Getting Ready for Legislative Days

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Representative Susan McLain
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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

It was a very nice weekend in Western Washington County with wonderful events and good weather, and a great turnout from the community to the Corn Roast and Chalk Art Festival in Forest Grove, and El Grito in Hillsboro. It was a lovely surprise to run into a former Speech and Debate student, Trent Toney, who was performing as one of the musical offerings in Forest Grove. I even got a call out from the stage! 

I have been out in the community doing a wide variety of meetings and events, and also provided a Legislative Update to the Hillsboro City Council on Tuesday night. I've shared some of these experiences with you in this newsletter, along with the following information:

  • Preview of Legislative Days
  • Review of Community Safety bills from 2023 Session
  • Important School Calendar dates to know
  • Upcoming events in our area
  • Washington County Housing waitlist opens
  • Update on Paid Leave Oregon
  • Latest COVID Vaccine information
  • Wildfire prevention information 
Corn Roast in Forest Grove

Forest Grove Chamber Director and volunteers were out in full force on Saturday!


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SECTION HEADER: Legislative Days




What Are Legislative Days?

In the Oregon Legislature, Legislative Days are a time when committees hold informational hearings on a variety of topics, but do not vote on policy or pass legislation.  Topics can often be ones that may lead to legislation in upcoming sessions or committees may hear updates on previous bill implementations.  Many committees will hear reports from state agencies and Task Forces or consider testimony regarding current subject areas affecting Oregonians.

Legislative Days Committee Meetings Schedule and Agendas

Below are my interim committees that are meeting during Legislative Days. I've included the topics we'll be covering and if you click on the date, it will take you to a page where you can watch the hearings either live or recorded. I will also provide a thorough review in my newsletter after Legislative Days. 

Joint Committee On Transportation

Friday, September 29th at 2:30

  • Presentation of 2023 Highway Cost Allocation Study
  • Presentation of House Bill 2017 Section 75 Report
  • Structural Challenges in Funding + Maintaining the Transportation System
  • Update from Transportation Subcommittee
  • Update from Counties/Utilities Work Group

Joint Interim Committee On Ways and Means 

Friday, September 29th at 8:30

  • Approval of Consent Grants

House Interim Committee On Agriculture, Land Use, Natural Resources, and Water

Thursday, September 28th at 2:30

  • Senate Bill 789 (2023) Canola Workgroup Update
  • Agricultural Impacts of Grasshopper Crisis
  • Water Infrastructure Needs Assessment
  • State Beaver Action Plan Implementation

Joint Interim Committee On Ways and Means Subcommittee On Education 

Thursday, September 28th at 8:30

  • Approval of Consent Grants



As I continue to update you on 2023 Legislative Session achievements, I am highlighting a very important topic this week: Community Safety. The issue is very complex and required a diverse approach this Legislative Session. While the progress we made is significant, issues around safety are always ongoing and require a constant and thoughtful approach each and every Session. To read more about each of the bills referenced below, click on the bill number underlined in blue. 

Safety accomplishments


Public Safety & Accountability Investment: A $4 billion investment to fund law enforcement, hold bad actors accountable, and give communities the safety and security they need. It includes an unprecedented $1.3 billion to fully fund the Oregon Department of Emergency Management.

SB 337Addresses Oregon’s public defense crisis by ensuring an accountable, transparent, and efficient system so that Oregonians are afforded their right to representation. 

HB 2005: The Gun Violence Prevention Bill makes communities safer, helps law enforcement do their jobs, and respects responsible gun owners.

HB 3443: Further protects victims of bias crimes, including prohibiting landlords from terminating a lease or taking other specified actions due to status of a tenant as victim of bias crime.

HB 2316: Keeps Oregon’s roads safe by expanding our Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants (DUII) laws.


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SECTION HEADER: Back to School



October 13 - No School

October 25 - Evening Conferences K-8

October 26 - Evening Conferences K-8, Day Conferences K-6, No School K-6, regular school 7-12

October 27 - No School K-8 regular school 9-12

November 1 - Evening Conferences 9-12

November 2 - Evening Conferences 9-12

November 3 - No School 9-12 regular school K-8

November 22-24 - Thanksgiving Break 



September 25 - No School (Staff Development)

October 13 - No School (Licensed Non-Contract Day)

November 9 – No School (Elementary Work Day,  Secondary Grade Prep(

November 10 – No School (Veterans Day)

November 20 – No School (Elementary-Staff Development and Family Conference Prep, Secondary-Staff Development)

November 21 – No School (Family Conference Connections K-12)

November 22-24 - Thanksgiving Break

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SECTION HEADER: Community Outreach



Last Friday, I had an engaging and informative visit to Community Action in Hillsboro. Community Action provides critical services to low-income families in the areas of housing, homeless services, economic empowerment, family development, and early childhood care and education. They serve over 30,000 Washington County residents each year and we are fortunate to have such a strong partner in providing needed services in our community.

Executive Director Kemp Shuey, and Julie Novakowsk, the director of their Head Start Program, gave me a tour of their Head Start and Early Head Start program rooms at the Hillsboro Child Development Center. As a teacher of over 42 years, and as a Co-Chair of our Education Budget committee, I believe strongly that Education policy must encompass programming for ages 0-24. Early learning is critical to the success of any child and I appreciate that the Community Action Head Start programs offer high-quality early childhood education for children prenatal to age 5.

Find Help through Community Action:

If you need assistance with one of the following things, please consider reaching out to Community Action:

  • Housing assistance
  • Homeless services
  • Early childhood care and education
  • Economic empowerment
  • Family development
Community Action visit pictures




Corn at the Corn Roast

I have attended the Forest Grove Corn Roast for almost 40 years, and to the Chalk Art Festival for almost as long! These two events never get old! Every year is unique, and I love that these two events falls on the same day, as it makes for an even bigger celebration for our community. This year's events were outstanding and kudos to Claudia Yakos and the Forest Grove/Cornelius Chamber of Commerce, and to Valley Art Supplies for their hard work in organizing the event. Thank you also to all the volunteers that made everything run smoothly, to the farmers who brought in the amazing corn we had (see picture to the right), and to the incredible artists who shared their talent with us. 

Below are some of my favorite pieces of art from the festival on Saturday:

Chalk Art Festival



There is no better way to celebrate Hispanic Heritage in our community than by attending El Grito, which is put on by Centro Cultural every year. Saturday's festivities included mariachi and ballet folklorico performances, Latin American gastronomy & food, artisanal vendors, a car show, community resources, and much more. Keep sharing your El Grito pictures on Facebook - I love seeing how everyone experienced the event. 

El Grito Festival
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SECTION HEADER: Hispanic Heritage Month

As I mentioned in last week's newsletter, National Hispanic Heritage Month has begun and continues through October 15. The distinction honors and celebrates the cultures and contributions of Hispanic Americans. Western Washington County has a thriving Hispanic population that contributes so much to our success and enriches our local culture. We are also fortunate to have non-profits like Adelante Mujeres, Centro Cultural de Washington County, Bienestar, and Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center providing essential services that benefit our entire community.

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by shopping at the amazing Hispanic businesses we have and read about how you can celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in our area.



It's time to celebrate Hillsboro's newest mural, Together We Have a Bright Future by artist Li Tie.

On Sunday, October 8 from 2 to 4 pm, join the City of Hillsboro and M&M Marketplace for a dedication of the mural at the Marketplace (346 SW Walnut St., Hillsboro, 97123). Enjoy live music, light refreshments provided by M&M vendors, and remarks by project partners.

Parking is available and everyone in the community is welcome to join. Remarks will begin at 2:30 pm.

About the Mural Process

The mural was commissioned by the City of Hillsboro in partnership with M&M Marketplace as part of a series of improvements through the public-private partnership. A community-based committee, with representatives from M&M’s owners, vendors and community stakeholders, the local arts community, and the Hillsboro Arts & Culture Council, set the project’s goals of creating a welcoming entryway at the Marketplace and celebrating its vibrancy and diversity of cultural offerings. The committee guided the artist selection, using the Hillsboro Mural Roster, and design process.

The mural at M&M Marketplace is the third project in a series of murals developed throughout Hillsboro’s Cultural Arts District, spanning Downtown from 10th Ave to M&M Marketplace at SW Walnut St. This latest mural rounds out the investment of the first murals to be commissioned by the City of Hillsboro.

Mural at the market
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The Housing Authority is announcing 300 slots will be open on its Public Housing waitlist. Applications will open at 9 a.m. on September 20, 2023, for two, three and four-bedroom units. Applications will be accepted through September 26, 2023, at 5 p.m. 

If you are interested in applying, visit the county's Public Housing webpage.Applications will only be accepted via the online portal, unless special accommodations are requested via email at lrphwaitlist@washingtoncountyor.govSign up for the Housing newsletter to receive regular updates.



I was a proud supporter of Paid Leave Oregon in the Legislature, because it will ensure individuals, employers, and families of every kind have the time and support they need to care for themselves and their loved ones when they need it most. Please read below for more information on Paid Leave and how you can access benefits.

PaidLeave Oregon

♦Paid Leave Benefits Are Here!

Paid Leave sends out first benefits for approved applications

The first Paid Leave Oregon benefit payments for the week of Sept. 3 began going out Sept. 13. Please check your Frances Online account to make sure we approved your claim. Also, check your Action Center to see if we are waiting for more information from you. If you are taking intermittent leave, remember to claim each week you took Paid Leave. If you need help, use our Contact Us form.

It may take up to an additional week for you to receive benefits, depending on if you chose direct deposit or prepaid debit card.  

♦Information about Paid Leave/OFLA/Paid Time Off

Paid Leave Oregon and the Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industries (BOLI) partnered to create three new documents to help answer your questions about how Paid Leave works with other programs, such as the Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA), paid time off (PTO), and job protections.

These resources are:

OFLA/Paid Leave Common Questions: A list of common questions and answers about how OFLA and Paid Leave work together.  

Job Protections Common Questions: If you have worked for your employer for 90 days, your job is protected if you take Paid Leave. Find out more, including other answers to common job protection questions.

Use of OFLA/PTO/Paid Leave Oregon: This fact sheet explains employee and employer rights and obligations when an employee asks for earned paid time off (vacation leave, sick leave, or personal time) when the employee takes protected leave under Paid Leave, under the Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA), or both.

♦Application Advice

Check your action center and message center for alerts

After submitting your application, please check your Frances Online account regularly and respond to any alerts or notifications. We can’t approve your benefits until we receive a complete application.

Remember to attach your supporting documents

When you don’t attach the supporting documents we need to approve your specific type of leave, it takes longer to process your claim. Use our Employee Toolkit and the What You Need to Apply for Benefits Checklist, to make sure you have the correct documents when you apply for benefits. Using Paid Leave’s official forms also saves you time!

Reminder: Incomplete applications are only saved until Saturday night each week.

If you save an incomplete application using Frances Online, make sure you complete it before Saturday night. Frances Online can’t save any incomplete applications for a new week.

For Paid Leave, our week begins on Sunday and runs until the following Saturday night.

♦Your Top Questions Answered

Visitors to our website can use the “Contact Us” button to ask questions about Paid Leave. Here are some of the most common questions and their answers. 

Question: If I am self-employed and contribute to Paid Leave Oregon, how do I apply for benefits?

Answer: As a self-employed person, you’ve been using the Frances Online employer portal to pay your Paid Leave contributions. To apply for benefits, you need to create an account in the Frances Online claimant portal:

Choose Sign up for a Claimant Online account and if you prefer, use the same username and password to create your account. Log in to the claimant portal, choose Apply for Paid Leave Oregon benefits, and complete the application steps.

You will continue to use both Frances employer and employee portals and logins for your participation in Paid Leave Oregon as a self-employed person. You will keep using the employer portal for your contribution payments and annual income verification uploads, and you will use the claimant portal for anything relating to Paid Leave Oregon benefit claims. 

Question: If I cancel my claim, how long do I have to wait before filing a new one?

Answer: After choosing to cancel your claim, there is a claim cancelation approval process that must finish before the system allows you to file another claim. The process generally takes two to three business days to complete. If after three business days you still can’t file a claim, please reach out to us using the Contact Us form or by giving us a call.  


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COVID-19 cases are on the rise nationwide and people should consider getting  the new vaccine as soon as possible. They’re based on, and targeted toward, the XBB.1.5 omicron subvariant. There are more recent subvariants circulating now, but the vaccine should also defend against those.The Oregon Health Authority recommends it for anyone at least 6 months old who has gone more than two months without getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Please continue reading below for a quick overview of the current COVID wave and the new vaccine.

*Information from an Axios Portland article and Washington County

CDC COVID Data Tracker


Updated COVID-19 vaccines should be available in Oregon this week.

Catch up quick: Last week, Oregon Health Authority officials joined the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in recommending the newly FDA-approved Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for everyone 6 months and older, or those who have not received a COVID vaccine within the last two months.

Why it matters: COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have been rising across Oregon and Multnomah County since July, county health data shows. New strains are driving the rapid spread.

  • These strains are less deadly than previous ones but contribute to the continued threat of long COVID.

Zoom in: As of Sept. 12 there were 216 COVID-positive patients in Oregon hospitals, according to state data — a 73% increase from just two months ago.

  • Hospitalization rates are an important metric for gauging viral spread, as at-home testing rises in popularity official COVID-19 case numbers are less reliable.

Of note: Most people with private insurance and those enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid should be able to get the new shots at no-cost.


Where to get a vaccine

The new updated COVID vaccines should be available around September 20 from your primary care doctor, pharmacies and locations below. 

Neighborhood Health Center: Locations in Beaverton, Hillsboro and Tanasbourne. You can make an appointment by calling the NHC COVID-19 Hotline at 503-848-5861 or by calling the clinic directly. Find more information at the NHC COVID webpage.

Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center: Vaccination, testing and treatment at the Hillsboro 7th Avenue clinic (226 SE 7th Ave) is open to all community members. You don't have to be a Virginia Garcia patient. Testing is drive-thru and vaccination is walk-up. Hours for testing and treatment are T-F, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Hours for vaccination are Wednesday and Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Make an appointment on VG's website. You can also get your flu or mpox shot at this clinic

Local pharmacies

Still have questions or need language assistance? Call our HelpLine at 503-846-8123


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SECTION HEADER: Wildfire Resources




How can people help prevent wildfires? 

Additional human-caused fires on the landscape will draw the firefighting efforts away from the lightning-caused fires and put extra strain on ground and aviation resources. You can help prevent large wildfires by: 

  • Checking and following your local fire regulations
  • Remember that debris burning is prohibited statewide. 
  • Return to check on your burn site if you burned earlier in the year. 
  • Make sure your car has been recently serviced to avoid faulty parts throwing sparks.
  • Don't drag tow chains.
  • Recreate responsibly and put your campfire DEAD OUT before leaving it.
  • Avoid parking vehicles on tall, dry grass.


How can I prepare my home to be resilient against fire? 

Creating defensible space, a buffer between your home and the grass, trees, shrubs, or wildland area, is your home's first defense against wildfires. Give your home a fighting chance and protect your family. Prepare today. Be ready when wildfire strikes. It's essential to regularly maintain your defensible space to prevent the accumulation of dry vegetation and debris. There are things you can do today to protect your home:  

  • Request a free defensible space property assessment. The fire service professional will use an assessment form on a smartphone app and fill out the form with you as you walk around your property to give you tailored recommendations to protect your home. You can request a free assessment at Oregon Defensible Space.
  • Make sure roofs and gutters are clean from leaves, conifer needles, and other debris. 
  • Make sure leaves, conifer needles, deadwood, bark mulch, and other debris are removed from the surface of, around, and below decks and fences. 
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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 you need, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office at


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!


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.  


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


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Late Harvest from a friend's garden in Forest Grove

Picture of Fall Harvest


Yours truly,

McLain signature

Representative Susan McLain
House District 29

email: I phone: 503-986-1429
address: 900 Court St NE, H-493, Salem, OR 97301