From the Office of Rep Charlie Conrad

Rep Conrad Newsletter

Winter 2023-24 Newsletter

Conrad Row River

Happy December! 2023 has truly been a one-of-a-kind year for me, and I am very much looking forward to 2024! My sincerest hope is that whatever trials you faced this year, and whatever memories you created, that 2024 exceeds your expectations in all the best ways.

As 2023 closes and the first half of my term nears, I want to update you on some of the work I’ve been focusing on during the interim and what I anticipate in the upcoming short session, which begins in February.

Charlie Conrad

Building Relationships

One key role of this position for me is building relationships and helping connect people doing the work with the State government and policy makers.  An effective public policy process requires a consistent flow of information throughout the entire system.  To that end, I hosted a meeting with school superintendents (there are 11 school districts in HD12), Dr. Laura Lee McIntyre – Dean of Education at U of O, Oregon Broadband, Oregon Social Learning Center, and Rep. Emily McIntire (HD56 - Eagle Point) to discuss statewide education policy.  Rep. McIntire has been on the Eagle Point School Board for seven years and sits on multiple education committees.  I saw this as a great opportunity to provide our superintendents a forum to discuss important polices with someone emersed in the education sector.  Key topics discussed included:

  • Funding/budgets
  • Early Literacy (HB 3584)
  • New requirements for students with disabilities (SB 819)
  • 2023 Health Education Standards
Conrad Madrona

Public Safety and Behavioral Health

Because of the success and clear benefits achieved by the education forum, I’ve been working with Speaker Rayfield’s (HD16) office to schedule a public safety forum where our law enforcement and fire department staff will have an opportunity to hear his thoughts going into the short-session, and share theirs.  This week we solidified a date, January 9th , where the Speaker will come to the district to talk about a number of key issues including Measure 110, the Community Corrections Act, and emergency management to name a few.  The final agenda topics are still being refined as I hear back from the people invited to attend.

As a member of the Judiciary and Behavioral Health/Health Care committees, I’ve heard in numerous meetings about the lack of a coordinated behavioral health system, especially for youth.  On November 2nd I hosted a summit focused on youth behavioral health, with an emphasis on substance use disorder.  People working in this field are very passionate and there is a lot of energy to building an efficient system that can provide treatment to youth.  Oregon has one of the highest rates of addiction in country and we are worst in the nation in delivering services.  I am determined to close that gap.  With the help of the many knowledgeable experts throughout the state, we are in the process of identifying practical changes that I can introduce in 2025 that will improve the system.  This will be a long-term ongoing endeavor that will have to be done in phases.    

Conrad Madrona

Key District Issues

Key District Issues that I’ve been working on include:

  • Touring and meeting with local officials and districts to identify infrastructure needs (especially water)
  • Working with Rep. Cate (HD11) on trying to resolve/mitigate the individual and community impacts resulting from the deep reservoir drawdowns of Green Peter and Lookout Point
  • Supporting Row River Fire Response as they hold community meetings to discuss the upcoming May vote on the Fire District
  • Supporting the McKenzie Valley Long Term Recovery Group and the other organizations focused on recovery.
  • Supporting and advocating for establishing a Recovery High School in Lane County
  • Finding funding to fix the Oakridge Airport

I am also fortunate to be appointed to several groups:

  1. Alternate Delegate to Pacific Northwest Economic Region (PNWR)
  2. Task on Modernizing Contracts and Grants (SB 606)
  3. Justice Reinvestment Grant Committee

And I have volunteered to work on several workgroups and caucuses including:

  1. Addressing housing insecure medically complex seniors with Rep. Dexter (HD33)
  2. A drone workgroup with Sen. Prozanski (SD4)
  3. Bipartisan/Bicameral Water caucus
  4. Bipartisan/Bicameral Veterans Caucus
  5. Bipartisan/Bicameral City caucus
Conrad McKenzie

Looking Forward

In the upcoming session a few very important issues will probably take center stage, none larger than how to address the opioid and addiction crisis we, and many other states, are facing.  What to do about Measure 110 is at the center of this discussion.  Several initiative petitions have been filed and discussions continue to identify a solution.  I am an advocate of recriminalizing drug possession to an A-misdemeanor (instead of a felony which it was prior to M110) and ensuring marijuana tax revenues continue to be allocated to treatment facilities and services, especially for youth.  There are other aspects involved in the M110 discussion, such as what is the proper role and function of the Oversight and Accountability Commission.  My focus is on ensuring whatever group is in charge, that they are efficient, functional, competent, and accountable.  Details matter – and I will be scrutinizing them.

Other key issues will probably include discussions about a new formula for the Community Corrections Act, creating a new PERS category to help stabilize the public safety sector workforce issues, water infrastructure funding, and numerous healthcare workforce policy discussions.

The two bills I am introducing (that is our limit) is a reintroduction of HB 3384 (2023) which stalled in Ways and Means and which creates stricter animal neglect laws.  The second one is at the request of the Association of Oregon Counties and will bring Oregon into compliance with a federal court decision regarding requiring proceeds from foreclosed properties in excess of amounts owed, to go to the property owner or their heirs.

These are some of the highlights, so please contact my office if you have any questions, want more information, or simply want to share your thoughts.

Once again – happy holidays! Hopefully you get to spend time with friends and family.



Contact Rep Conrad


Phone:  (503) 986-1412

Address:  900 Court St NE, H-483, Salem, OR 97301