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Representative Susan McLain
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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I hope this message finds you well and that you are enjoying the various holiday activities that are celebrated this time of year. The last week has been very busy with meetings and an important speaking engagement at the Oregon Business Plan Leadership Summit, but I look forward to taking some time to prepare for my own family Christmas celebrations. For those of you that are celebrating Hanukkah right now, Chag Sameach. I wish you and yours warmth and light. 

Happy Hanukkah


Last Monday, I attended the Oregon Business Plan Leadership Summit at the Moda Center, which drew a crowd of about 800! Since 2002, the Oregon Business Plan has been the state’s principal economic development forum, bringing together leaders from business, government, and nonprofit sectors to consider policies and initiatives to improve Oregon’s economy and life.

Thinking Big, the theme of the 21st Leadership Summit, on December 11, 2023, underscored a call for bolder vision and action to grow our industry sectors and economy, revitalize Portland’s Central City and other communities, and make postsecondary education more available and affordable for more of our youth and displaced workers.

I joined my Joint Transportation Co-Chair, Senator Gorsek, and Vice Chair, Senator Boquist, for a "Transportation Huddle" at the Leadership Summit. It was an opportunity to meet with important leaders from across the Transportation sectors from those who run public transit to jurisdictional partners, to safety advocates and environmental organizations. We heard about their priorities for the upcoming 2025 Transportation Package and shared ways that they, and the public, can be involved in shaping our Transportation system in ways that provide for a safe multimodal system with sustainable and diverse funding sources.

During her speech at the Leadership Summit, Governor Tina Kotek highlighted the key importance of infrastructure and of replacing the I-5 Bridge in particular. Today is the next meeting of the Bi-State Legislative Committee on the I-5 Bridge, and I look forward to sharing her comments with our counterparts in Washington State. I will provide an in-depth update on today's meeting in my next newsletter.

Click here or on the first image below to view my brief speech on the importance of multimodal Transportation infrastructure.

McLain speaking at Moda Center




Legislative Updates:
  • Important upcoming Legislative dates
  • A preview of the bills I will be introducing in the 2024 Legislative Session 
  • Information on how you can participate in the Legislative Session
Around Western Washington County:
  • A look at new and future homeless shelters in our area
  • Free food resources available 
Updates on Available Benefits:
  • What you need to know about the Oregon Kids Credit
  • How to start the Marketplace Open Enrollment process
  • Agriculture Employer Overtime Tax Credit deadline information


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SECTION HEADER: Legislative Updates




Important Upcoming Dates:

As we close out 2023, it's hard to believe that the 2024 Legislative Session is almost upon us! Here are some of the important dates to keep in mind:

Legislative Days, January 10-12: The final Legislative Days meetings of the Interim will be held at the Capitol the second week of January and provide an opportunity for Legislators to preview the issues and bills that will be worked on during the 2024 Legislative Session.

Bill Submission Deadline, January 12: This is the deadline for Legislators to submit their bills for the 2024 Session. If a bill is not submitted to the Chief Clerk by 5pm on this date, then it cannot be considered during Session.

The 2024 Legislative Session BeginsThe Session begins on February 5th and must conclude within 35 Days. 

Important Legislative Dates


What is a "Short Session?"

You'll often hear it called the "Short Session" because the Oregon Constitution mandates that it can only last a maximum of 35 days. That's roughly one month to introduce bills, hold hearings in both House and Senate committees, and have Floor votes in both Chambers. The amount of work to be done and the abbreviated timeline means that the Short Session is a very busy and often hectic sprint to finish all of our necessary work before Sine Die. As a reminder, every bill that becomes law, has to follow the process below:

Graphic: How a bill becomes a law


McLain Bills in 2024:

Because of the quick timeline, each Legislator can only introduce two personal bills during the 2024 Session. Given the abundance of important issues for the Legislature to work on, it can often be difficult to winnow your list of ideas down to just two bills. You don't give up on the other issues you are working on, but you have to decide which two bills are most important in the immediate term, and what issues can wait until the next Long Session. To that end, I will be introducing two bills related to Education that I believe are time sensitive and will improve Educational outcomes for Oregon students now.

The first bill I am introducing is a plan for Summer Learning initiatives that I have been working on in coordination with the Governor's Office. During the pandemic, states received a significant amount of money from the Federal government to address the learning challenges presented by COVID. One of the ways that the Oregon Department of Education and local school districts spent this money was on creating Summer Learning enrichment programs and we saw impressive outcomes for those students who participated. However, without continued COVID funding from the Federal government, most of those programs could not be continued once the pandemic ended. It's time for Oregon to create permanent Summer Learning opportunities for our students and my bill is the first critical step in establishing that plan.

The second bill I am introducing relates to improving Educational outcomes for Oregon's Foster Youth. The graduation rate for students living in foster homes is only 35%, which is unacceptable and clearly demonstrates that unique supports and education assistance opportunities must be provided for students who are facing the most difficult of home lives. My bill will introduce a pilot program that will allow us to study why foster youth face such challenging educational outcomes and determine the best possible supports and educational services that we can implement statewide to improve graduation rates and academic success.

I look forward to updating you on both of my bills as they progress through the Legislative process in February.


How You Can Participate in the 2024 Legislative Session:

A bill's success can be determined, in part, by the level of interest and engagement it receives from the public. To that end, I encourage each and every one of you to actively support the bills you care about, whether by testifying at a committee hearing or by contacting Legislators directly. Here are some ways that you can participate in the 2024 Legislative Session:

How to participate

Track bills

Watch the hearings

How to testify


Section BreakSection Header: Around Western Washington County




Photo of Governor Kotek at the Safe Rest Pods Re-Opening Event

The Safe Rest Pods on 17th Avenue in Hillsboro have reopened! Although I was unable to attend the event on December 8th due to other legislative responsibilities, the celebration was attended by Governor Kotek, Washington County Chair Kathryn Harrington, Hillsboro Mayor Steve Callaway, and Metro Councilor Juan Carlos Gonzalez. The reopening of this site is important as it provides extra beds and immediate shelter for up to 30 individuals in Western Washington County. The Safe Rest Pods on SW 17th Avenue are part of Washington County’s robust shelter program, which currently offers over 400 beds/rooms of shelter county-wide. 

More information about Washington County's Pod Village Shelters can be found here.

Photo Collage from Hillsboro Safe Rest Pods Event on December 8




Washington County oversees a complex and coordinated shelter system that provides a stepping stone to long-term housing for people experiencing homelessness. Since 2021, Washington County has been able to successfully expand shelter availability due funding from the Supportive Housing Services measure and more recently, Governor Kotek’s Executive Order 23-02. Continuing to expand shelter programs reduces the number of individuals and families living on the street and provides a safe and stable respite in the transition to long-term housing.

A Map of Current and Future Shelter Locations in Washington County




A monthly Free Food Market is available to all Hillsboro community members. The Food Market is available on every second Tuesday of the month, from 1:30 to 3:30 pm. Shop for free, fresh, and healthy fruits, vegetables, and pantry staples.

  • This food is free and anybody is welcome
  • No identification, name, or address needed
  • Please bring bags or boxes

The food market is located at Hillsboro Self Sufficiency (5300 NE Elam Young Pkwy in Hillsboro).

More information can be found on the City of Hillsboro's website.




A Photo Collage from the Centro Mercado Free Food Market

The Centro Mercado is a free food pantry set up like a grocery store, providing the community a welcoming and dignified space to get free, fresh and local food. The food market is open to anyone in the community—no requirements, no appointment needed. The food market is open daily and full hours can be found here. This program is a partnership between Centro Cultural and the Oregon Food Bank. The Food Market can be found at 1216 East Baseline Street in Cornelius.




After reinstating its school resource officer program in 2022, the Forest Grove School District is seeing positive reception from students. The Forest Grove school board heard an update about its school resource officer program during a meeting on Monday, Dec. 11. Joined by school principals and the district's Safety Coordinator Pat Hess, School Resource Officer Bon McBee talked about his experience working with students over the semester. The Forest Grove School District voted to bring an officer back on school campuses for the 2022-23 school year after voting to not renew its contract with the Forest Grove Police Department the previous year.

The role of the school resource officer consists of fostering a positive environment, educating students, and providing investigative and law enforcement services. Students at Forest Grove High School took a survey about the school resource officer’s presence on campus; out of 640 responses, 84% of students said the officer makes them feel safe, while 81% said the SRO is safe and approachable.

The Forest Grove News Times put out an article about the positive feedback FGSD has received, which you can read in full here.



Winter Break Dates
Section BreakSection Header: Updates on Available Benefits




In 2023, the Legislature created the Oregon Kids Credit, which is a refundable credit for low-income people with young dependent children.  Families with $30,000 or less in annual income can claim up to $1,000 per child, for up to five children aged five and below. The amount of credit is based on age and number of dependent children, and modified adjusted gross income (MAGI), BUT even people who don’t owe any tax can claim the refundable credits.  For those with a MAGI of $25,000 or less, the full credit is $1,000 per child for up to five dependent children ages 0 to 5 at the end of the tax year.  The credit is reduced when MAGI is more than $25,000 and is eliminated at $30,000. All filing statuses are eligible for the credit except for Married Filing Separate. Learn more here about the Oregon Kids Credit and other assistance programs.

Information Photo: Oregon Kids Credit




Losing health coverage can be scary. Keep you and your family insured by visiting OregonHealthCare.gov or calling 833-699-6850 to learn more about low-cost, quality health plans through the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace. Enrollment is open now until January 15, 2024. 

The Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace is a state hub that connects individuals to health insurance and financial assistance to help pay for it. The Window Shopping tool, available at OregonHealthCare.gov/WindowShop allows you to preview programs, plans, and savings available to you; what plans will cover your current doctor; and how much your anticipated costs will be, including refilling prescriptions. Nearly 80 percent of Oregonians enrolled through the Marketplace in 2023 qualified for financial help – that could be you, too!

If you need assistance enrolling in a plan and finding financial help, visit OregonHealthCare.gov/GetHelp to find an agent, broker, or navigator in your area. Their help is entirely free, and they can make the process of signing up for health coverage and choosing a plan less stressful. 

Health care coverage infographic




The Oregon Department of Revenue reminds taxpayers who plan to apply for the new Agriculture Employer Overtime Tax Credit that they need to set up a Revenue Online account soon.

Taxpayers who want to apply for the tax credit need to have a Revenue Online account prior to filling out an application. Applications must be filed electronically and will be available by January 1, 2024. No paper applications will be accepted. The application window closes January 31, 2024.

The Oregon Legislature approved House Bill 4002 in 2022. The measure requires agricultural employers to pay certain workers for overtime hours worked and creates a refundable personal or corporate income tax credit for employers for a percentage of wages paid as overtime pay, starting with the 2023 tax year.

The department provides a YouTube video about how to set up and log in to your Revenue Online account. Details about the tax credit program are available the DOR Agricultural Employer Overtime Tax Credit webpage. For general questions about the employer tax credit for agricultural worker overtime, email: Ag.Overtime@dor.oregon.gov

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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 rep.susanmclain@oregonlegislature.gov.


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.


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McLain Christmas Tree


Yours truly,

Representative McLain's Signature

Representative Susan McLain
House District 29

email: Rep.SusanMcLain@oregonlegislature.gov I phone: 503-986-1429
address: 900 Court St NE, H-476, Salem, OR 97301
website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/mclain