Kicking off the 2024 Legislative Session

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Representative Susan McLain


Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Welcome to February! It's really nice to have a bit more light back in our days. On Monday, the 2024 Legislative Session kicks off. Even though this is a short session, there is so much work to do. My staff and I are hard at work with preparation for our bills. My priority bill on Summer Learning has a hearing the first day of Session on Monday!  All 2024 bills are officially posted on the Oregon Legislative Information System (OLIS) and are awaiting introductions to committees, which will happen on Monday morning. From there, it is a 35 day race to the finish line!

My office will be keeping you updated on the Session each week in this newsletter. You can also contact my office directly or follow me on social media for updates. 

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Get more information about my Legislative efforts, community events, and important news updates on my Facebook and Instagram pages.  I love hearing from you and besides posting on Social Media, the fastest way to reach my office during the Interim is via email: 

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Click on my email to contact me directly or the icons to follow me on Facebook and Instagram!


In This Newsletter You Will Find:

  1. My committee assignments and committee schedule
  2. House Democrats' priorities for the 2024 session
  3. Community Outreach: Oregon Tech College Affordability Breakfast, Metro Legislative Breakfast, and a meeting with the PSI chapter of Delta Kappa Gama
  4. Important Programs in Western Washington County
  5. Tax Information
  6. Important Information on SNAP Benefits

Don't miss my Hillsboro and Forest Grove Town Halls on February 17th! This is a great opportunity to share about what you want to see happen in the Legislature and ask questions for give comments on the issues most important to you. I will also be sharing my priorities for the Session and providing more details on the bills that I am sponsoring. Below is the flyer, which you are welcome to share with your networks.

Information about town halls
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I am pleased to announce my committee assignments for the 2024 Legislative Session. They remain the same as in the 2023 Session, which gives me a great opportunity to build on what we've done in previous Sessions to ensure the Committees create successful policies. 

Committee Schedule: Committees are hyperlinked to their official homepages where you can get meeting agendas and watch both live and recorded hearings.

Joint Committee On Ways and Means Subcommittee On Education - M, W 8:00 AM

Joint Committee On Transportation - T, Th 5:00 PM

Joint Committee On Ways and Means - F, 10:30 AM

House Committee On Agriculture, Land Use, Natural Resources, and Water - T, TH 3:00 PM

McLain Committee Assignments




Since 2024 is a "Short" Session year, each Legislator is allowed to introduce just two bills. I am very proud that my two bills are education-focused and that they will get immediate educational support to the students who need it most. Below are the links (hyperlinked in title) to read and follow each of my bills on OLIS, and also my policy papers that describe the bills in more detail. I look forward to sharing more information with you as the bills move through the committee process.

House Bill 4082 - Summer Learning for 2024 and Beyond!

Summer Learning


House Bill 4084 - Support for Foster Youth in the Education System

HB 4084 1-PAGER




Democrats in the Oregon House of Representatives announced their top priorities for the upcoming Legislative Session. Building on a successful session in 2023, House Democrats will use the February session to work on the most pressing issues facing Oregonians: homelessness and housing affordability, improved behavioral health and addiction services, and safe neighborhoods and communities.

House Democrats will focus on addressing homelessness, increasing housing supply, and holding agencies accountable. Because of the investments the legislature made early in the 2023 session, Oregon met its homelessness goals last year – creating 817 new shelter beds, re-housing more than 1,000 households, and preventing more than 7,600 households from becoming homeless.

In 2020, Oregon voters passed Measure 110, decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of drugs. Since then, the legislature has been tracking implementation of the measure. Democrats have a plan to respond to the crisis unfolding in our streets with additional policies addressing addiction, behavioral health, and public safety concerns.

This month, Co-chairs of the committee announced one bill being considered inside a broader package of legislation Democrats are introducing. This sweeping package invests in prevention and the root causes of addiction, cracks down on drug dealers, restricts public drug use, moves people into addiction treatment, and reduces the number of overdose deaths.

In addition to addressing the immediate challenges facing our communities, House Democrats continue to work on the issues that make Oregon a great place to live and do business.

Ongoing work includes building a robust emergency management system, protecting workers in critical fields, supporting aging adults, providing critical services for veterans and those who served our country in combat, making healthcare more affordable with an emphasis on policy addressing social determinants of health, adapting to and mitigating climate change, and ensuring safe and secure elections.

The legislative session begins on February 5, when legislators will convene for 35 days to pass thoughtful, common sense legislation, balance our budget, and provide oversight and accountability for state agencies and service providers.

House Dems Priority List
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Rep. McLain and Nick Keough from OSA

Last Friday, I was honored to be invited to Oregon Institute of Technology's "College Affordability Champions Breakfast." This breakfast was attended by the Oregon Student Association, Partners for a Hunger Free Oregon, Open Oregon Educational Resources, Oregon Tech, and several of my legislative colleagues. Pictured to the right is myself with Nick Keough from the Oregon Student Association, who very kindly presented me an award.

Thank you, Oregon Tech, for inviting me and hosting this event. 

Collage of Oregon Tech Breakfast

Collage of photos from the Oregon Tech College Affordability Champions Breakfast.





Photo of group from Metro Breakfast

On Thursday, I was able to attend Metro's Legislative Breakfast at the Oregon Zoo! It was a great opportunity to connect with local leaders and hear more about their priorities going into the 2024 session. I enjoyed seeing my colleagues from the legislature, as well as Metro councilors and staff.

Thank you to Metro for inviting me and hosting this event!

Photo of the group at the Metro Legislative Breakfast

Photo of the group from the Metro Legislative Breakfast




This past Saturday, I was able to meet with around 25  teachers who are all apart of the PSI Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma. Delta Kappa Gamma promotes professional and personal growth of women educators and excellence in education.

Saturday's group consisted of teachers from all around Washington County. I had the opportunity to speak with them on a variety of issues that concerned them or that they wanted to know more about. As a former Washington County teacher myself, it was great to be able to meet and talk with this group.

To the right, there is a photo of myself and Sue Pass, one of the women who attended the meeting!

Rep. McLain and Sue Pass
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Photo from the Forest Grove News Times article.

Last month, the Forest Grove News Times and Pacific University published an article highlighting the work that Pacific University is doing to help lessen the teacher shortage around Oregon. Pacific University’s Residency Teacher Licensure (RTL) Program is an 11-month non-degree program allows classroom teachers or teacher apprentices who work at least half-time with a provisional or temporary license to earn their Oregon teaching credential. The RTL program provides a route to licensure in a state experiencing a dire school staffing crisis. According to data from the Oregon Teacher Standards & Practices Commission, there are currently 2,100 teachers in Oregon teaching with temporary or emergency credentials.

Alternative Learning Pathways, such as Pacific's RTL program, are important to our state. The teacher workforce is just one of many areas experiencing shortages throughout Oregon. I want to thank Pacific and their partners for creating and maintaining this alternative pathway.

Applications are open now for the Spring 2024 entry into the Pacific University RTL program. More information can be found here.




photo from the Forest Grove News Times' article

West Tuality Habitat for Humanity is receiving federal support to build eight homes in rural western Washington County, state leaders announced on Tuesday, January 30th.

Funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the grant will assist in home construction costs for Countryman Estates in Forest Grove. The project, announced in 2023, will consist of eight homes — including two single-story units and six townhomes. Each home will offer three or four bedrooms, two full baths, a living space and appliances.

For over 30 years, West Tuality Habitat for Humanity in Forest Grove has worked with local families, volunteers and partners in western Washington County to build homes with affordable mortgages.

A full article on the grant award and West Tuality Habitat for Humanity's project can be found here.

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Tax Season Section Header



As tax season begins, the Department of Revenue has provided a variety of resources and information that I am sharing with you here. Remember that there are two big things happening this year with taxes: The Oregon Kicker and the new Oregon Kids Credit! Keep reading for important information!

Important Information Graphic!


♦Department of Revenue begins processing 2023 returns 

The Oregon Department of Revenue began processing e-filed 2023 state income tax returns on January  29, 2024. Paper filed returns will be processed starting in mid-February. 

E-filing is the fastest way for a taxpayer to claim their share of the $5.6 billion kicker and get their  refund. On average, taxpayers who e-file their returns and request their refund via direct deposit receive their refund two weeks sooner than those who file paper returns and request paper refund checks. 

E-filed returns will be processed in the order they are received. However, as in years past, the department will begin issuing personal income tax refunds after February 15

♦Be prepared before you file an Oregon income tax return 

The department reminds taxpayers a few steps can make it easier to fill out a tax return.

  • Gather and organize your tax records and wait until you have all tax records ready, including:
    • Forms W-2 from your employer(s)
    • Forms 1099 from banks and other payers, including unemployment compensation,  dividends, distributions from a pension, annuity, retirement plan, or other non-employee compensation
  • Forms 1099-K, 1099-MISC, 1099-NEC, or other income statement if you worked in the  gig economy 
  • Use a bank account to speed tax refunds with direct deposit. File electronically, choose direct deposit, and you will get a refund faster.  
  • Choose a reputable tax return preparer. This is important because taxpayers are responsible for all the information on their return, regardless of who prepares it. The Oregon Board of Tax Practitioners offers a Licensee Lookup website. The IRS has a website with information

♦Free options for e-filing Oregon income tax returns 

All Oregon resident taxpayers preparing their own returns in 2024 can file electronically at no cost using one of Oregon’s free file options

Oregon Free Fillable Forms performs basic calculations and is ideal for taxpayers who don’t need help preparing their returns and want the convenience of filing electronically. The IRS offers a similar option for filing federal taxes electronically. 

New this year, the department is also offering Direct File Oregon, which allows taxpayers to file their  Form OR-40 through Revenue Online. Direct File Oregon is not currently linked with the IRS Direct File.  Taxpayers will need to file a separate federal return with the IRS before filing an Oregon return with  Direct File Oregon through Revenue Online. 

♦Federal Earned Income Tax Credit and Oregon Earned Income Credit 

Oregon and the Internal Revenue Service offer many tax credits for low- to moderate-income families.  These credits are fully or partially refundable, so the portion of the credit, more than what is owed, can be refunded to a person. The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a federal credit for people making up to 

$63,398 in 2023, and a person who qualifies may use the credit to reduce taxes owed and maybe increase their refund.  

If a person qualifies for EITC, they can also claim the Oregon Earned Income Credit (EIC), which is up to  12 percent of the federal EITC. Individuals may qualify for the EITC, Oregon EIC, and other credits, even if they are not required to file. To receive the refundable credits, however, they must file a federal and state tax return. 

For more information about the federal EITC, the Oregon EIC, the Oregon Kids Credit and other similar credits, go to the Tax Benefits for Families page.

Oregon Kids Credit 

New for tax year 2023, Oregon Kids Credit is a refundable credit for low-income people with young dependent children. For those with a modified adjusted gross income of $25,000 or less, the full credit is  $1,000 per child for up to five dependent children under the age of six at the end of the tax year. A partial credit is available for individuals and families with MAGI up to $30,000. 

♦Senior and Disabled Citizen Property Tax Deferral Program 

A disabled or senior homeowner may qualify for a program to borrow from the State of  Oregon to pay county property taxes. If a taxpayer qualifies for the program, the Oregon Department of  Revenue will pay county property taxes on November 15 of each year.  

To participate, a taxpayer must file an application with the county assessor by April 15 or pay a fee and file late from April 16 to December 1. A lien will be placed on the qualified taxpayer property, and the  Department of Revenue will become a security interest holder. 

For additional information and to apply for the program, see the deferral application booklet here

Update on Benefits



Oregonians enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, can request replacement benefits from the Oregon Department of Human Services for food lost during the winter storms. 

For residents of Benton, Clackamas, Columbia, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, Washington, and Yamhill counties can now request replacement benefits until February 16. For residents in all other counties, you must submit a request for replacement funds within 10 days from when food was lost during the winter storms.

To apply for SNAP replacement benefits, visit your local ODHS office or call 800-699-9075. You may also email this SNAP Replacement Form to or mail it to ONE Customer Service Center, PO Box 14015, Salem, OR 97309

You may be asked to provide: 

  •  Proof of address
  • Messages from a utility company or other evidence you were affected by the storm 
  • A report of the lost food and cost (you do not have to submit receipts) 

Learn more at

Horizontal BarImportant 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



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!


Education Resources


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.


Prevent Wildfires


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.


Veteran Resources


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.


State & Local Government Links
Know who to call when you need help
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Spring is coming!




Yours truly,


Representative Susan McLain
House District 29

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