I hope everyone is staying safe and enjoying your summer as much as possible during such a unique time in our state.
Fire season has officially arrived in Oregon. I want to share my condolences and concern for those impacted by the fires, and who have lost their homes or have been displaced. As of Wednesday, House District 60 currently has active fires northeast of Ironside, east of Juntura, west of Burns Junction, southeast of Fields, southeast of Lakeview, in the Steen’s Mountains, and others. The dry, hot weather is not helping matters. Thank you to our fire-fighting, public safety, and first responder crews for working hard under dangerous conditions. Please look out for your neighbors and community during this time.
TOMORROW - Joint Virtual Town Hall
It is important to keep community conversations going, and to do this I am hosting another joint virtual town hall with Senator Lynn Findley and Representative Daniel Bonham tomorrow, Thursday, August 20th at 5:30 PM (PST).
We will be discussing the most recent Special Session, rural school re-opening guidelines, county phases and the "watch list", and more. We want to continue to hear from you—these town halls have been very helpful for us and others in the community and are an important way to hear from our constituents.
Questions can be submitted in advance when you register, asked live during the webinar, or via the Q&A chat option. The event is open to the public and media, however, registration is required in order to attend, please register early.
The Oregon Employment Department has updated their unemployment website to be more user-friendly, and in an effort to continue to work through the backlog of people waiting for the unemployment claims to be process. We have been told the best way to contact the Department right now is through their new “Contact Us” form, which can be found here: https://unemployment.oregon.gov/contact-us. When filling it out, please include your name, address, phone, number, email address, and customer I.D. number.
Emergency COVID-19 Relief Check Program
Last month, the Emergency Board set aside $35 million for those Oregonians that are still waiting for their unemployment benefits. These funds will provide a one-time $500 payment to those that qualify. As of 8AM this morning, the “Emergency COVID-19 Relief Check Program” is now live and operational. Those who may be eligible can go to: https://emergencychecks.oregon.gov for a list of participating financial institutions and how to apply.
To be eligible a person must:
- Be a current resident of Oregon and 18 years or older.
- Be able to prove their identity and that they are an in-state resident.
- Attest that they are experiencing severe financial hardship due to the Governor’s executive orders 20-07 and/or 20-12 or indirectly due to these orders.
- These are the “Stay Home, Save Lives” orders that closed many restaurants and personal services to slow the spread of COVID-19. Many sectors – like personal transportation services – were indirectly affected by the orders and may have resulted in a significant loss of income.
- Have earned $4,000/month or less pre-tax prior to their income loss due to COVID-19.
- NOT be current on their unemployment payments:
- Current simply means they have received all payments for all weeks claimed except for their current claim week. Applicants should count base payments for traditional Unemployment Insurance and the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program – not the $600 enhanced payment that ended July 31, 2020. This does not include the waiting week.
- They may be eligible if they never applied for or were denied unemployment or are stuck in adjudication.
- They may be eligible if they are not current on unemployment benefits and have since returned to work.
Please let us know if there are other issues you’d like us to cover in our newsletters and we will look into them.
Please stay safe and be well.