Celebrating Healthcare Wins For All Oregonians

You can read our previous newsletters here.

View Online
Representative Susan McLain


Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Rep. McLain with OSEA Members

I am enjoying the Interim and the opportunity to meet with as many different groups and citizens as possible. I have spoken with local community partners like the newly formed CPO 12F group focused on affordable housing and homeless support programs in our district, and jurisdictional partners like City Councilors and City Managers. I've met with advocacy groups like the Oregon School Employees Association and connected with citizens from across House District 29. It has been an enriching summer, and I look forward to continued outreach opportunities throughout the Fall.

I have just returned from Bend where I spoke at a conference about Transportation-related policies from the 2023 Legislative Session. I was joined by my Joint Transportation Committee Co-Chair Senator Gorsek, and Vice Chairs Rep. Boshart Davis and Senator Boquist. We all had an opportunity to share our perspectives on what was accomplished in 2023 and the work that must be completed in the next few years to ensure a modern and successful Transportation system in Oregon. It was a robust conversation that focused on important changes in how we get around and move goods throughout our state and region. One of those changes is the electrification of cars and trucks and what that positive transition means for funding safe roads and bridges, and ensuring that all road users are contributing to an improved multimodal system.

Joint Transportation Leadership also began planning this week for our upcoming Legislative Days sessions, which will be held September 27-29 at the Capitol. During Legislative Days, Committees hold informational hearings on topics that may lead to legislation in upcoming sessions, hear updates on previous implementations, hear reports from state agencies and Task Forces, and keep current on the subject areas affecting Oregonians. For September Legislative Days, our Transportation committee will hear an important update from the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) on the most recent Highway Cost Allocation Study (HCAS). Every two years, the state of Oregon completes the HCAS, the results of which are used as the main instrument during legislative sessions to determine changes in weight-mile and fuel taxes and vehicle registration fees.

Coming up on August 28th, I will be the guest speaker at the Forest Grove/Cornelius Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon. Thank you to Director Claudia Yakos for the invitation - I always enjoy speaking with members of the local business community and look forward to providing an update on the 2023 Legislative Session. Remember, if you have a group or organization that would be interested in a legislative update or a discussion on issues that matter in our community, please reach out to my office at rep.susanmclain@oregonlegislature.gov.

Finally, I hope that you can make it out to my Joint Town Hall next Tuesday with Representative Nathan Sosa and Senator Janeen Sollman. You can find the flyer and the link to the RSVP page in the next section of this newsletter. It will be a great opportunity to hear about the policies we worked on this Session and how the bills passed will impact Western Washington County. Spanish translation is available and there will be time for audience questions. 


Panel at the Oregon Trucking Association Conference in Bend with Senators Gorsek and Boquist, and Reps. Boshart Davis and McLain.

Panel presentation
Section Break



Click on the image below, or here, to register for my joint Town Hall with Representative Sosa and Senator Sollman. The sign-up form has an option to list the topics that interest you, and I encourage you to let us know what you want to hear about at the Town Hall.

Town Hall Flyer
Section Break


SECTION HEADER: Legislative Updates



This week I am focusing on three very important policy areas that we worked hard on during the 2023 Legislative Session, and that also matter very much to me personally: Healthcare Access for all Oregonians, Social Justice progress, and Water Preservation and Access for all communities and industries. While these issues may seem unrelated, the policies we enacted were all derived from our efforts to improve quality of life for all Oregonians, whether that be through clean and accessible water for our food systems or for drinking, expanded healthcare coverage, or improving aspects of our public systems for marginalized communities. 


Expanding Social Justice Policies

This Session, the Oregon Legislature, led by the BIPOC Caucus, passed legislation that increased equitable access to healthcare, advanced economic justice, ensured that equity is a guiding principle in how we fund our schools, and protected vulnerable communities against the effects of climate change. Here are some of the key bills that passed that I was proud to vote and work on and that are a good start for increasing social justice:

HB 2925 Addressing Racism as a Public Health Crisis: Extends the mandate for the Oregon Advocacy Commission Office and affinity groups to study impact of culturally-specific mobile health units on the health outcomes of Oregonians impacted by racism.

SB 586 Confidentiality in Restorative Justice: Creates confidentiality protections in restorative justice programs to ensure full engagement of participants and increase the usage of these programs.

HB 3144 Pacific Islander/Native Hawaiian Student Success Act: Invests $2.1 million dollars in the Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander Student Success Plan to provide targeted interventions addressing unacceptable education disparities faced by NH/PI students.

HB 2802 Nonprofit Work Study: Creates two work-study pilot programs at Portland State University and Eastern Oregon University which will give students reduced tuition for working at a local small nonprofit in their community.

SB 611 Reasonable Rent: Helps vulnerable families stay housed by setting rents at the rate of inflation and has a cap of 10%. This will benefit those who have the least choice in the rental market.

HB 3235 Oregon Kids’ Credit: Creates a $1000 Child Tax Credit per child between the ages of 0 and 5 for families earning $30,000 or less, giving working families the flexibility and stability needed to lead healthy fulfilling lives.


Drought and Water Security Budget Framework

As a member of the House Committee On Agriculture, Land Use, Natural Resources, and Water, I was proud to work on and support the 2023-2025 Drought and Water Security Budget framework. After years of drought harming Oregonians statewide, this set of investments is aimed at ensuring there is a fresh, clean and safe water supply for Oregon families, farms, fish and wildlife.

The west has been experiencing a 22-year mega-drought and most of Central Oregon remains in severe drought. Targeted investments in this budget package framework support collaborative efforts in drought-affected regions that bring Oregonians together to improve our resilience to increased water scarcity.

The state investments in this framework are strategically designed to leverage time-sensitive federal money from the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021.

The 23-25 Drought and Water Security Budget framework will build a sustainable water future for urban and rural communities and systems across the state by investing in existing and new resources in order to:

Modernize Oregon’s critical irrigation infrastructure to better serve the families, farms, fish and wildlife that interact with our systems;

Protect, enhance and restore critical sources of drinking and other types of water systems that support local industries and ecosystems; and

Bolster water-related data necessary to more efficiently detect risks and coordinate water management.

HB 2010 funds these investments with $100 million in new and existing resources to ensure families, farms, and wildlife across Oregon have clean, safe water -- now and into the future.


Increasing Access to Healthcare

The Governor signed two health care bills into law on August 15 -- House Bill 2002 and House Bill 2697. These bills will make health care more accessible to Oregonians during a time of provider burnout and anti-choice policies nationwide.

♦Reproductive Health & Access to Care (RHAC) Act  (House Bill 2002). This bill is the Oregon Legislature's response to the U.S Supreme Court's disastrous Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization decision that has prevented providers from offering necessary reproductive health care, allowed many Republican-led states to enact total abortion bans. 

Oregon has long been a beacon for access to reproductive health and gender-affirming care and the Reproductive Health and Access to Care (RHAC) Act continues that trend.

The RHAC Act preserves and protects access to reproductive health care and abortions by: 

  • Keeping politicians out of the deeply personal reproductive health care decisions made between a patient and their doctor.
  • Ensuring parents and guardians who are abusive, neglectful or absent cannot deny a minor access to an abortion, clarifying Oregon law in the wake of the Dobbs decision.
  • Shielding health care providers from anti-choice, anti-LGBTQ+, anti-freedom laws in other states, ensuring they can continue to care for patients in Oregon. This comes in response to increased threats Oregon providers are facing post-Dobbs.
  • Clarifying and expanding access to abortion and gender-affirming care by codifying that these medically necessary procedures are covered by insurance. 

♦Addressing Nurse Staffing Shortages (House Bill 2697): Nearly 70% of Oregon’s nurses say they are experiencing severe burnout, with more than three-quarters reporting that their work lives are dangerously stressful due to unsafe levels of staffing and poor working conditions. This has led to significant turnover in hospitals, further exacerbating staff shortages.

Here’s how this bill addresses nurse burnout: 

  • Requires hospitals to establish a hospital professional and technical staffing committee and a hospital service staffing committee consisting of equal number of managers and staff. 
  • Requires staffing committees to develop written hospital-wide staffing plans and specifies criteria staffing committees must consider in developing staffing plans. 
  • Specifies nurse staffing ratios for specified hospital units and circumstances permitting deviation from ratios.

Oregon is the first state in the nation to do this, leading the way to make sure nurses are given the tools they need to succeed, so that patients can have the care they need to get better.

Healthcare Access Graphic
Section Break
SECTION HEADER: Around Washington County



*Information from The Forest Grove News-Times:

Pacific University has deep ties to Hawaii and is taking donations to assist its students in the aftermath of the Maui wildfires. About 15% of the university’s students come from the Hawaiian Islands, and almost one in five undergraduates hail from the Aloha State, university officials have said.

To help students with rent, food, transportation or other necessities in the wake of fires, the university shared the Pacific University Student Emergency Fund. Donors can contribute directly to the school to support students directly affected by the wildfires at pacificu.edu/give/support-pacific-university-student-emergency-fund.

The university said that as of Friday, Aug. 11, over 50 students had been directly impacted by the fires, from losing their homes to fleeing the flames while on Maui.

The university recommends students who are affected to reach out to the Student Counseling Center at 503-352-2191 or counselingcenter@pacificu.edu or contact Janalei Chun in the university’s Hawaii Outreach & Programming office for resources or assistance.

Donations for the rescue and recovery efforts in Hawaii can also be made at the Hawaii Community FoundationLahaina Civic Club, and Aina Momona.



Visit the “Quilts Through Time” quilt show at the Friends of Historic Forest Grove Old Train Station museum located at 1936 19th Ave in Forest Grove. Some of the quilts are almost 200 years old! 😮

Suggested donation at the door: $5 or donate online - No tickets needed. There will also be a raffle for several quilts -- raffle tickets will be available at the event.

August 19th from 10-4pm / August 20th from 12-4pm

Quilts Through Time Event Flyer




El Grito Festival

Centro Cultural is hosting this event, presented by the City of Hillsboro. Join them as they commemorate Mexico’s cry for independence and celebrate the rich culture of Latin America. This family-friendly event will feature mariachi, and ballet folklorico performances, Latin American gastronomy, artisanal vendors, a car show, community resources, and much more. Don’t miss this opportunity to embrace Hispanic Heritage Month and the Latino diaspora in this free and vibrant community event.

El Centro Cultural tiene el honor de ser el anfitrión de este evento, presentado por la Ciudad de Hillsboro. Únase a nosotros para conmemorar el grito de independencia de México y celebrar la rica cultura de América Latina. Este evento familiar contará con actuaciones de mariachi y ballet folclórico, gastronomía latinoamericana, vendedores artesanales, una exhibición de autos, recursos comunitarios y mucho más. No se pierda esta oportunidad de abrazar el Mes de la Herencia Hispana y la diáspora latina en este evento comunitario gratuito y vibrante.


Section Break
SECTION DIVIDER: Available Benefits



Technology image advertising broadband discounts

Have you heard about Oregon Lifeline or the Affordable Connectivity Program? Oregon Lifeline is a federal and state government program that provides a monthly discount on phone or broadband service for qualifying low-income Oregon households. The Affordable Connectivity Program is an FCC benefit program that helps ensure that households can afford the broadband they need for work, school, healthcare, and more.

Oregon Lifeline: https://www.oregon.gov/puc/pages/oregon-lifeline.aspx

Affordable Connectivity Program: https://www.fcc.gov/acp



Oregon employees started applying for Paid Leave Oregon benefits on Aug. 14, 2023, in the new system Frances Online. The fastest way to apply is through Frances Online.

Paid Leave Oregon covers paid family leave, medical leave, and safe leave for working Oregonians. Benefits start Sept. 3, but the program is accepting applications in Frances Online early to allow enough time to process initial claims. Initial benefit payments start about two weeks after Sept. 3. Employees can apply through Frances Online in English and Spanish. At the earliest, you can send your application 30 days before you start your leave. At the latest, you can send it 30 days after you start your leave. If you apply too early or too late, Paid Leave may deny your application. If circumstances outside of your control prevent you from sending your application during this 60-day time frame, Paid Leave may accept your application up to one year after the start of your leave.






Section Break



After the heat broke on Wednesday night, our regional air quality and excessive heat warnings were lifted on Thursday morning. However, there are still several active wildfires burning across the state, including in the mid and lower Willamette Valley, and people are still encouraged to use caution.

The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) encourages people to take steps to protect themselves against wildfire smoke, especially those at higher risk of negative health effects from exposure. Please remember that smoke from wildfires can travel hundreds or thousands of miles. Exposure to gases and particles in wildfire smoke may cause symptoms such as:

  • Watery or dry eyes
  • Persistent coughing, phlegm, wheezing, scratchy throat or irritated sinuses
  • Headaches
  • Shortness of breath, asthma attack or lung irritation
  • Irregular heartbeat, chest pain or fatigue
  • Heart attacks

Smoke levels can change rapidly depending on fire behavior and weather conditions. With that in mind, checking current conditions on the Oregon Smoke Information Blog, viewing Oregon DEQ Air Quality Index or searching for and downloading the free OregonAIR app on the Apple App Store or Google Play store can keep you up to date on alerts in our area.

It’s best to prepare early so you can take the following protective steps if reports show high smoke levels:

  • Stay indoors whenever possible. If you must go outdoors, consider using a respirator.
  • Follow a management and treatment plan for those living with chronic respiratory conditions, like asthma.
  • Keep track of medication supply, and refill prescriptions as early as possible. People living with asthma should call their health provider if their asthma gets worse or if they have concerns about their breathing plan.
  • Create a cleaner air space:
    • Keep windows and doors closed.
    • Avoid strenuous outdoor activity.
    • Use high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters in indoor ventilation systems or portable air purifiers, if available.
    • Create a DIY Box fan filter if you are unable to get an air purifier. OHA has video guides on how to make one below: 


Graphic: Protect yourself from wildfire smoke


Stay safe, stay informed and stay connected. Access resources before, during and after wildfires by signing up for Emergency Alerts below:


Sign up for emergency alerts


For more information on wildfire prevention and recovery, view my resource link in the "Important Resources" section below.


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
Section Break


Beautiful drive through Central Oregon on Wednesday!

Central Oregon


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