of important resources for Veterans, including links and phone numbers to the various divisions of the Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs, local Washington County assistance, supportive and community-based groups like the American Legion, and mental health resources.  


Education-related resources


Click here, or on the image to the right, for a list of Education-related resources. This includes links to the Forest Grove and Hillsboro School Districts, the Oregon and US Departments of Education, information on how to pay for college, student lunch programs, and much more!


State and Local Government Links


Click here, or on the image to the right, for links to important local and state government pages, including the Hillsboro, Forest Grove, and Cornelius city government pages. You can also access the Oregon Legislature's page, and other important state agency sites, like the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Unemployment Department, and the Oregon Health Authority.

Important Resources




Summer sunset on the Oregon Coast!

Oregon Coast


Yours truly,

McLain Signature

Representative Susan McLain
House District 29

email: Rep.SusanMcLain@oregonlegislature.gov I phone: 503-986-1429
address: 900 Court St NE, H-493, Salem, OR 97301
website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/mclain