[Ed. note: Do not stop at her signature! There is more to read]
Friends and neighbors,
It has been an honor to serve for another session in the House of Representatives. I am humbled by the input I have received from our community this session in the pursuit of a better Oregon. Thank you for being engaged in the process and showing me what matters most to you and how I can best serve you.
We have accomplished much for our communities and for Oregonians across the state this session, but there were still far too many proposals that picked winners and losers, and harmed jobs, families and students. I will continue to stand up for accountability, good government and more freedom to pursue a brighter future in the years ahead.
This last newsletter of the legislative session will include a few highlights from the past weeks and explain what is going on in terms of the legislative process. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve you and am proud to call House District 39 home.
Congratulations to all of our graduates in House District 39! My prayer is that you will excel in whatever you pursue in the next season of your life and be encouraged that you overcame great obstacles this last year. We are so proud of you!
Currently, in the Legislature
"Sine Die is Imminent"
"Sine die is imminent," meaning that at any given moment the legislature will "gavel out" (end the session for the year). We are constitutionally required to end the session no later than 180 days after the session began, which is June 27th of this year. As a result, committees are able to be called for meetings with as little as one hour of notice, and agendas are changed, and amendments are posted continually before the committee is scheduled to start, which limits public input and reduces access and transparency.
No Assurance for Schools
In an effort to end the harmful school closures that have come with the Governor's COVID-19 shutdown, I cosponsored HB 3399, which would require public schools to provide full-time, in-person classroom instruction for the 2021-22 school year. We know that these closures have taken their toll on the mental health and educational progress of our students. Though this bill was blocked by Democrats, I will continue fighting for our kids; to get them back in school and back on track.
Homestead Tax Deferral Passes Through the House
HB 2634 has passed the House and Senate, and is on its way to the governor. I have been working on behalf of a constituent on this piece of legislation, which would allow for surviving spouses or disabled heirs to live in their family home through a property tax deferral program. This important program will keep vulnerable Oregonians in their family homes.
Fighting the Vaccine Passport
On June 14th, my colleagues and I made a motion to pull House Bill 3407 from the Speaker's desk for a vote. This bill would prevent any public body from issuing a requirement for proof of vaccination through a vaccine passport from COVID-19 or variants of COVID-19, to protect Oregonians' right to privacy. People deserve the right to keep this confidential medical information private without a mask requirement, and it's time for state, local, and other government bodies to trust Oregonians with their own healthcare decisions.
Assistance to Homeless Unaccompanied Youth
This week, House Bill 2544 passed the House and Senate and is headed to the governor for her signature. The bill's funding of $3.6 million will support statewide services and shelters for homeless youth, in addition to expanding on the home network that was funded in 2019. We are not just funding housing for kids that desperately need stability — with the help of an engaged community we can transform lives, with a little extra help today there is hope for tomorrow. You can watch the speech I gave when carrying this bill to the House floor here.
Rental Assistance Program
Oregon Housing and Community Services has received approximately $280 million in federal funds for the Oregon Emergency Rental Assistance Program. The eviction moratorium was set to end on June 30th but has been extended by the CDC to July 31st for qualified renters. If you or someone you know is struggling to keep up with rent, visit this page or the button below for more details.
From left to right: Tiffany Bennett, Legislative Coordinator — Mark Cruz, Chief of Staff — Andrew Fromm, Communications Director — Anna Sovereign, Legislative Assistant — Representative Drazan — Sam Herscovitz, Member Services Director — Rebecca Wright, Legislative Assistant — Jacob Vandever, Legislative Director — Ryan Tuthill, Office Manager
Staff and Intern Spotlight
I would like to thank my staff and our office's four interns for their great work this session. We could not have done it without you!
Thomas Verner, Oregon State University — Andrew Whitman, Willamette University — Ryan Tuthill, Oregon State University — Representative Drazan
McKenna Sieg, Western Oregon University
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
The work search requirements for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claims are changing. Soon, the U.S. Department of Labor will require people receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits to look for work to continue being eligible for benefits. Self-employed PUA claimants will be required to maintain work records for their business, including work to re-establish their business. PUA claimants who are not self-employed and are looking for work as an employee will be required to follow the same requirements as people receiving regular UI or PEUC.
An additional question regarding work search activities will be added to the PUA weekly certification. This question will prompt you to track your work search efforts. If you do not seek work as required, or you cannot provide proof of work search when requested, your claim will be denied and your benefits will stop. You must meet work search requirements starting the week of Sunday, July 25, 2021 through Saturday, July 31, 2021 to continue receiving benefits.
If you’re getting PUA and you’d like help finding work, the Oregon Employment Department is available to assist you. You do not have to wait until you get an official notice in the mail from the Department to jump-start your job search. You can call your local WorkSource Oregon office for one-on-one support or register in iMatchSkills® and create a Job Seeker Profile anytime.
For more information on work search requirements, you can visit the Employment Department's Return to Work webpage or read their FAQs.
|Happy 4th of July to you and your families as you enjoy all of the beauty Oregon has to offer.
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: 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.
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: