Read all newsletters from Rep. Drazan regarding the Wuhan virus
[Ed. note: Do not stop at her signature! There is more to read]
Friends and neighbors,
I have heard from thousands of Oregonians who are demanding that their government serves their needs and not the agendas of the political elite, that their elected representatives stand up to bureaucrats who have been given too much power with too little accountability, and that we demand Oregon’s COVID regulations align with — rather than ignore — consensus science. I could not agree more, which is why I sponsored legislation to reopen schools for the 2021-22 school year, why my colleagues in the House pushed to pass a bill that puts the governor's executive powers in check, and called for OSHA to answer questions in a legislative hearing on their COVID rules. We need accountability and balance, and we need it now.
Please feel free, as always, to reach out with your questions, comments, and concerns.
ARPA Funding Distribution and Status
Currently, in the Legislature
I am proud of the work from my colleague, Representative Breese-Iverson, who is leading the charge for reopening schools with House Bill 3399
. This bill requires public schools to reopen for full time, in-person instruction for the 2021-2022 school year. The reality is, there is a safe way get our kids back in the classroom full time. Private schools have been meeting in-person for most of the 2020-2021 school year. If the executive branch can mandate that schools close, we can ensure that schools have the legal wherewithal to remain open with safety measures in place that are informed by science, and CDC guidelines. There is bipartisan support on this legislation, and I look forward to working on passing it.
Proposed Oversight on Emergency Powers Rejected
This week, my colleagues and I voted to consider House Bill 2243
by pulling it directly out of committee for a vote on the House floor. All Republican members voted in favor of the bill, which would give the Legislature oversight on the governor's emergency powers and sole authority over the COVID-19 response. 28 Democrats voted against the motion, maintaining the Governor's sole authority over COVID-19 and unchecked ability to shut down the businesses across Oregon. County commissioners have repeatedly asked the Governor to be more targeted in her decisions. Currently, the existing statewide threshold for the "extreme risk" designation disregards the fact that hospital cases of COVID-19 are decreasing in some counties where businesses must now close.
The Legislature is in Session and we have a duty to engage. Oregonians deserve a balance of power between their separate branches of government again. The bill would require that declarations and extensions of states of emergency under certain laws be accompanied by written explanations.
OR-OSHA Bypasses Legislators
OSHA chose to enact the permanent rule early, before a scheduled Legislative hearing to review their decision. The administrative body's leaders declined to appear before their legislators to answer questions about the new business restrictions.
They include a permanent mask mandate and a host of other costly requirements and hurdles placed on businesses and employees. In contrast, nearly all other states are easing restrictions to give businesses and people the opportunity to recover from their losses.
In response to a letter from Senators and Representatives asking the agency to suspend adoption of the COVID-19 rule until legislative review, OSHA's Director stated that they have broad authority to place these restrictions on Oregon businesses with no specified end date.
The absence of OSHA from the public hearing to discuss their rule suggests the administrative body dismisses the state statute requiring them to answer to the Legislature. This is the opposite direction of where we should be headed, and I have concerns about what this means for Oregon's businesses.
Honoring an Oregon Hero
Last week saw the passage House Concurrent Resolution 12, which recognizes the heroism of Specialist Fourth Class Larry Dahl. I was proud to carry this bill on the floor in his honor. Dahl was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously in 1971 for sacrificing his life in order to save his fellow soldiers from a grenade blast while fighting in the Vietnam War. Specialist Fourth Class Dahl now lies in rest here in Oregon at the Willamette National Cemetery. The passage of this Resolution honors the service of a man who put his country and the lives of his fellow soldiers above that of his own.
Wildfire Relief Bills
is currently in the Senate Committee on Rules, but passed with full bipartisan support out of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Wildfire Recovery on April 12th
. On April 13th
, the House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources oversaw a work session on HB 2722
which provides for a land-use committee to oversee wildfire prevention efforts.
Apply Now for Local Scholarship
The Art Johnston Memorial Scholarship is now taking applications. Established in the memory of a Clackamas Fire District #1 firefighter who was killed in a tragic fall, this scholarship opportunity exists to provide scholarships for students who have chosen to pursue a course of study related to emergency services professions.
Download the application form (PDF) and rules and procedures (PDF) and submit them via email, mail, or fax.
NOTE: Due to COVID-19, applications will not be able to be picked up or dropped off at the Admin Office. Completed applications can be mailed to the Admin Office at 11300 SE Fuller Road, Milwaukie, OR 97222. Applications may also be faxed to 503-742-2800 or emailed to [email protected].
More information is available from the Clackamas Emergency Services Foundation, here.
Finishing up a press conference to reopen our schools
Restaurant Revitalization Fund
The Small Business Administration (SBA) has a new fund available to provide emergency assistance for eligible restaurants, bars, and other qualifying businesses impacted by Covid-19.
The SBA will begin accepting applications to this fund via the application portal on Monday, May 3rd at 9am PST. The application portal will remain open to any eligible establishment until all funds are exhausted. For more information on how to register and participate, visit the SBA page on the Restaurant Revitalization Fund here.
Landlord Compensation Fund Round Two Now Open
Are you a landlord with past due rental payments? The Landlord Compensation Fund can help! The program covers 80% of past due rent (April 2020 – now) for tenants with a signed declaration of financial hardship if a landlord agrees to forgive the other 20%. The first round covered rental debt for approximately 12,000 tenants and helped more than 1,900 landlords. More relief resources are available now!
Round two is now open. Please note this program is not first-come, first serve, and applications will be open until May 17th. If you are interested in applying in the second round, please see this check list (PDF). Visit the Landlord Compensation Fund website for more information.
The Dental Van Returns
On Friday, May 14th, Medical Teams International will be visiting the Canby Center in the Dental Van to provide free extractions and fillings to those who apply and qualify in the Canby, Hubbard and Aurora areas. You must complete the application form prior to receiving service.
For questions or to make an appointment, contact Linda Rasor at (503) 263-1124 or email [email protected].
Testify this Session
Want to testify? You can do so remotely on any piece of legislation going through the process this session. Your input and insight as to how bills impact you and our community is highly valued. You can find information on how to testify remotely on this page (PDF).
Now through May 15: Health Coverage is Available for Open Enrollment
There is currently a special enrollment period for health coverage open until May 15, 2021. During this period, you can sign up to buy health insurance for yourself or your family through the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace. Visit the button below to start your coverage process.
To browse plans and find savings you are eligible for, you can visit OregonHealthCare.gov/WindowShop.
The Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace helps people get health insurance when they do not have job-based coverage and do not qualify for the Oregon Health Plan or another program. The Marketplace is the state-level partner to HealthCare.gov. For more information, visit OregonHealthCare.gov.
Help me celebrate our community!
During the session, I have the opportunity to share courtesies on the House floor. You can click the button below to send me congratulations you would like for me to share. From graduations, retirements, to other exciting announcements from our community, I would love to use this chance to celebrate you.
How Can I Help You?
If I can ever be of any assistance to you, please don't hesitate to reach out to me. You can reach me at:
971-360-8265 – District phone
503-986-1439 – Capitol phone
900 Court St NE, H-395 Salem, OR, 97301