September Newsletter

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Hello friends,

I hope you’ve all had a fantastic summer and that the kids in your life had a smooth back-to-school transition. With the Labor Day holiday behind us, legislative activity has started to ramp up in preparation for three days of committee meetings at the end of the month and for the 2024 short session.

Read on for information about changes the legislature made that will impact schools in 2023-24, updates on the state of Oregon’s economy, information on great community organizations, and more!

Joint Legislative Town Hall Recap

In August, I joined State Representatives Paul Holvey, Nancy Nathanson, and Charlie Conrad, as well as Senator James Manning for a joint legislative town hall at Harris Hall. We had a large crowd that asked good questions about the issues the legislature tackled in the 2023 session. Thank you to everyone who attended, as well as to our moderator, former mayor Kitty Piercy, and the staff at Lane County for helping put on a great event!


If you weren’t able to make it, I plan on holding another constituent event soon to hear your thoughts about what the legislature should work on in the short session next year. Stay tuned for details in an upcoming newsletter.

BACK TO SCHOOL: What Oregon Students and Parents Need to Know Ahead of the 2023 School Year

During the 2023 Legislative session, lawmakers made several key changes and investments that will have positive impacts in Oregon’s schools this year – record levels of funding, investments in early literacy programs, initiatives to support educators and solve the substitute teacher shortage, upgrades for healthier school ventilation systems, new school safety measures, and more.

Highlights include:

  • Fully funding Oregon’s K-12 schools with record investments that will ensure students are set up for success in the classroom (House Bill 5015). 
  • Improving early reading skills in the classroom, which is shown to have a long-term, positive impact on kids graduating from high school (House Bill 3198). 
  • Delivering cleaner air, heating, and cooling in school buildings by upgrading school HVAC systems (House Bill 3031).
  • Providing free or reduced-cost school meals for more low-income students (House Bill 5014)
  • Attracting, retaining, and training talented educators so that every kid graduates with basic life skills (Senate Bill 283). 
  • Making schools safer with silent panic alarm systems to alert law enforcement and emergency medical services when there is a threat on a school campus (House Bill 5014).
  • Notifying parents and school employees when there is an emergency at school (House Bill 3584).
Back to School

With these solutions in place, Oregon schools will be safer, healthier, and stronger. To learn more about these efforts, click here. 

Checking in on Oregon’s Economic Health

Four times a year, state economists join a joint meeting of the House and Senate Committees on Revenue to discuss their forecast for Oregon’s economy. These reports help the legislature make informed decisions about the state’s budget and funding for critical programs. The August revenue forecast shows stable, encouraging growth in our economy, including additional revenue that will help pay for our schools, health care, housing, and public safety services. 

Our unemployment rate of 3.4% is at a historic low, entrepreneurship is on the rise, inflation has slowed, and the cost of daily essentials continues to stabilize. In addition, Oregon is well-positioned to receive substantial federal investments in the coming years for infrastructure projects, clean energy, and the semiconductor industry. These investments will create good-paying jobs across the state.

Democrats have also ensured that Oregon has robust financial reserves. In the event of any future downturn in the economy, we are well-prepared to protect the critical services that Oregonians rely on. 

Of course, the growth in our economy isn’t felt equally by everyone, and many Oregonians still struggle to make ends meet. I’m committed to continuing our work to make housing more affordable, expand access to health care, and put money back into Oregonians’ pockets so our state remains a great place to live, work, and raise a family.

Paid Leave Oregon Is Now Accepting Applications

Oregon employees who need to take time off work to care for a new child or seriously ill family member can now apply for paid leave benefits through the state’s new paid family and medical leave program. 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.

Paid Leave Oregon

Employees can apply for benefits online 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

Community Highlights

Middle School Mentors Needed!

The Bethel School District is recruiting mentors to volunteer with middle school students. Mentoring is a great way to make a difference in a child's life – and our kids need this kind of support now more than ever! The time commitment is less than an hour once a week at either Cascade or Shasta Middle School. You can sign up to be a volunteer here.

  • Cascade schedule: Thursday, 11:24 am – 12:03 pm (6th grade) or 12:12 – 12:51 pm (7th grade)
  • Shasta schedule: Tuesdays, 12:14 pm – 12:46 pm (6th & 7th grade) or 1:08 –1:40 pm (7th grade)

Lane County Diaper Bank

The cost of diapers can be a significant burden for low-income families. The Lane County Diaper Bank is a local nonprofit founded in 2019 that provides free diapers to families in our community. One of only two diaper banks in Oregon, they’ve given out over 300,000 diapers, helping roughly 600 families each month with free diaper support. If you or someone you know is in need, you can learn more here.

LC DiaperBank

Good News

I had a great time celebrating Labor Day at the Lane County Central Labor Chapter picnic! Did you know that Oregon was the first state in the country to declare Labor Day an official holiday? And, according to Oxfam America’s latest Best States to Work in America rankings, Oregon is:

  • The #1 state for worker protection policies
  • The #1 state for rights to organize, and
  • The #1 state for working women

These rankings are the result of Oregon’s labor movement fighting for, and legislators delivering on, policies like equal pay protections, paid sick leave, paid family leave, and fair scheduling.  

Labor Day

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to my office if you need help navigating local or state government services or if you have thoughts about bills for the 2024 legislative session. Your input is valuable as I consider what to prioritize in the coming months.

Yours truly,

Fahey signature

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