Legislative Update from Rep. Anna Scharf

View this in browser
Representative Anna Scharf

Dear Friends,

I always aim to provide a monthly if not bi-monthly newsletter with important and interesting updates pertaining to HD23 and Oregon. This is my way of trying to keep House District 23 informed, as well as a way to stay connected with all of you. 

However, this month I feel compelled to lead off with how troubled I am over the terrorist attacks occurring in Israel. My heart hurts for the people of Israel and my prayers go out to all those being affected by these atrocious events. I learned just a day after the attacks began that one of our HD23 members is in Israel.  Fortunately, she chose to evacuate the coastal town of Ashkelon just days before it was bombarded by rockets. I will continue to pray for her safety and all those in Israel. 

I stand with my fellow colleagues in condemning these horrific acts of violence. It is my hope the United States follows through, as promised, and supports Israel to protect their nation and their people.

Events such as these, remind us how blessed we are to live in America - land of the free because of the brave. How sheltered we are from the political violence taking place around the world. It reminds us that our democracy is fragile and that we must continue to work to protect it.

Although trivial as compared to the tragedy in Israel, I hope you find the below information/updates helpful. As always, thank you for your continued support. Please contact my office with any concerns or questions, and please join me in praying for peace for Israel.



Anna Scharf
State Representative - HD 23


You will see a return of 44% from your 2022 Oregon income taxes when you file your 2023 taxes in 2024. 

You can determine the amount of your kicker using a “What’s My Kicker?” calculator available on Revenue Online. To use the calculator, taxpayers will need to enter their name, Social Security Number, and filing status for 2022 and 2023.

This is great news, especially considering Oregon is the second HIGHEST taxed state in the United States!  I will continue to work towards the way when we once again receive this money back as a check, as it was in the beginning, and not a tax credit that is actually a long term, interest free loan of your money to the State. 


As kids go back to school, it’s a good reminder that parents need to stay up to date with how government is running our public schools.

After parental pushback, the Oregon State Board of Education (BOE) removed a proposal to fast-track the suspension of graduation requirements for another four years. We need to keep the pressure on to ensure they don’t resurrect the proposal at this month's meeting on October 19th. In the meantime, you can submit comments to the Board. At  StateBoard.PublicEmail@ode.oregon.gov. You can also send comments by mail to State Board of Education, 255 Capitol Street NE, Salem, OR 97310.

Opportunities to testify before the Board in each meeting’s public notice are traditionally sent one week in advance of the meeting. Currently, direct public comment is by advanced registration only. The best way to receive information about direct public comment opportunities, as well as other meeting notices and updates, is to subscribe to the State Board of Education mailing list.

Here is some useful background on this issue:

In 2021, the Legislature passed SB 744 to suspend graduation standards that ensured kids could read, write, and do math before earning a diploma. That suspension lasted through the end of this school year. But now the BOE wants to suspend them for another four years.

The item was on their September 21 meeting agenda. In the staff summary for the proposal, Department of Education (DOE) staff noted that suspending the graduation requirement “may also result in less student accessibility, public transparency, and comparability.”

Proponents of suspending graduation requirements point to the fact that students still must fulfill a minimum credit requirement to graduate. While it's true that students must meet a credit minimum, that really isn’t much of a standard at all. Many students passed classes and graduated during the pandemic (an increase in the graduation rate actually), but I don't know anyone who would say they received the same level of education. 

At the same time, we see graduation rates slowly increasing, and proficiency levels are declining. I am glad we have a credit requirement, but until parents insist that students are well-educated and well-prepared, suspending the graduation standards is a disservice to students. Are credits enough to prepare students for the post-high school world? The point of education is learning, not credentialing, so issuing a diploma without first ensuring they have mastered basic reading, writing, and math skills defrauds them of a real education.


During the week of September 25th, the legislature met for Fall Legislative Days in Salem. During that week, I was able to meet in my office with state agencies, constituents and lobby, as well as attend committee meetings. It was a great packed week and wonderful to see my colleagues from across the state again.  We will convene again for Legislative Days the week of November 6th

During the Early Childhood and Human Service Committee, which I am Vice-Chair of, we received many presentations. I was pleased to invite Abisha Stone from SEDCOR in to share with the committee the progress that is being made in Newberg on Affordable Housing and Child Care. Here are her presentation slides. You can also view her testimony to the committee HERE.


It's been another busy month since my last newsletter. Here are just a few of the tours and events I've been to throughout the past couple weeks! I appreciate the opportunity to continue to learn, educate students, tour our state, and represent HD 23 outside of the district. 


Great opportunity to tour NW Natural training facility with other legislators to learn about the industry, safety training, innovation and different policy issues that may be facing them in future legislative sessions.


I had the privilege of speaking to Seniors at Amity High School and sharing about the legislative process. These young adults will soon be voters and it was encouraging to engage with such a great group of young men and women.


Oregon Business & Industry hosted a week-long tour of businesses throughout the state of Oregon. I was able to join the tour on day one which included a round table with the Pendleton Chamber of Commerce talking about housing, child care and workforce issues, a tour of the Pendleton Woolen Mills, and a stop at the Tillamook Columbia River processing facility in Boardman. Photo 1) Pendleton Chamber Breakfast. Photo 2) Rep. Court Boice (South Coast), Senator Steiner (NW Portland/Beaverton) and Senator Hansel (Athena). Photo 3) every attendee signs the bus as it travels across the state.


The Pacific Islander community is near and dear to my heart. It was truly a blessing to meet with David Anitok and learn more about how we can better support the Compacts of Free Agreement (COFA) in Oregon.


Did you know, last week the Salem Municipal Airport started commercial flights via Avelo Airlines? You can now fly nonstop from Salem to Las Vegas or Burbank.


Friends of Family Farmers (FoFF) hosted organic farm tours at Deck Family Farm, a cattle, lamb, pig, chicken and turkey farm that sell through a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, commercial contracts and farmers markets. The second stop was at Wild Child Seed Farm which produces organic produce also sold through CSA’s and at local farmers markets, as well as producing flower and vegetable seeds.


The Oregon Fairground Association (OFA) just held their annual convention in Redmond. I had the opportunity to speak at this event with their lobbyist JL Wilson. County fairgrounds also serve as emergency evacuation and emergency services locations for many counties. During the 2023 Legislative Session, I sponsored a bill that requested $20M in funding to help these locations across the state improve their infrastructure (water, sewer, power) in order help them be better prepared the next time they are called on to help in an emergency. The bill made it to Ways & Means but was not funded. I hope to make another attempt at acquiring this funding during the 2025 session. 

Capitol Phone: 503-986-1423
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, H-387, Salem, OR 97301
Email: Rep.AnnaScharf@oregonlegislature.gov
Website: https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/scharf