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Dear Friends and Neighbors, 

The Oregon Legislature wrapped up our third special legislative session of 2020 on December 21st - we passed 4 bills before closing the day. The focus of the session was to pass wildfire and COVID-19 relief. Please read on to learn more details about the session below.

I also want to extend my holiday wishes to you and your loved ones as we approach the end of a tumultuous year.  

As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office if you need assistance with a state agency or would like to share your thoughts about the issues important to you. My email is Rep.MaxineDexter@OregonLegislature.gov, my team will get back to you as soon as we can.

Happy Holidays and New Year

This year, holiday and new year’s celebrations are going to look very different for all of us. I cannot say emphatically enough how important it is to minimize person-to-person indoor contact with people outside of your household to reduce spread of the virus. As someone who has seen up close how devastating this disease can be, I am confident we all want to protect our loved ones to the greatest extent possible. In this time of uncertainty, there are many other ways to maintain connection.

Despite the hardships of this past year, as we approach 2021 I am filled with hope. Hope that we will turn the final corner of this pandemic. Hope that we will soon be with all of our loved ones. Hope that our children will safely be back in school. Hope that we will continue to care for our community, prioritizing the security and safety of all above the comfort of ourselves alone.

My heart is with you. I am inspired by your resilience and dedication to the support of your community. From my family to yours, we wish you a happy and safe holiday and new year.

Third Special Session

Governor Brown called for a special legislative session on December 15 with the primary goal of providing additional wildfire and COVID relief. The session successfully began and concluded on December 21. While the session was noticeably short, we were able to pass 4 bills -- meaningful and important legislation. Here is a short summary of the bills passed, you may also review OPB’s summary here:

House Bill 4401 extends the moratorium on residential evictions until June 30, 2021 for Oregonians who have experienced financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic. The legislation also establishes a landlord compensation fund to cover rental assistance and allows Oregon Housing and Community Services to grant funds for additional rental assistance.

Recent data from the National Council of State Housing Agencies estimates that anywhere from 27,700 to 56,100 Oregon households would have been at risk of eviction on January 1st without the statewide extension of the eviction moratorium.

We will notify you when these programs begin accepting applications.

House Bill 4402 provides temporary liability protections to schools that are complying with COVID-19 emergency rules. Schools are not protected if they are not following Oregon Occupational Safety & Health (OSHA) and Oregon Health Authority (OHA) rules. This bill provides additional incentive for schools, administrators, and teachers to follow health directives and best practices. The measure provides whistleblower protections to third party contractors, such as janitorial service providers, bus drivers, and food service providers.

- Senate Bill 1801 allows restaurants and bars to temporarily sell and deliver mixed drinks to-go if the mixed drink is sold in a sealed container. The bill caps fees that third-party delivery providers can issue at 15%. Local governments with already-existing third-party fee caps can maintain their own lower limits.

Many independent restaurants are currently hanging on by a thread. This support for small businesses comes at a critical time as the pandemic continues and restaurants have had in-person dining disrupted.

Senate Bill 5731 includes $600 million to allow the state to continue to fund critical pandemic-related programs that will support Oregonians in the first few months of 2021, as well as provide more support for Oregonians impacted by the Labor Day wildfires. It also includes $150 million for the Landlord Compensation Fund and $50 million for rental assistance.

My colleagues Representative Alissa Keny-Guyer (HD 46) and Representative Rob Nosse (HD 42) celebrating the passage of SB 5731.
COVID Update

As COVID cases continue to rise in Oregon it is crucial that we continue to wear masks, socially distance and stay home to stay safe as much as possible. Hope is in sight and we must refrain from gathering with family and friends until everyone has access to a vaccine. 

Several weeks ago the Governor alongside the Oregon Health Authority introduced a new county level approach to easing COVID restrictions based on county risk level. As of today, both Washington and Multnomah Counties are at extreme risk of COVID-19 spread. Here is where you can see what risk level your county falls into, and what the guidance is for activities under that risk level.
Volunteer Opportunities
Blanchet House, a fantastic nonprofit providing meals and shelter for some of our most vulnerable Oregonians, is seeking food donations. They accept fresh, unexpired, and soon-to-expire food as well as home baked goods. Pick up or delivery should be arranged by calling 503-241-4340 or emailing info@blanchethouse.org. Pick up and deliveries can occur Mon-Sat, 7 am – 2 pm.
Local Businesses

If you’re still looking for last minute holiday gifts or want to surprise your loved ones with a gift for the new year, consider supporting local businesses who have been hit hard by COVID-19. Visit HereForPortland.com for a great list of local businesses to support this holiday season.

Stay in Touch!

The best way to stay informed and connect with my legislative work is through my Facebook page (State Representative Maxine Dexter), my Twitter account (@RepDexterOR), and my Instagram (@RepDexterOR). Feel free to reach out to my office at Rep.MaxineDexter@OregonLegislature.gov.

I am honored to represent you in Salem, and look forward to continuing to serve you and this amazing community we share.

Gratefully,

 

Maxine Dexter, MD
Oregon State Representative
House District 33 

Resources
  • Congressman Earl Blumenauer’s office has compiled an exhaustive list of COVID resources here.
  • National Suicide Prevention Hotline | 1-800-273-TALK (8255)- Crisis Text Line | Text HOME to 741741

  • Oregon Youthline | Call 877-968-8491 or text teen2teen to 839863 between 4pm - 10pm to text with another teen.

  • National Youth Crisis Hotline | 1-800-442-HOPE (4673)

  • Oregon Partnership 24 Hour Youth Helpline | 1-877-553-TEEN (8336)

  • NAMI Oregon | 503-230-8009 or 800-343-6264, email namioregon@namior.org - Live support from 9am - 5pm, M-F.

  • The Trevor Project | 1-866-488-7386 - 24/7 suicide prevention for LGBTQ.

  • Senior Loneliness Line | 503-200-1633 or 800-282-7035 - For Oregonians 55+ years old. Get ongoing support, resources, and listening sessions.

  • Veteran Crisis Line | 1-800-273-8255 - Call, chat, or text options, with deaf and hard of hearing support available.
     
  • Virtual Learning Assistance for Washington County Library members. (English resources) (Spanish Resources
  • Housing assistance: Family Promise of Beaverton is committed to helping children and their families affected by homelessness in the Beaverton area. (https://www.familypromiseofbeaverton.org/#homepage

  • Housing assistance: Community Housing Fund focuses on providing affordable housing and works on community projects. (http://www.thecommunityhousingfund.org/?page_id=38#.Xz9P3S2ZNQI)

  • Housing assistance: Community Action helps pay rent and help to get people in need of housing. (https://caowash.org

  • Housing assistance: Salvation Army Female Emergency Shelter serves women in the community who are experiencing homelessness. (https://safes.salvationarmy.org

  • Housing assistance, utility assistance, food assistance: United Way of the Columbia-Willamette provides access to critical services like housing assistance and utility assistance and access to food. (https://www.unitedway-pdx.org)

  • Utility assistance: Oregon Energy Fund is a 30-year-old nonprofit that provides energy bill assistance to low-income Oregonians in support of household stability. (https://www.oregonenergyfund.org/about-us/

  • Utility assistance: Oregon Citizens’ Utility Board provides equitable, affordable, and reliable utility services. (https://oregoncub.org

  • Utility assistance: EnergyTrust helps people save money and energy. (https://www.energytrust.org)

  • Disability assistance: Plan For Work services help individuals with disabilities and provide different services to those in need. (https://www.droregon.org/plan-for-work)  

  • Youth assistance: New Avenues for Youth provides meals, showers, laundry, respite from the streets, engagement activities, and legal counsel. (https://newavenues.org/our-services)

  • Community assistance: Oregon Solutions solves community problems using a problem-solving system. (https://orsolutions.org/about/what-we-do)

  • Transportation assistance: Trimet has a reduced fare for low-income rider and seniors age 65+. (https://trimet.org/fares/honoredcitizen.htm)  

  • Food assistance, water bill assistance, and grants, utility assistance: Care To Share coordinates assistance to families and individuals who seek emergency food and other basic necessities. (http://www.caretosharehelp.org)  

  • Food assistance: Mercy Corps Northwest provides assistance for community members returning from prison. (https://www.mercycorpsnw.org/work/

  • Food assistance, housing assistance, utility assistance, disability assistance: Department of County Human Services ensures that everyone can reach their potential and contribute to communities. (https://multco.us/dchs)

Follow Representative Dexter on social media to stay connected!
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Our Legislative Mailing Address:
900 Court St. NE, H-493
Salem, Oregon 97301
Phone: 503-986-1433
Copyright © 2020 Maxine for Oregon, All rights reserved.


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