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 have now been filed and are available to view online at OLIS.

As we get further into the legislative session, the pace begins to speed up. Here is your update on what has been going on at the Capitol. Below that you’ll also find the latest COVID-19 information.

Public Hearings

This week saw a lot of movement on a few of my bills. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the legislative process, once a bill is created and assigned to a committee, a public hearing must be held to ensure that the public has input on legislation likely to impact their lives.

HB 3037 is a bill that my office has been working with alongside Multnomah County to require that youth suicides be reported to local mental health authorities in a timely manner. The bill allows counties to share information regarding deceased youth who may live in one county but were found deceased in another. The bill also requires the state to create a statewide post-intervention plan. In addition, local mental health authorities and schools in the areas impacted by youth suicide must report the steps taken to provide support to the community. The bill had a hearing on 2/22 in the House Committee on Behavioral Health and we received excellent feedback from the committee and great support from our community. I am hopeful that we will be able to move this bill forward.

HB 3039 requires the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) to convene a group of healthcare and tech stakeholders to come together to create a vision and a strategic plan for moving Oregon into a future where healthcare and social services support are collaboratively delivered and seamlessly coordinated. The group would explore how the state can integrate, through electronic information sharing platforms, the delivery of social services and health care. The goal is 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 had a hearing on 2/24 in the House Committee on Human Services and we received great feedback from the committee and amazing support from the community. This bill will require financial resources so it’s next hurdle is getting approved by the Ways and Means Committee. 

We will continue to have our bills coming up for hearings and testifying is a fabulous way to get involved! Our air pollution bill (HB 2814) will have a hearing on March 3rd in the Energy and Environment Committee and our Department of Corrections Healthcare Optimization bill (HB 3035) will have a hearing on March 9 in the Judiciary Committee. 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.

Senate Republican Walkout

On 2/25, for the third year in a row, Senate Republicans walked out on their constituents and the people of Oregon. Instead of working to craft important policy to support Oregonians who face the greatest public health threat in a century, they decided to abandon their duties. 

This unacceptable tactic derails our democratic process and erases the agency that every voter had when choosing their legislators. It takes democracy from the people and puts power in the hands of a few who share an ideology. This is dangerous and it is in flagrant disregard of the oath each of us took to faithfully discharge our duties to Oregonians. I urge my Republican colleagues in the Senate to come back to the work they were elected to do and restrain from future walkouts this session. I also support HB 2225 which would prohibit a member of the legislative assembly from being paid when they are absent and unexcused and imposes a fine of $500 per day of unexcused absence.
COVID-19 Subcommittee

This week the COVID-19 Subcommittee met on two separate occasions. 

On 2/22, the subcommittee met to discuss vaccine distribution with relation to our BIPOC communities and vaccine distribution through the lens of local health authorities. The committee also held a work session on HB 3057 to send it to the full House Committee on Health Care.

On 2/24, the subcommittee met to discuss COVID-19 testing and tracing efforts in addition to the detection of COVID-19 variants. Oregon Health Authority Director Pat Allen also provided the subcommittee with an update on the state of vaccines in Oregon.

On 3/1, the subcommittee will meet to discuss the perception of personal safety among frontline workers as they continue to serve our community throughout the pandemic. 

If you wish to submit written testimony or testify live, you can sign up at the subcommittee page by selecting 3/1 on the right-hand sidebar of the page. We must ask that you submit your testimony in written form if you are not able to articulate all of your points within our three-minute, live-testimony limit. We welcome and value the input of our constituents and thank you in advance for helping us make our important decisions.

State Revenue Forecast

On February 24, Oregon economists released their latest look at how our state is weathering the economic fallout from the COVID crisis. On paper, Oregon is fairing very well this year financially. Paper however does not paint the full picture of working Oregonians, especially those in our BIPOC communities who have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. 

I see these recent figures as proof that we must act boldly and swiftly to invest in meaningful policy to reduce income inequality such as kicker reform, affordable housing, and the raising of minimum wage.

Our recovery efforts must prioritize those who have been most directly impacted by this crisis. 

State economists made clear our recovery is tied to controlling the virus, continuing to get Oregonians vaccinated, and more stimulus money coming from the federal government. I urge Congress to pass another COVID-19 relief package as soon as possible so we can continue to help Oregonians who are hurting most.

Virtual Coffee Conversations

We hosted our third Virtual Coffee Conversation on February 20 to great success with a fantastic dialogue between community members! Our next coffee will be Saturday, March 6 at 9 am. 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. 

COVID Update

COVID cases have recently been trending downward. This 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 - is working! We can’t help but feel hopeful now that there are vaccinations, but the experts advise that we continue those important, effective safety practices until we have vaccinated the majority of Oregonians. 

Vaccine Update

There is exciting news on the vaccine front. The Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will be considering the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine for FDA emergency use approval today. Early data released by the maker suggests the vaccine is effective at preventing severe cases of COVID-19 and extremely effective at preventing death from COVID-19. This vaccine will create a significant opportunity to vaccinate those people in the population who are hard to coordinate two doses of vaccine administration for and it is stable at normal storage temperatures, allowing it to be used much more broadly in our community. This is an exciting additional tool for helping us get as many Oregonians (and the world’s population!) vaccinated as possible.

Vaccines for 70 and Older

On 2/22, the eligibility criteria for the COVID-19 vaccine widened to include individuals 70 and older. Starting 3/1, Oregonians 65 and older will become eligible to receive the vaccine. Governor Brown will be holding a press conference today (2/26) at 11am and will be providing more vaccine rollout information.

The Oregon Health Authority has created a few tools to help navigate the vaccination process. The first is called Get Vaccinated Oregon which will let you know if you are eligible, inform you when you become eligible, and help you find a vaccination provider. 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 by clicking the “Let’s get started” button when you scroll down. You can also call 211 to get more information or receive assistance with scheduling a vaccination appointment,, or text ORCOVID to 898211. Costco Pharmacies, Safeway/Albertsons Pharmacies, Walgreens, and OHSU also have direct vaccine appointment tools.

I know these websites have been crashing and inaccessible for too many, especially in the metro area. I hear you and am working alongside my colleagues in the COVID-19 Subcommittee to address these issues.

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. 

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.

COVID Risk Levels Update

In December the Governor, alongside the Oregon Health Authority, introduced a new county-level approach to easing COVID restrictions based on a county’s risk level. As of 2/26, Multnomah County is at high risk of COVID-19 spread and Washington County is at moderate risk of COVID-19 spread. This lowering of risk allows certain activities, such as indoor exercise, to slowly open up. Here is where you can see your county’s risk level and what the guidance is for activities under that risk level.

Volunteer Opportunities

If you’d like to support the vaccination effort, please consider volunteering to help with vaccinations! We are looking for medical and non-medical volunteers throughout Oregon. 

If you are a licensed and certified health care professional in the state of Oregon, including physicians, nurses, physician assistants, pharmacists, Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), and behavioral health providers, you can register with SERV-OR.

If you are a non-medical individual interested in volunteering, you can sign up with my office. Please note that we are collecting volunteer names but further instruction will come from one of the metro area health systems who are collaborating on vaccine distribution (Kaiser Permanente, Legacy, Providence, and OHSU). We appreciate your patience as the health systems continue to get through the list of volunteers.

Medical Professional Sign Up
Non-Medical Volunteer Sign Up
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

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



Maxine Dexter, MD
Oregon State Representative
House District 33

  • 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 - 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. (

  • Housing assistance: Community Housing Fund focuses on providing affordable housing and works on community projects. (

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

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

  • 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. (

  • 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. (

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

  • Utility assistance: EnergyTrust helps people save money and energy. (

  • Disability assistance: Plan For Work services help individuals with disabilities and provide different services to those in need. (  

  • Youth assistance: New Avenues for Youth provides meals, showers, laundry, respite from the streets, engagement activities, and legal counsel. (

  • Community assistance: Oregon Solutions solves community problems using a problem-solving system. (

  • Transportation assistance: Trimet has a reduced fare for low-income rider and seniors age 65+. (  

  • 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. (  

  • Food assistance: Mercy Corps Northwest provides assistance for community members returning from prison. (

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

Follow Representative Dexter on social media to stay connected!
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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