Raquel Moore-Green

 Representative Raquel Moore-Green

UPDATE — 22 June 2020:  Later this afternoon the Joint Interim Committee on the First Special Session of 2020 will meet to vet at least 13 LCs (legal concepts) that could either be moved forward to become actual pieces of legislation for consideration. Several of the pieces for consideration are unfinished work from the 2019 and 2020 sessions.

The Governor has called the Legislature to gather in Salem "to take up proposed legislation to improve police accountability and address the COVID-19 pandemic." While these are two very necessary and worthy areas of legislation it begs the question why not also address the revenue short fall of nearly 2.7 billion dollars.

According to her press release she is hopeful the federal government "takes action, states like Oregon could be forced to make significant cuts to schools, healthy care, and senior services." Our economic crisis still leaves nearly 75,000 Oregonians who have yet to have their unemployment insurance claim processed. This is a far reduction of the initial 400,000+ who have filed, but none the less these are Oregonians who still need to purchase groceries, pay rent and/or mortgages, and any number of other financial obligations.

My years as a young single mother taught me that if it appeared that future income / revenue was not certain that I should plan accordingly. I remember vividly working through my budget and trying every which way to make the numbers pencil out. But at the end of the day I either needed to cut, which at the time there was not much to cut or find a job that would pay more. Some of the lessons from that period of my life have stayed with me. My adult son, and father of 8, tells me I still live like I am a single mom living on a shoestring.

All of this to say that I would not hold off making adjustments to the state's budget at this time. It is prudent of us to make budgetary plans for the future. There is still time for the Governor to ask the Legislature to do so. It is one of the very reasons we exist as a branch of government.


Special Session

As we prepare for a Special Session that begins on Wednesday, June 24th Leadership has appointed a committee to hear testimony regarding issues for the upcoming special session. The Joint Interim Committee on the First Special Session 2020 is currently scheduled to meet on Monday and Tuesday.

More information including the agenda and meeting materials as they are posted may be found here:

https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2019I1/Committees/J1SS/Overview

https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2019I1/Committees/J1SS/2020-06-22-15-30/MeetingMaterials

Please Note: The Capitol Building is currently closed to the public and meetings are taking place remotely. Go to https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2019I1/Committees/J1SS/Overview to access a livestream of this meeting. Locate the meeting date and click on the camera icon at the designated time. A viewing station will also be available outside on the front steps of the Capitol Building.

Public Testimony Information: If you would like to provide testimony on any of the agenda items at this meeting, you have several options: 1. Written Testimony: You may submit written testimony to: j1ss.exhibits@oregonlegislature.gov or by mail addressed to the committee, 900 Court Street NE, Room 453, Salem, Oregon, 97301. Written testimony received by the meeting time will be posted on the committee’s website promptly. 2. Remote Oral Testimony: Anyone wishing to testify by speaking directly to the committee must either: • Pre-register: To pre-register, click on this link: https://survey.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0oA6UssyEkGC3g9 to register electronically OR call 503-986-1535. To testify at the meeting, you must pre-register no later than 2:30 PM, June 22, 2020 • If you would like to testify at this meeting, but do not have access to a computer or phone, a public testimony access station will be set up on the front steps of the Capitol on the day of the meeting. Please Note: Registering to testify or being at the Capitol does not guarantee that you will be permitted to testify by speaking directly to the committee if the committee chair determines that public testimony must be limited. For this reason, written testimony is encouraged even if you plan to testify.


ADDITIONAL NEWS

Marion County moved into Phase 2 on Friday, June 19th. Phase 2 allows:

  • Gathering limits will be raised to 50 people indoors, and 100 people outdoors.
  • Indoor and outdoor venues, including theaters and churches, with 6 feet of physical distancing and other measures in place, can reach a COVID-19 occupancy limit of up to 250.
  • Offices can begin reopening and employees can return to workplaces with physical distancing and other measures in place, though remote work is still strongly recommended whenever possible.
  • Increased travel will be allowed throughout Oregon, though staying local is still recommended to prevent overloading county health systems.
  • Restaurants and bars will have curfews extended to midnight.
  • Pools and sports courts will be allowed to reopen under new guidance.
  • Indoor and outdoor activities such as bowling, batting cages, and mini golf, will be allowed to reopen under new guidance.
  • Recreational sports can resume in a limited form, under strict physical distancing guidance.
  • More information is available at: https://govstatus.egov.com/reopening-oregon

Governor Brown recently issued a directive that residents in 7 counties including Marion County are required to wear masks frequenting indoor places such as grocery stores and businesses. Please see the guidelines below:

FaceMask Reqs

PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT

With the new directive from the Governor the need for PPE is not going away. In fact, it is growing daily. Our friends at SEDCOR has been working with our community to to get locally produced PPE out to those who need it most. Below is a link to their directory for PPE and a special shout out to three local manufacturers, NW Alpine, WaterShed, and a-dec who have stepped up during this time and will be featured at SEDCOR’s upcoming Business Forum Webinar on July 8th.

 Access our updated PPE Directory here.


DMV UPDATE

Last, but not least Oregon Driver and Motor Vehicle Services (DMV) continues to reopen.

15 additional DMV field offices are scheduled to open Monday 6/22; these will offer the same limited in-person services as the already-reopened offices (things that can be done online won’t be done in-person). See the full list here: https://www.oregon.gov/odot/DMV/Pages/offices/index.aspx

They have also approved three new drive testing sites to perform drive tests for first-time licenses. In addition to the testing locations in the Portland metro area and Willamette Valley, the DMV now has additional testing sites in Coos Bay, Bend, and Ontario. More testing site locations will open soon. You can also find out more information about the DMV’s third party testers here.

To make an appointment at the DMV, the online form can be found at: https://www.oregon.gov/odot/DMV/Pages/DriverID/ClassCTestingBusiness.aspx

Additionally, the Oregon law enforcement citation moratorium for expired driver licenses, permits, ID cards, and vehicle registration has been extended through October 1st. The grace period is intended to allow Oregon residents to continue driving while they are waiting for an appointment and DMV works through the backlog due to COVID-19 restrictions. Law enforcement can verify the status of a driver or vehicle electronically during a traffic stop. More information may be found at: https://www.oregon.gov/odot/DMV/docs/Law_Enforcement_Grace_Period_Memo.pdf


UPDATE — 10 June 2020:  At this time, it is difficult for me to find the words to express my outrage at the brutality and violence that has flooded our cities, states, and our nation these last 20 days. We in Marion County have been leading the way for years regarding community corrections, sentencing reform and justice reinvestment. I believe we will continue to be a community that cares about our fellow neighbor. We must listen, truly hear, open our hearts — We Must Strive to do Better!

This past week I have participated in numerous meetings — I have been listening to the Black community, hearing and reading from my colleagues, our leaders locally, statewide and nationally. Countless life experiences, opinions, and sorrow shared by hundreds — so many to list a few:

  • The POC Caucus of the Oregon State Legislature see press release here
  • Oregon Recovers for the excellent Facebook live "A Special Recovery Talk: Surviving Racism" (which you can still view on their page) link here
  • My friend and community leader Jerry Ambris, ED, Habitat for Humanity, who shared his on-the-ground reality
  • The honorable Margaret Carter, former state legislator for her words
  • The City of Salem Mayor Chuck Bennett, Chief of Police Jerry Moore, and Salem Kezier School Board Director Satya Chandragiri for their time
  • Gregg Simpson for organizing and leading the peaceful BLM march in Salem on Saturday — yes I did attend
  • Face the Nation and their guest Condoleezza Rice
  • My pastor Bruce Stefanik https://www.cothcommunity.com

As some of these wise-beyond-years individuals have stated — yes, there are and have been grave injustices; have we addressed this? Yes. Is there more to do? YES! Moving forward we must come together — united to continue this work of correcting injustices and eradicating the sin of racism.

From my first day in office, hearing from you has been my priority. What you care about, how you see issues, and what outcomes you would like for our community and state. I have not wavered from this commitment and I will not. My first and foremost duty as your state representative is to understand — I will continue to listen, to respond, and to lead as we work our way to healing and justice for all.

As a colleague of mine, retired Washington County Judge Tom Kohl, signs his name:  “act justly, love mercy and walk humbly". Please join me in moving forward in unity.


E-Board Allocations — COVID19

The Legislative Emergency Board met on June 5th and approved more than $247 million in federal CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund dollars to support Oregonians and small businesses hurt by the coronavirus pandemic. Here is the breakdown of the allocations approved:

  • $75 million to support rental assistance, housing stabilization and mortgage assistance This is in addition to $25 million in Hardest Hit money for foreclosure prevention.
  • $10 million in additional support to the Oregon Worker Relief Fund which supports Oregonians who are not otherwise eligible for unemployment benefits.
  • $15 million to support individuals having difficulty paying their utility bills.
  • $3.5 million to expand access to affordable telephone and broadband service for low-income households.
  • $4 million to support survivors of domestic violence.
  • $25.6 million to enhance behavioral health services for people impacted by COVID-19, with a focus on communities of color, our federally recognized tribes, and vulnerable populations.
  • $30 million in assistance to help child care providers stay in business.
  • $20 million to support the Rural Broadband Capacity Program to support safe distancing practices by connecting schools, health care providers and businesses.
  • $50 million for rural hospital stabilization grants.
  • $10 million to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) for small businesses.
  • $3 million in technical assistance to minority- and women-owned businesses.
  • $1 million for 211 to maintain referral services during the pandemic.

Phase 2 Reopening Oregon

On Friday the 5th, the Marion County Commissioners submitted their plan to the Governor for entering the Phase 2 of reopening. It is anticipated and hoped that we will enter Phase 2 this Friday, June 12th. Counties that enter Phase 2 will be able to continue with the reopening process, following updated health and safety guidance:

  • Gathering limits will be raised to 50 people indoors, and 100 people outdoors.
  • Indoor and outdoor venues, including theaters and churches, with 6 feet of physical distancing and other measures in place, can reach a COVID-19 occupancy limit of up to 250.
  • Offices can begin reopening and employees can return to workplaces with physical distancing and other measures in place, though remote work is still strongly recommended whenever possible.
  • Increased travel will be allowed throughout Oregon, though staying local is still recommended to prevent overloading county health systems.
  • Restaurants and bars will have curfews extended to midnight.
  • Pools and sports courts will be allowed to reopen under new guidance.
  • Indoor and outdoor activities such as bowling, batting cages, and mini golf, will be allowed to reopen under new guidance.
  • Recreational sports can resume in a limited form, under strict physical distancing guidance

DMV Updates

As many of you are aware, Oregon's DMVs have been closed since the start of COVID. I am happy to inform you that they are now reopened! (By appointment only.)

Upon reopening, the DMV's phone system was immediately overwhelmed. As a result, in-person appointment requests will be processed through an online form. The system is available 24/7, so feel free to go online at any time to request a call-back to schedule an appointment. For scheduling appointments or finding out how to conduct your DMV-related business, visit: OregonDMV.com.

Please see the points and frequently asked questions below for more information related to the DMV reopening:

  • 40 (of 60 total) DMV offices are open across the state by appointment only
  • Until further notice, DMV offices will only process certain priority transactions:
    • Commercial Driver License issuance, renewal, and replacement
    • Farm endorsements
    • Standard/Class C Driver License issuance, renewal, and replacement (beginning July 6 replacements will be available online and will no longer be done in-person)
    • ID card issuance, renewal, and replacement (beginning July 6 replacements will be available online and will no longer be done in-person)
    • Driver license reinstatements
  • Transactions that can be done online will NOT be processed in-person — see the website for all of the things that can be done online
  • DMV will NOT conduct driving tests (skills tests) for new drivers

Unemployment Claims

While we continue to receive requests from constituents for assistance in obtaining their unemployment benefits, we are seeing resolution for many. Again, if you are stuck in the system, please reach out to my office via email at Rep.raquelmooregreen@oregonlegislature.gov.


Legislative Matters

As we continue to work our way through COVID19 and reopening my efforts will focus on having the restriction to playground equipment, pools, and youth sports activities removed. Our students and young people had their communal supply chain — school, sports, music, etc. — cut off in mid-March. It has taken an emotional toll on them, their parents, and caregivers. We must ensure all children, individuals, and families have full access to outdoor recreation and play this summer if they so choose.

There have been many emails and conversations over the ability for Oregonians to protest, which is completely supported, and the irony of not being able to gather in large groups for religious worship. I am reaching out to the Governor in hopes that all Oregonians have the freedom to express themselves.

This week I will continue my participation in the Behavioral Health Alternative Providers Work Group led by Rep. Andrea Salinas. This is one of the first critical steps in the development of the Behavior Health Roadmap. The vision of this roadmap is to shore up provider networks and service delivery mechanism for the behavioral health needs of Oregonians.


UPDATE — 29 May 2020:  May is Mental Health Awareness Month and among the many questions, comments, and concerns I have had are around prolonged isolation for seniors, youth, and all of us. I have heard from constituents and community members with concerns / heartbreaking stories of lives lost during this pandemic shutdown. On Tuesday I sat through a 3 hour long House Interim Committee on Behavioral Health. Wednesday I attended a webinar hosted by Women in Government on the topic of mental health. And later this morning I will hear an update from Marion County’s Behavioral Health Director, Cydney Nestor.

In the many communications I have had, via email, zoom, phone, etc. the lingering question is what I am doing as a state legislator to help and what do I recommend for others to do. My response has been, "We are a strong and resilient community…. for the short term I ask you to stay calm. Have patience, extend grace. Use common sense. Be the caring community that you are to one another. Together we will weather this storm." I shared our community resources hoping to reach those in need.

I know this is not enough for the families and friends of individuals suffering severe anxiety and depression, it's only exasperated by this prolonged isolation of stay home – stay healthy mandate to help stem the spread of COVID19. And with the reopening of Marion County there are now those who have anxiety of reentry and the fear of becoming ill. We are seeing an increase in the calls to the crisis hotline manned by our local Marion County public health, as well as an increase in calls to the “warm line" for seniors experiencing isolation and loneliness.

This week I learned of a couple of new resources that may be of help to those in need. Part of the challenge we have is that we may not know anyone in this situation, but I urge you to bring the conversation to the forefront of your interactions with others. Share with them your concern of this unanticipated consequent of severing our communal supply chain and harming our mental health. Share this information with the hope that it will eventually hit the ears or eyes of someone who knows someone that needs a call, a visit to help them through the next week, the next day, or even just the next hour. Think about who might need this information and share please.

  • Mental health screening is one of the quickest and easiest ways to determine whether one is experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition.
  • Mediation can reduce anxiety, sharpen memory, treat symptoms of depression, promote more restful sleep, and even improve heart health. Here are two easy apps to consider:

As a legislator I will work to integrate regular mental health checks as part and particle of our health routines – just like a blood pressure check, or vision screening. We must do better — thank you for being part of the solution, part of this resilient community which we are blessed to be part of.


Your District – Your Voice Listening Session

District 19 map

On Monday, June 8 at 5:30PM I will host an Aumsville & Turner Your District Your Voice Listening Session via Zoom. I hope you will join me virtually and share your questions, concerns and thoughts. To register please click here:  Registration Link.

Questions may be submitted in advance to lena.prine@oregonlegislature.gov.

Additional Resources

  • You can find a collection of resources for businesses and individuals on the House Republican Caucus’s COVID-19 Economic Resources page.
  • The Small Business Navigator has been set up by Business Oregon to help direct Oregon businesses to the resources they need.
  • The Veteran Resource Navigator has launched to assist veterans and their families in accessing federal, state, and local resources during the COVID-19 crisis.
Mental Health resources

Memorial Day

Hello Friends,

Today the Oregon National Guard will perform flyovers in honor of Memorial Day.

Memorial Day is a federal holiday established to honor the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Originally known as Decoration Day, it came into being in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971.

The Civil War, which ended in the spring of 1865, claimed more lives than any conflict in U.S. history and required the establishment of the country’s first national cemeteries. By the late 1860s, Americans in various towns and cities had begun holding springtime tributes to these countless fallen soldiers, decorating their graves with flowers and reciting prayers.

Today many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings, and participating in parades. While there will be no parades this year, a portion of our state will have an opportunity to view an Oregon National Guard Flyover featuring F-16’s. Each year on Memorial Day a national moment of remembrance takes place at 3 p.m. local time.

President Lincoln said:

"A nation that does not honor its heroes will not long endure."

May we remember the brave men and women who have given the greatest sacrifice for our freedoms and honor them with a moment of silence at 3 p.m. this afternoon.

Thank you for engaging with your state government. Please know my door is always open and my staff, Pam McClain, Lena Prine, and I welcome your participation.

All my best,

moore-green signature

Representative Raquel Moore-Green
House District 19

Capitol Phone: 503-986-1419
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, H-385, Salem, OR 97301
Email: Rep.RaquelMooreGreen@oregonlegislature.gov
Website: https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/moore-green

Be sure to follow my legislative Facebook @reprmghd19


Oregon Air National Guard Memorial Day Flyover

National Guard jetsThis flyover is a joint effort between Oregon's 173rd Fighter Wing, based in Klamath Falls, and the 142nd Wing, based in Portland. Aimed to remember those brave service members who have paid the ultimate price for our freedom.

Anyone living in and around these locations should see and hear the jets. People are encouraged to view the flights from the safety of their own homes and practice physical distancing.

The flyovers listed below are scheduled for the following locations at the approximate times Monday, May 25 and include previously approved Memorial Day flyover locations.

  • 10:50 a.m.  Sky Lakes Medical Center, Klamath Falls, Ore.
  • 10:58 a.m.  VA White City, Ore.
  • 11:10 a.m.  VA Roseburg Health Care System, Roseburg, Ore
  • 11:10 a.m.  Mercy Medical Center, Roseburg, Ore.
  • 11:18 a.m.  Peace Harbor Cottage Grove Community Med. Center, Cottage Grove, Ore.
  • 11:22 a.m.  McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center, Springfield, Ore.
  • 11:22 a.m.  Peace Harbor Medical Center at Riverbend, Springfield, Ore.
  • 11:24 a.m.  Peace Harbor Sacred Heart Medical Center, Eugene, Ore.
  • 11:40 a.m.  Peace Harbor Medical Center, Florence, Ore.
  • 11:44 a.m.  Lower Umpqua Hospital, Reedsport, Ore.
  • 12:00 p.m.  Asante Three Rivers Medical Center, Grants Pass, Ore.
  • 12:00 p.m.  Grants Pass Riverside Park, Grants Pass, Ore.
  • 12:10 p.m.  Brookings Harbor, Brookings, Ore.

Pilots must perform a minimum number of flight hours to maintain proficiency. This flyover will incur no additional cost to taxpayers and is done in lieu of regularly scheduled training. All passes are approximately 2,000 feet above ground level at approximately 400 mph airspeed. Flights could be canceled or times changed due to inclement weather or operational contingencies.

Anyone who gets video or photos of the F-15s flying overhead are encouraged to post on social media using the hashtags: #AirForceSalutes, #AFFlyover, #FlyoverFriday

The Oregon Air National Guard has been an integral part of the nation's air defense since 1941. Pilots from the 173rd Fighter Wing and the 142nd Wing train for a variety of mission skill sets in order to maintain combat readiness for the defense of our state and nation.

Additionally, the 142nd Wing provides around-the-clock Aerospace Control Alert for the defense of our homeland, while the 173rd FW is home to the sole F-15C pilot training facility for the United States Air Force. Both units also respond to state and national emergencies as directed by the Governor of Oregon.

For more information contact:


UPDATE — 22 May 2020:  Happy reopening of Marion and Polk counties! What a relief we can begin the healing process of 10 weeks of isolation and personal supply chain interruption. As we phase back into communal life some of us may have apprehension stepping out to shop, eat, worship, and recreate. Some of us may be relieved and ready to roar. Wherever you fall in the spectrum please remember we will each approach this reentry differently. As we entered this pandemic I shared:

We are a strong and resilient community…. for the short term I ask you to stay calm. Have patience, extend grace. Use common sense. Be the caring community that you are to one another. Together we will weather this storm.

We are weathering this storm and we are ready to move to Phase 1 of solid ground, and I hope that we will have the same patience, grace and common sense employed from the onset.

There are guidelines to help keep the curve flat. Here is a link for information on to what you may expect from the various services as they reopen for business:
coronavirus.oregon.gov.

State Revenue Forecast

Whenever the word forecast is used, I think of a children's book Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. For us today the state revenue forecast, as presented on Wednesday the 20th is "dense fog with fog lamps". The sudden shut down of the economy has had dire consequences for individuals, families, and businesses regardless of location, size or function. The ripple effect has made its way to the state coffers and it is now anticipated to be a 2.7-billion-dollar revenue reduction for the 2019-21 biennium. It does not miraculously end with this budget cycle, the experts anticipate it will take the state of Oregon years to gain back to the pre-COVID19 revenue. The state economists project a loss of $10.5 billion over the next five years.

The Governor asked agencies across the state to submit budgets reflecting a 17% decrease. A Special Session of the Oregon Legislature needs to be convened to take up these important budgetary issues. Oregon has received $1.39 billion through the federal CARES act, and we have $1.6 billion in reserves. The decisions on how to best allocate these billions of dollars and determining the necessary budget cuts in the interest of our state and all Oregonians should now go to the people’s elected representatives. We will need to be prudent in our budgetary decisions going forward as we wait to see if consumer confidence returns and revenues increase.

Unemployment Claims

We continue to see a steady stream of requests for assistance in obtaining unemployment benefits. If you or someone you know is having difficulty obtaining benefits, please reach out to our office. We have had some success in overcoming the hurdles.

May Legislative Days

For the first time in the history of Oregon legislative days will be held virtually, via MS Teams. Committee meetings will be lived streamed on OLIS the link is provided here: https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2019I1. The House will meet May 22nd and May 26th - 29th. The Senate will meet June 1st - 5th. This morning will find me in the House Health Care Committee. Tuesday the House Behavioral Health Care Committee will meet, and then my final committee meeting will be on Wednesday — Judiciary. I will also have a work group meeting during legislative days — the Universal Access to Primary Care work group will meet on Tuesday morning. This will be our first meeting as we work toward submitting a report in November. I look forward to continuing work on issues that are important to all Oregonians.

Heading into Memorial Day Weekend

As we enter Phase 1 of reopening Marion and Polk Counties, please remember to continue to social distance as you recreate, shop, eat, worship, and just enjoy life post “stay home-stay healthy.” Here is an updated list of local store hours for the Memorial Day weekend:

  • COSTCO - Regular hours. Face coverings required. M thru F 9:30am-8:30pm, Sat & Sunday 9:30-7pm (M thru F 8:30-9:30 am vulnerable shoppers only - may be less busy in early afternoon) (NOTE: Only 2 shoppers per member card.) CLOSED Memorial Day – May 25th.
  • FRED MEYER - Daily 7am-10pm (M thru Th 7-8am vulnerable shoppers only).
  • LIFE SOURCE NATURAL FOODS - Daily 8am-7pm (Daily 8-9am vulnerable shoppers).
  • NATURAL GROCERS - M-Sa 8:30 am-8:05 pm (opens at 8am on W) & Sunday 9am-7:35 pm (W 8-9 am & Sunday 9-10 am vulnerable shoppers only). CLOSED Memorial Day – May 25th.
  • RITE AID - Daily 8 or 9am(?)-9pm (M thru F 9-10am vulnerable shoppers only)
  • ROTH'S - Daily 6am-8pm (Tu & Th 6-8am vulnerable shoppers only)
  • SAFEWAY = Daily 7am-10pm (Tu & Th 7-9am vulnerable shoppers only)
  • TRADER JOE'S - Daily 9am-8pm (Daily 8-9am vulnerable shoppers only). Trader Joe's now open until 8PM.
  • WALGREENS - Regular hours. Daily 8am-10pm (Tues 8-9am vulnerable shoppers only).
  • WALMART - Daily 7am-8:30pm (Tues 6-7am vulnerable shoppers only)
  • WINCO - Daily 7am-10pm (Tu & Th 6-7:30am vulnerable shoppers only)

Remember the number of customers allowed may be restricted and face coverings may be offered for use by the business.


UPDATE — 11 May 2020:  Nearly 300 responses to the survey sent out on May 1st were received. Thank you for taking time to respond and share your thoughts. It is so important for me to hear your voices. Regardless of how you think or reason about an issue you provide insight to my understanding and ultimately the decisions I make as your state representative. While none of us will ever see eye to eye all the time, we do live in community. Respect and cooperation are fundamental to healthy functioning communities, whether it’s our immediate family, our school family or our greater community of House District 19.

The first question demonstrates that many are ready for Oregon to reopen:

Graph response Q1

Some of the most useful information came by way of “comments”. Here are a few of the 280+ comments received pertaining to reopening:

  • We need to reopen now. Many more people are suffering from lack of medical care, emotional stress, and financially. Let’s not hurt anymore people in an effort to help people.

  • We have brains to decide for ourselves when and where we are safe and what risks we are willing to take.

  • Thanks for checking, balancing the strong voices with what is best based on data, and making the best decision at the moment. I'm confident all sides have safety as the driving force behind the decisions.

  • The resulting suicide, domestic violence, theft, drunkenness and drug abuse is on the heads of those who shut this down, as is our gigantic national debt our great grandkids will be paying off.

  • The head doctor of infectious diseases said we should not open until we have enough testing, hospital supplies, etc. It is too dangerous!

  • I am finding it hard to stay at home, not be able to hug and kiss and squeeze my kids and grandkids. I would like to move on!! Thanks for listening and caring!!

  • I think the individuals should be more involved in taking care of ourselves. If we don't feel safe going out, then we should stay home! Let people go out if they want to.

  • It was fine to quarantine and practice social distancing until we could get our ducks in a row and flatten the curve. It’s time to get back to work and living.

  • My concern is rushing the reopening and in the end causing this to be unnecessarily prolonged.

  • I worry most about opening too soon, rather than not soon enough. I worry about people who don't have an income and therefore can't pay their bills.

  • I am 69 with asthma. Do not shut down the economy and destroy people's lives for me. I know to wash my hands a lot, avoid sick people, my family does not come here sick.   I have medication that has prevented the asthma when I feel a respiratory virus coming on, and immune boosting vitamins based on my blood tests, I rarely get sick since I got this help. I know how to sanitize my house and avoid touching my face.

  • Follow example of Sweden. Let people self regulate and build herd immunity. Health risks due to stalled economy also must be managed.

  • Focus on the at risk groups: elderly, pre existing conditions, retirement centers etc. Let the rest of the Oregonians resume their lives.   Ferret out scientific studies from Stanford Dr's and the French Dr. (Dr Raoult) that discuss this virus and how best to treat it (HQC medicine). Share this information with the people and decisions makers. Thank you!

  • People will die from starvation, domestic violence, suicides, and despair if our state does not open soon.

  • Follow the data and recommendation of the health system experts.

  • Slow is better.

The following remark caused me to pause and truly think about what how our tomorrows may look:

  • Oregonians need to be told clearly that things cannot return to normal for a long time and without submitting to significant inconveniences (regular testing and tracking, as well as wearing masks, waiting outside the store or restaurant to keep capacity low, etc, etc). We have two options: (1) be careless and see another surge (perhaps worse if coinciding with flu season this winter) and then return to drastic social/physical distancing again and again; or (2) submit to major inconveniences, intrusions on our privacy, and long delays for services. There are not other options. Elected officials should be pro-actively preparing Oregonians for this reality.

This survey was launched on Friday morning the 1st of May. That afternoon the Governor issued Executive Order 20-24 which extends the state of emergency until July 6, 2020. Some may contend her constitutional authority, however until someone does, Oregon will continue to be governed in a state of emergency. Translation - the state may continue to access federal funds for disaster relief, which is the intent of the Governor. It will also provide for the continuation of a moratorium on residential and commercial evictions, and other financial stimulus measures.


Resources

As we enter week 9 of the stay home - stay healthy order we anticipate to hear from the Governor with specifics on reopening businesses as well as counties within the state. Here are the various documents that were released late last week from her office pertaining to the phase 1 reopening:

There are hurdles along the way, and my hope is that the goals that are outlined now are not changed moving forward. I believe the shifting of the goals has been one of the major challenges for legislators monitoring this crisis. Oregonians committed to staying home – staying healthy to flatten the curve of the spread of COVID19, we have accomplished this goal. Nationally Oregon has the fourth lowest cases of COVID19 and ranks the eighth lowest in deaths. Testing, tracing, and isolation are the focus of addressing this virus moving forward.


New Grant Program

New grant program form Business Oregon opens applications today, please find details at the below links:


"Re-Opening Oregon" Town Hall

We have an opportunity to hear directly from the Governor's office concerning the reopening of Oregon. You are invited to "It is time for Oregonians to be heard"; Wednesday, May 13th from 5:30-7:30 PM. Join Rep. Christine Drazan, Oregon House Republican Leader; Elana Pirtle-Giney, Legislative Director, Governor Kate Brown; and Dr. Dana Hargunani Chief Medical Officer, State of Oregon. For a link to the meeting please email Jessica.Snook@oregonlegislature.gov, House Republican Office.

Town Hall invitation

HD19 and SD10 Joining Together

Please join me, and Senator Denyc Boles for a “Your District – Your Voice” listening session this Friday the 15th at noon. Please register in advance here. Your questions and comments are important, please consider emailing them ahead of time to lenaprine@oregonlegislature.gov.


UPDATE — 5 May 2020:  Last week over 280 of you responded to a survey - thank you. We are processing your responses and I will have a post-survey follow-up to share.

In the interim we are hosting our second virtual Your District - Your Voice Listening Session, via Zoom, this Friday, May 8th, at noon. Do you have comments / questions to share? Please consider submitting them in advance to assure your topic is covered. I want to hear from you, to give you an opportunity to share what is on your mind, and to ask questions.

This live virtual listening session is open to all, priority will be given to House District 19 constituents; registration is required. Please consider registering early in order to participate.

Your patience and support of one another and your commitment to the health and wellness of our community is commendable. We look forward to the conversation on Friday. Please contact lena.prine@oregonlegislature.gov for more information and/or to submit your questions.

Thank you for engaging with your state government. Please know my door is always open and my staff — Pam McClain and Lena Prine — and I welcome your participation.


UPDATE — 1 May 2020:  Your District - Your Voice Survey

Over the course of the last few weeks I have received numerous emails urging the reopening of Oregon's shuttered businesses, parks, and outdoor recreation spaces. Much of this is in light of the fact that Oregon's hospitals demonstrated they could handle a public health crisis. Not without sacrificing non-emergency surgeries and seeing a decrease in emergency room visits, which negatively affected the health of thousands of Oregonians, but also placed many of our rural hospitals in dire financial situations.

Many sectors of our business community have continued to operate successfully during this public health crisis with adjusted physical spacing, enhanced hygiene regiments, and in some cases additional gloves and other protections. We have experienced these new disciplines as we have gone about our routines during this stay home – stay healthy environment.

The most recent statistical information from OHA has shown that "The data show that nearly 6 in 10 of the victims of COVID-19 suffered from heart disease. Nearly 1 in 3 had diabetes. Almost a quarter of the deaths are of former smokers, but just one out of the 73 cases the OHA reviewed was a current smoker at the time they contracted the virus" (Willamette Weekly full article here).

Today, if you would please take a moment to complete this online survey it would be sincerely appreciated. I remain committed to listening, responding, and leading. Your participation in this survey will help me to better serve you.

Click here to link to Your District - Your Voice Survey

Thank you for engaging with your state government. Please know my door is always open and my staff, Pam McClain, Lena Prine, and I welcome your participation.


UPDATE — 16 April 2020:  Over the last several days I have heard from community members that one of the biggest challenges individuals and businesses are facing is the amount of uncertainty this unique time brings. With this uncertainty comes challenges in planning and budgeting for individuals and businesses alike.

This week California Governor Gavin Newsom, Oregon Governor Kate Brown and Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced an agreement on a shared vision for reopening their economies and controlling COVID-19 into the future. Governor Kate Brown held a press conference, earlier in the week to introduce her framework for reopening Oregon, following Monday's Western States COVID-19 agreement announcement. She was joined by representatives from the Oregon Health Authority and the Governor's Medical Advisory Panel.

It is my hope that moving forward we will see an effort made to work with our health care professionals and businesses across the state to carefully craft a plan that operates within the social distancing and hygiene guidelines to keep our workers and customers safe, while providing livable wages for our working families.


Additional Resources

How to schedule a blood donation appointment:

Information for Americans Abroad:  The State Department has repatriated over 50,000 Americans from more than 90 countries.

The State Department is making efforts to bring home Americans, including through commercial flights, chartered flights, and military transport. Any American abroad who needs assistance should contact their local U.S. embassy and register with the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), available here or by calling 1-888-407-4747.

If you decide to travel abroad or are already outside the United States:

  • Consider returning to your country of residence immediately using whatever commercial means are available.
  • Have a travel plan that does not rely on the U.S. Government for assistance.
  • Review and follow the CDC's guidelines for the prevention of coronavirus.
  • Check with your airline, cruise lines, or travel operators regarding any updated information about your travel plans and/or restrictions.
  • Visit travel.state.gov to view individual Travel Advisories for the most urgent threats to safety and security.
  • Visit Embassy webpages on COVID-19 for information on conditions in each country or jurisdiction.
  • Visit the Department of Homeland Security's website on the latest travel restrictions to the United States.

My work deskThank you for engaging with your state government. Please know, even while working from home, my staff, Pam McClain, Lena Prine, and I remain available and welcome your participation.

UPDATE — 9 April 2020:  We have heard that accessing unemployment benefits has been a challenge.  Below you will find detailed information and a video that may help.  If you continue to hit roadblocks please contact our office directly.

Oregon Unemployment: Quick Tips

General Information:

The Oregon Employment Department has begun ramping up staffing to meet Oregon’s current need for Unemployment Insurance. Claims are being processed four times faster than normal as claims have jumped from 4,900 for the week of March 8th to 76,500 for the week of March 15th.

Claims processing is still slow and benefits may take more than a week to receive.

Issues regarding temporary layoffs are being addressed as the Oregon Employment Department works with the United States Department of Labor to carry out the “CARES Act” passed on March 27th.

All recent Covid-19 related layoffs qualify for Oregon Unemployment Insurance.

Contact information for the Oregon Employment Department:

Website:  https://govstatus.egov.com/ORUnemployment_COVID19

Email:  OED_COVID19_info@oregon.gov

Phone Numbers:  1-877-345-3484, 1-800-237-3710 (in-state only) or 503-947-1394.

Due to the high call volume, those that are able are STRONGLY encouraged to apply online. Currently phone lines at are near capacity. Online applications are processed faster.

Step-by-step guide to filing an Unemployment Insurance claim:

There have been issues with the recent policy changes to the website to adjust for furloughs and temporary layoffs, but the Department assures that these Unemployment claims will be processed. The website is being reformatted and you will need to navigate it by doing the following:

To begin an Unemployment claim, go to:  https://secure.emp.state.or.us/...

  1. Click "File a Claim". You will need your work history for the last 18 months.
  2. Enter your occupation and select that the reason for unemployment is "Laid off/lack of work".
  3. If you are impacted by Covid-19 and are willing to seek work or plan to return to work: Answer YES.
  4. If you are willing to work full or part time: Answer YES.
  5. Is there any reason you can't begin full timework? Answer NO.
  6. A question regarding your expected date to return to work is asked. ONLY answer this question if that date is known. Otherwise, your unemployment benefits will end on that date.

Important to note:  Once processed, claims for unemployment need to be made every week starting on Sundays. Failing to do so will require starting over. Go to:  https://www.oregon.gov/employ/pages/default.aspx.

  1. Click the "Online Claim System".
  2. Click "Claim a Week's benefits"
  3. Mark "Temporary Layoff" instead of work search activities.
  4. If you receive an "Error Message" in filing your weekly benefits because of a lack of work search history, the Department will still process your claim as usual.

YouTube video "how-to":

Apply online

Others have had questions around the federal Payroll Protection Plan, PPP. Here are answers to some of the frequently asked questions:

Support Available for Small Business in the Coronavirus Relief Packages

The third coronavirus relief package provides significant funding and new programs to support small businesses across the country. This includes:

  • $349 billion in forgivable loans through the Paycheck Protection Program, with no personal guarantee or collateral required. See further details below.
  • $10 billion for SBA economic injury disaster loans (EIDL), which provide grants of up to $10,000 or loans of up to $2 million to qualifying small businesses. See further details below.
  • $17 billion for SBA to cover six months of payments for small businesses with existing SBA backed businesses loans. This is six months of total relief from payments for existing and new applicants, though collateral is required. New applicants have six months from the signing of the legislation to apply through SBA’s Lender Match Portal, with six months of relief for both principal and interest.
  • An Employee Retention Tax Credit.
    • Employee retention tax credit of 50% of wages for each employee, capped at $10,000 in wages.
    • The tax credit is available to small businesses who do not participate in the Paycheck Protection Program, and businesses of all sizes who had to fully or partially suspend operations at the direction of the government due to the COVID- 19 outbreak or have gross receipts that are 50% less than the same quarter the previous year, until they reach 80% of their gross receipts.
    • This is a refundable payroll tax credit, and the IRS will provide employers with methods to request advance refunds to get the money back faster.

FAQs: The Paycheck Protection Program

Small businesses can receive fully forgivable loans through the newly-created Paycheck Protection Program to address important payroll and operational costs. The federal government has guaranteed these loans, so no personal guarantee or collateral will be required.

FAQs: Eligibility and Application Process

Who can apply?

  • Small businesses, nonprofits (excluding local affiliates of some national organizations), veterans’ organizations, and tribal businesses with fewer than 500 employees are all eligible to apply.
    • Affiliation rules are waived for any business assigned a franchiser identifier code or a NAICS code beginning with 72 that has 500 or fewer employees per physical location, or any business that receives funding through a Small Business Investment Company (SBIC).
  • Individuals who operate as sole proprietors, are self-employed, or are independent contractors are also eligible.

Note: Individuals must submit documentation to demonstrate their eligibility, including payroll tax filings, Forms 1099-MISC, and income and expenses from the sole proprietorship.

  • Undocumented business owners are not eligible for this relief, but legal permanent residents can apply.

Is my business eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program if I have already had to lay off employees?

  • Companies that have already laid off employees can hire back the laid off employees and have that payroll expense covered under the Paycheck Protection Program.

How much can I receive?

  • This forgivable loan is intended to cover eight weeks of payroll and operational costs, based on the sum of:
    • The average total monthly payments for payroll costs from the prior year before the date the loan was made, multiplied by 2.5.
    • For seasonal employers, the average total monthly payments for payroll for the 12-week period from February 15. 2019, or March 1, 2019, to June 30, 2019, multiplied by 2.5.
    • For those small businesses that were not in business from February 15, 2019 to the average total monthly payments by the employer for payroll costs incurred during the period beginning on January 1, 2020 and ending on February 29, 2020, multiplied by 2.5.
    • Plus any outstanding loans made beginning January 31, 2020.
  • The maximum loan amount is $10 million.

How do I apply?

  • You can apply through participating banks and credit unions. A list of Oregon SBA partner lenders can be found here. The federal government has provided a guarantee of these loans to qualified lenders, which includes most banks and established lending institutions that small business owners already work with (the federal government will also reimburse lenders for processing these loan applications).

Note:  Because the federal government has guaranteed these loans, no personal guarantee or collateral will be required.

  • The Treasury Department has announced that lenders will begin accepting applications on Friday, April 3rd, with loans approved as quickly as the same day. Further details on the application process should be available later this week.
  • Applicants will need to make a good faith certification to lenders that:
    • Uncertain economic conditions require a loan to support ongoing operations;
    • Funds will be used to retain workers, maintain payroll, make mortgage interest and lease payments and utility payments, and to service existing debt;
    • No other applications are pending for a loan for the same purpose, and the recipient has not received any loans for this purpose.

Note:  Recipients of economic injury disaster loans (EIDL) between February 15, 2020 and June 30, 2020 may also be recipients of these PPP loans, and may refinance their EIDL loan into this covered loan. Recipients who refinance an EIDL into a PPP loan will have the advance amount subtracted from the amount forgiven in the PPP.

FAQs: How Paycheck Protection Program Loans Are Forgiven

Recipients of Paycheck Protection Program loans can have their loans forgiven for costs incurred on eligible expenses in the 8 weeks following the origination of their loan. Recipients must submit an application for forgiveness to the lender who originated the loan, with the appropriate documentation.

How much can be forgiven?

  • All loan proceeds spent on the eligible expenses (see below for a list of eligible expenses) can be 100% forgiven.
  • The amount of forgiveness will be reduced pro-rata based on the number of full time employees maintained during the outbreak of COVID-19, compared to the number of employees maintained between February 15, 2019 and June 30, 2019; or between January 1, 2020 and February 29, 2020, or for seasonal employers, the average number of full- time equivalent employees per month from February 15, 2019 and June 30, 2019.
  • The amount of forgiveness will also be reduced by the amount of any salary reductions that are greater than 25% of the total salary or wages of that employee, prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.

What are eligible expenses?

Eligible expenses to be forgiven include:

  • Payroll costs.

Note:  Employers with tipped employees may receive reimbursement for additional wages paid to those employees during the outbreak.

  • Costs related to health care benefits and insurance premiums.
  • Employee salaries, commissions or compensations.
  • Interest payments on mortgages (funding shall not go towards the principal).
  • Rent.
  • Utilities.
  • Interest on other outstanding debt obligations (incurred before the COVID outbreak, which began on February 15, 2020).

Are there any limitations on these eligible expenses?

  • Eligible payroll costs are capped at salaries over $100,000 per employee.
  • Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiveness cannot be used to cover paid time off or paid sick leave. Separate credits to cover these expenses have been provided in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

How much will I owe for any portion of my loan that is not forgiven, and how long will I have to  pay it off?

  • Loans (or portions of loans) that are not forgiven under this program will carry the following terms:
    • Interest rate of 0.5%
    • Maturity of two years
    • First payment deferred by six months

UPDATE — 3 April 2020:
Working Our Way Through the Covid-19 Crisis

First and foremost, I hope this finds you and yours well. The massive amount of information continues to flow in from the state and federal level as we face the COVID-19 Crisis. On the federal level we now have the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security), which will bring much needed relief to individuals and small businesses that are struggling during this time.

The federal government as part of the CARES act has an additional resource for small businesses called the Paycheck Protection Program. Information can be found here. This program is specifically designed to help small businesses keep their workforce employed.

The state continues to struggle with supplying essential PPE to all front-line healthcare providers. To date the state has distributed over 10,000 face shields, 400,000 N95 masks and 50,000 surgical masks, and has received more PPE from the federal government in a shipment from FEMA. The personnel at the fully operational PPE distribution center in Wilsonville have begun processing the supplies and will begin shipping it to all 36 counties and 9 tribes in Oregon the first of next week.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AND RESOURCES

Daily Updates via Txt

State and federal updates on COVID-19/Coronavirus are rapidly changing. For the latest, please consider following the link for daily updates. A note on this, I hesitate to sign up for items such as this, but I have found this daily update to be very comprehensive. It ranges from the latest on health, education, business, and the economy. You may want to give it a try, there is an opt out if find it does not provide what you are seeking.

Real ID

The national deadline for switching to the use of standardized Real IDs has been extended by a year to October 2021. ODOT is still on track to begin issuing REAL IDs July 2020, but we have an additional year to make the switch. This increased timeline will be extremely helpful to Oregonians as we work to comply and provide access for receiving new ID. See more info here.

Gas Pumps: temporary suspension on self-service ban

The Office of State Fire Marshal is temporarily allowing self-service at gas stations statewide until April 11. This addresses the workforce shortage at stations due to childcare needs, safety concerns and illness, and ensures fuel is available for essential workers who need to travel.

There will be instructions posted on how to use the pump and an attendant at every station to supervise. Self-service is not mandatory. Individual stations will decide what works best for their workforce availability. Stations will be allowed to offer self-service unattended if no one is available to work, and only for one consecutive shift. One employee must be designated to enforce social distancing.

Volunteering and Donations

Many Oregonians have been stepping up to offer donations and services for the COVID-19 response. The Office of Emergency Management has created a webpage where you can register. There are instructions for individuals, businesses looking to sell or donate to the state, and non-profit agencies looking for volunteers or supplies.

Coronavirus Worker Safety Fund

SAIF unveiled a $10 million coronavirus worker safety fund that will help Oregon employers pay for expenses tied to making workplaces safer. The fund is designed to support employee safety, reduce injuries, and decrease hazardous exposures by helping businesses most impacted by the coronavirus. More than 53,000 SAIF policyholders across the state are eligible for funds. Here is a link to the press release for more information:  https://www.saif.com/news/....

Mental Health Resources

The COVID-19 crisis is impacting routines, livelihoods and mental health. Here are some ways to protect your mental health from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention:

  • Separate what's in your control from what is not
  • Do what helps you feel a sense of safety
  • Get outside in nature—maintaining social distance
  • Challenge yourself to stay in the present
  • Stay connected and reach out if you need support
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness COVID-19 Information and Resource Guide

Health Update: modeling projection

Stay Home Stay Healthy policies appear to be having an effect and helping flatten the curve as we continue to battle the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Oregon Health Authority graphs (below) clearly illustrate the value of the aggressive measures that have been implemented to ensure “social distancing,” preventing many more infections and a sharp rise in hospitalizations in the coming weeks.

Oregon Health Authority published the findings of modeling done to project the spread of COVID-19 in Oregon, in order to plan to the best of their ability for the healthcare system needs in the state.  The model and analysis was performed by the Institute for Disease Modeling in Bellevue, Washington, using data compiled from studies performed in areas where COVID-19 has already spread widely and Oregon testing data.

The report models infection rates with three social distancing scenarios*:

  • Green: aggressive interventions: "Stay Home, Save Lives" Executive Order currently in place with 90% compliance.
  • Orange: moderate interventions: ban on large events over 250 and school closures.
  • Blue: stop social distancing, return to business as usual.

[Shaded areas represent range of compliance with social distancing (height of blue shade is low to no compliance and lowest of green shade is full compliance, with margin of error) green shade is full compliance, with margin of error.]

COVID-19 projections

Conclusions from the model:

  • The current aggressive social distancing practice is the only action that decreases the number of hospital beds we need and slow the spread.
  • If we let up on these measures, the number of beds required will steadily rise.
  • Bed space – the number of beds available along with healthcare teams is the critical information the state is monitoring.
  • We will need to continue to watch the situation.
    • We have yet to see the full impact of aggressive social distancing in testing data because symptoms can take up to 2 weeks to show after contracting COVID-19.
    • Statewide efforts are working to increase hospital capacity. If the need for bed space begins to outweigh current hospital capacity, the plan is to be prepared with additional hospital capacity, i.e., the emergency hospital set up at the Oregon State Fair Grounds here in Salem.
  • Implementation of social distancing measures have already fundamentally altered our lives in many ways and although we may face hardships during this time we must focus on the future while continuing to help keep our community safe.

This unique time calls for a delicate balancing act as we face a health crisis and the need for all of us to return to work and our daily routines. We know we are in the midst of a horrible virus and we must do all we can to flatten the curve of infection and death. We must also do everything we can to flatten the curve of small businesses dying and continued unemployment.

To those that are staying home and staying healthy, thank you.. For the time being that is the best course of action. For those around us who are challenged with the parameters of social distancing — isolation, stress, and uncertainty — as family and friends we can encourage one another, watch over our at risk loved ones, and work towards getting the economy moving again.

This health crisis will end and when it does our small businesses need to be ready to welcome back the hundreds of thousands of hard-working Oregonians to their jobs. I remain committed to listening, responding, and leading. We as Oregonians can and will weather this crisis and return to our daily routines including our jobs, education, and the ever so valued leisure time outdoors.

Thank you for engaging with your state government. Please know my door is always open and my staff, Pam McClain, Lena Prine, and I welcome your participation.


UPDATE — 27 March 2020:  Committee Updates

The work of the Joint Special Committee on Coronavirus Response was demanding and grueling, but pales in comparison to the hundreds of thousands of hard-working Oregonians who have been told they cannot work because their employers were told to shut down their business.

Our mission, set out by the Presiding Officers was to identify actions that can be taken immediately to provide stability to low-income workers and small businesses who have found themselves without a job. We focused on wage and food support, unemployment, protection from losing their homes, their storefronts, and their place of residence for individuals while all the time keeping a focus on our first responders – those working so hard to keep us safe.

We clearly understood the importance of our mission and turned around policy and budget recommendations after nearly 30 hours of committee work. There was over 1,500 pieces of testimony, in the span of 5 working days. Our first course of action was to address the support for housing, food and unemployment benefits. After addressing the basic needs of Oregonians finding themselves employed one day and unemployed the next, we addressed the critical and immediate needs of small businesses.

Small businesses and their owners are the backbone of our communities and it is critical that their cash flow demands be met during this temporary time of government imposed shut down. They need certainty- no surprise added costs; relief-for loans, expenses, and utilities; and support-for employees in the event they cannot be kept on payroll.

Our work was completed late Tuesday afternoon the 24th and since then the co-chairs of the committee, Representative Holvey and Senator Roblan, have produced a memo to the Presiding Officers. A recap of the work (found here) and recommended direction the legislature should take to address the immediate needs of all Oregonians finding themselves without work and the doors to the businesses shut because of the COVID-19 crisis.

We know we are in the midst of a horrible virus and we must do all we can to flatten the curve of infection and death. We must also do everything we can to flatten the curve of small businesses dying and people being unemployed. This health crisis will end and when it does our small businesses need to be ready to welcome back the hundreds of thousands of hard-working Oregonians to their jobs.

It is an honor to serve on this committee and we have been advised to stay ready to reconvene as we completed only a portion of the work needed to ensure that all Oregonians can weather this crisis and return to their normal daily routines including their jobs, education, and the ever so valued leisure time outdoors.

RMG taking notes
COVID-19 Committee

Important Resources

COVID - 19 Updates

General Resources

211info connects people with health and social service organizations. At our heart is our core Community Information Center, supported by Resource Database team. We've expanded to include enhanced information & referral and assistance programs that target specific services. Call 211 or 1-866-698-6155

Employment

For information about unemployment benefits & COVID-19 , please visit:

Bureau of Labor and Industries website for Additional Information

Business Assistance

Federal guidance for small businesses, including information on the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program.

Oregon Work-share Program — Work Share provides an alternative for employers and workers who may be facing the prospect of a lay off situation. With Work Share, instead of reducing staff, an employer reduces the hours of work for a group of workers. Partial Unemployment Insurance benefits are then paid to supplement workers' reduced wages.

Business Organizations links for assistance and information

Rental, Mortgage or Housing Assistance

The Federal government announced yesterday that HUD has authorized the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to implement an immediate foreclosure and eviction moratorium for single family homeowners with FHA-insured mortgages for the next 60 days.

211.org and Community Action may be able to direct you to resources for payment assistance.

Food Assistance

211 is a statewide resource you call 211 or 1-866-698-6155 Text your zip code to 898211 (TXT211) EMAIL help@211info.org

Insurance

If Oregonians have questions or concerns about their insurance company or agent, they can contact the department’s advocacy team at 888-877-4894 (toll free) or visit dfr.oregon.gov for more information or to file a complaint.

For insurance and financial services information related to COVID-19, visit the department's website:  https://dfr.oregon.gov/insure/health/understand/Pages/coronavirus.aspx.

General Health Information

Mental Health Resources


Thank you for engaging with your state government. Please know my door is always open and my staff, Pam McClain, Lena Prine, and I welcome your participation.


16 March 2020

Covid-19 News & Updates

Hello Friends,

Thank you for your patience as we continue to monitor and process all the information surrounding education, employment, food, housing, and health needs pertaining to the COVID-19 outbreak. We are briefed daily by the Oregon Health Authority, OHA.

First and foremost, social distancing is the single most important thing we can do to help stem the spread of COVID-19. The Governor announced today that group gathering size is being reduced from 250 to 25. Her full briefing can be seen here.

Today we learned the Emergency Command Response Center has been set in place and is operating 24/7. Their primary charge is to coordinate with local emergency management teams. These teams are at the county and city level. For Marion County, which would include the cities of Turner and Aumsville:

  • Marion County Emergency Management / 5155 Silverton Road NE, Salem, OR 97305
  • Kathleen Silva, Emergency Manager / Office Phone: (503) 365-3133 / Office Fax: (503) 589-0943 / E-mail: ksilva@co.marion.or.us
  • CITY OF SALEM / Salem Emergency Management / 370 Trade St. SE / Salem, OR 97301
  • Gregory Walsh, Emergency Manager / Office Phone: (503) 589-2139 / Office Fax: (503) 588-6191 / E-mail: gwalsh@cityofsalem.net

Resources for Business

Federal guidance for small businesses, including information on the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program.

Small Business Administration Guidance

Work Share allows employers to leverage Partial Unemployment Insurance benefits for employers whose workforce is impacted by COVID-19.

Work Share Oregon

Information for employers, workers, and job seekers.

Oregon Employment Department

State guidance for Oregon businesses.

Business Oregon Interim Guidance for Businesses


Paying Your Bills

Portland General Electric, Pacific Power, Northwest Natural Gas, and the Portland Water Bureau will all temporarily stop service disconnections for non-payment of bills. Comcast is offering free internet access for some families for the next 60 days.


Additional Resources

The Oregon Health Authority's (OHA) www.healthoregon.org/coronavirus and 211Info are excellent sources of information about resources and benefits, and OHA is also ready to answer your questions about coronavirus. It is open seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. by phone (call 211), text (text your ZIP code to 898211) or email (help@211info.org)

Covid-19 matrix

In Other News

Shortly after the Governor announced the closure of schools from March 13th-March 31st, I was assigned to the Joint Committee on Coronavirus. We are charged with making timely recommendations for legislative action as the state works to combat the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The committee is charged with the following tasks:

  • Identify actions to support short-term economic relief to low-income workers and small businesses. These actions could include wage supports, support for those not eligible for state programs (such as sick leave and unemployment insurance), protection from housing instability, and more.
  • Monitor public health strategies and response for COVID-19 and consider additional statutory changes to assist with the public health emergency.
  • Make timely budget and policy recommendations to the Legislature.

You may expect timely updates from me on all fronts of this issue. Please check my legislative Facebook, @reprmghd19, as well as my legislative website at: https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/moore-green/Pages/news.aspx for the most current information.

If at any point you have a question or issue that needs addressing our preferred method of contact is email to Rep.RaquelMooreGreen@oregonlegislature.gov or via phone if you do not have email access at #503-986-1419. Thank you for engaging with your state government. Please know my door is always open and my staff, Pam McClain, Lena Prine, and I welcome your participation.

Yours truly,

moore-green signature

Representative Raquel Moore-Green
House District 19

Capitol Phone: 503-986-1419
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, H-385, Salem, OR 97301
Email: Rep.RaquelMooreGreen@oregonlegislature.gov
Website: https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/moore-green

 

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