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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

This week my team and I have worked hard to continue moving our bills forward and connect constituents with resources and services. All of my office’s bills are available to view online at OLIS

Here is your update on what has been going on at the Capitol. Below that, you’ll also find the latest COVID-19 information, including an update on vaccine eligibility, advice on how to avoid vaccine scams, and a change to our bi-weekly Virtual Coffees.

 
 
Welcome Rep Valderrama

This week the Oregon House had the privilege to welcome a new member from House District 47, Representative Andrea Valderrama. Representative Valderrama brings a wide range of experience to our legislature, from her work at Portland City Hall to the ACLU of Oregon and the David Douglas School Board. Her appointment also marks a milestone: for the first time in Oregon history, a majority of members of the Oregon House of Representatives are women.

I am honored to see this historic moment and I look forward to serving alongside Rep Valderrama.

 
 
Bill Updates
The past few weeks have marked a lot of movement on my bills, including the passage of one of my bills out of the House!

HB 3037 is a bill my office has been working on alongside Multnomah County to help inform and support a community after a youth dies by suicide. The bill changes some reporting restrictions between counties and also requires the state to create a statewide post-suicide intervention plan to support a community and decrease the further harm that comes after a peer and child dies by suicide. The bill had a work session on 3/10 in the House Committee on Behavioral Health and passed out of committee with a unanimous vote. I am thrilled to say that the bill passed out of the House on 4/5 with a near-unanimous vote (one Representative was excused from the floor that day.) Now the bill moves over to the Senate and we begin the public hearing and work session process again.

This is a moment of great celebration and is especially meaningful to me, a mother of two teenagers, to have the first bill I carry on the floor of our chamber be one that will help support our youth after this last year which will forever leave its mark on this generation. What that mark will be is still unknown and yet it is crucial we build robust community support for the mental health challenges our children have and will continue to face.

HB 2814, which started out as a bill to regulate indirect sources of emissions has gone through extensive revisions to engage stakeholders and ensure we can pass a strong environmental policy. The recent amendment I introduced, referred to as a “dash-three,” directs DEQ to study program and policy approaches to reduce diesel engine emissions attributable to indirect sources of air contamination and provide its findings and policy recommendations to the legislature. The bill is scheduled for a work session on 4/12.

HB 3035 creates a pilot program at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility (the women’s prison) to ensure adults in custody have access to high-quality, comprehensive, and coordinated healthcare including mental and reproductive health services and addiction support. The bill also establishes healthcare navigators to help adults in custody navigate their healthcare while incarcerated and requires Coffee Creek Facility to coordinate ongoing care for adults in custody through the use of accessible electronic medical records. The bill passed out of the House Committee on Judiciary on 4/1 and was referred to the Joint Committee on Ways and Means, as the pilot program will have a fiscal impact on the state.

HB 3039 requires the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) to convene a group of healthcare and technology stakeholders to create a strategic plan for moving Oregon into a future where healthcare and social service supports are collaboratively delivered and seamlessly coordinated. The goal would be to develop a statewide strategic plan to achieve two objectives:

  1. Ensure our electronic health records systems can “talk” to one another, allowing care providers to have a complete understanding of a patient’s medical, social and pharmaceutical history, no matter where they receive their care.
  2. Link health record systems with community-based organizations and the services they provide in the region, allowing for care to the whole patient.

The bill passed out of the House Human Services Committee on 4/7 with a unanimous vote and was referred to the Joint Committee on Ways and Means, as the study will have a fiscal impact on the state.

If you would like to testify about these bills - or any bill for that matter - I encourage you to watch the video below from my colleague and friend, Representative Dacia Grayber. It clearly explains how to ensure your voice is heard in the legislative process.

 
COVID-19 Subcommittee

This week the COVID-19 Subcommittee met once.

On 4/7 the subcommittee received our weekly briefing on the vaccine rollout from Oregon Health Authority Director Pat Allen. The committee also heard from Dr. Dean Sidelinger, Oregon’s State Epidemiologist, on testing, public health indicators, and the prevalence of COVID-19 variants in Oregon. You can watch the update here.

 
Biweekly Constituent Conversations Update

It is a priority for me to continue holding these events on a regular basis despite being back to work in the hospital. I ask for your understanding as the timing of these events may change based on my work schedule.

With that said, my next Constituent Conversation will be on Thursday, April 15 at 5:30pm. These events will be posted on Facebook and YouTube afterwards for the benefit of those who can’t join us live. You can RSVP with the link below or watch live on my Facebook page the day of.

RSVP Here
COVID Update

COVID cases have recently been trending upward. There is a concern that we will see cases increase with variants present and opening up our communities. Nevertheless, Oregon’s case rate is the twelfth lowest in the nation, which is a great sign that all the work Oregonians have done - to continue to wear masks (or even double masking), stay socially distant, and remain at home as much as possible - has been working! Please continue to practice these safety protocols as long as needed as we aren’t done with this yet. Finally, and most importantly, please make sure you and your loved ones get your vaccine as soon as you are eligible, especially those who are 65 years and over.  

Vaccines Eligibility Expansion

On 4/6, Governor Brown announced an update to the vaccine eligibility timeline. Effective 4/19, all Oregonians 16 and older will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

The Oregon Health Authority has changed the process for signing up to receive vaccines. The Get Vaccinated Oregon website has been updated. If you are eligible to receive the vaccine, you will receive an email invite from All4Oregon inviting you to make an appointment at the Oregon Convention Center. All4Oregon will then send you a unique, individualized link that connects to the All4Oregon scheduling site with open dates and times for vaccine appointments. The link will expire if it is not used within five days.

Additionally, the state’s COVID Vaccine website provides info about the vaccine distribution process and allows individuals living in Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas, Columbia or Marion counties to schedule a vaccination appointment at the PDX Airport by clicking the “Let’s get started” button when you scroll down. To get more information you can call 211, email ORCOVID@211info.org, or text ORCOVID to 898211. Costco Pharmacies, Safeway/Albertsons Pharmacies, Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, Walmart, Bi-Mart, and OHSU also have direct vaccine appointment tools.

The Nike Headquarters in Beaverton has also been hosting weekly drive-thru vaccination clinics alongside Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue. I am happy to see Oregon businesses like Nike pitching in to help get Oregon vaccinated. More info about the Nike drive-thru clinic click here.

The Oregon Health Authority does not require an ID to receive a vaccine and the vaccine will be free. However, if you do have insurance it is recommended that you bring your insurance information, as providers may charge your insurance an administration fee. You should not pay out of pocket for your vaccine. 

If you experience side effects after you receive the vaccine, the CDC recommends using their V-safe website to report that information. The most common side effects are tenderness around the injection site, headaches, tiredness, and chills. The website will also remind you when it is time to receive the second dose of the vaccine. 

While the roll-out of vaccines is exciting, it’s important to remember that vaccines are still a scarce resource and it may take weeks to get an appointment to be vaccinated. Please be patient – and stay safe! - as we all work through this process and more vaccines become available. 

6 Tips on How to Spot a Vaccine Scam

  1. You cannot pay to get early access to the vaccine. If someone calls to offer an appointment for a payment, it is a scam.

  2. Do not pay to sign up for the COVID-19 vaccine. Anyone who wants money to put you on a list, make an appointment for you, or reserve a spot in line is a scammer.

  3. Worried about cost? If you are uninsured, on Medicare, an employer plan, private insurance, or the Oregon Health Plan, you do not have to pay to get the vaccine. That is a scam.

  4. Ignore sales ads for the vaccine. The vaccine is only available through federal or state partners. You cannot buy it anywhere.

  5. Nobody legitimate will call, text, or email about the vaccine and ask for your Social Security number, bank account information, or credit card number.

  6. You are not required to provide a Social Security number when registering for a vaccine appointment.

For more information about the COVID-19 vaccines, visit COVIDVaccine.oregon.gov. To download the “How to Spot a COVID-19 Vaccine Scam” visit www.oregonconsumer.gov  and click on COVID-19 Scams.

COVID Risk Levels Update

In December, Governor Brown, alongside the Oregon Health Authority, introduced a new county-level approach to easing COVID restrictions based on a county’s risk level. As of 4/9, Washington County is at moderate risk. This lowered risk allows certain activities, such as indoor exercise, to slowly open up. Multnomah County has moved back up to high risk meaning that capacity for many locations such as indoor dining and indoor fitness centers will be reduced. Here is where you can see your county’s risk level and what the guidance is for activities under that risk level.

 
American Rescue Plan Funding Requests

As a part of the American Rescue Plan passed earlier this year by Congress, states were given discretionary funds to spend in order to support a robust recovery from the pandemic. In Oregon, legislators were given the opportunity to submit proposals to utilize the American Rescue Plan funds.

My team and I took the lead on submitting seven proposals to the Speaker’s office:

  • Investing in broadband internet expansion to ensure all Oregonians have access to the fast and reliable internet necessary to live and work in a 21st Century economy.

  • Providing grants for community-based nonprofits to purchase mobile health centers to ensure everyone in communities across Oregon have access to healthcare. 

  • Providing funding for our cities to invest in urban green spaces to revitalize a sense of community and promote arts and culture.

  • Investing in state IT modernization to create good paying jobs and ensure state dollars aren’t wasted on supporting inefficient and outdated computer systems.

  • Investing in green bridges and civic overpasses to connect communities and create good paying jobs.

  • Investing in post-hospitalization respite care for houseless individuals to ensure we aren’t putting our most vulnerable Oregonians back on the street following medical care and decreasing the costs necessary to care for them.

  • Creating an affordable housing endowment for the state to manage and invest in sustainable, affordable housing projects.

In addition to the proposals my team took the lead on, I signed onto several other proposals such as Representative Campos’ Cover All People funding request and Representative Prusak’s request for the deployment of electronic health records within our state prisons to better manage the care of our adults in custody and reduce the cost of care in the long-run.

 
 
Ways and Means (Budget) Hearings

On 4/14 the Joint Committee on Ways and Means, the legislative budget committee, will be hosting a virtual hearing to hear from Oregonians in Congressional District 1 (our district) on what priorities our communities want to see reflected in Oregon’s 2021-2023 state budget. This is a great way to engage with the state government and ensure your voice is being heard.

Written Testimony

Testimony will be accepted up to 24 hours after the start time of the public hearing. Testimony is uploaded to OLIS as part of the legislative record and made publicly available.

To submit testimony electronically, go to:
https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2021R1/Testimony/JWM 

To submit testimony by mail, send to:
Ways and Means, 900 State Street NE, Room H-178, Salem, OR 97301

Oral Testimony (Live Remotely)

Registration is required to testify by phone or video link. Registration closes at the time the meeting is scheduled to begin.

To register electronically, go to:
https://survey.sjc1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3gEVis1CKyJQFgi

Additional Links:
Joint Ways and Means Committee Website
 
2021-23 Budget Framework Press Release
 
2021-23 Co-Chairs’ Budget Framework
 
Find your congressional district

 
 
 
Local Business Highlight

La Perlita/Reforma Rosters is a first generation BIPOC owned cafe and roaster serving delicious, freshly roasted coffee and baked goods. We are spotlighting them this month: https://reformaroasters.com/

If you own or know someone who owns a small business in House District 33, fill out this form to possibly be highlighted in a future newsletter and/or social media post.

 
Student Highlight

Alan Zhou, a Sunset High School student, and Kyler Wang, a Lincoln High School student were named second-prize winners in C-SPAN’s National 2021 StudentCam competition for their documentary, “Finding Common Ground,” about the political divisions and partisanship facing our country. I am so proud of the creative and thoughtful work these two students created and I look forward to seeing whatever future work Alan and Kyler have in mind.

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). In addition, please 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 © 2021 Maxine for Oregon, All rights reserved.


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