State Representative
Nancy Nathanson
December 2022
Since I last published an e-news, there’s been a busy and sometimes heated campaign season. The state legislature will see a lot of new faces on January 9 with the opening of the 82nd Legislative Assembly. New members make up more than a third of the House!

For the past four months I’ve been meeting with many individuals and groups to discuss possible legislation for 2023. From those meetings, I’ve developed a number of “legislative concepts” in a variety of topic areas that will be filed as bills in early January. And I let go of a few ideas that weren’t ready for prime time or that others will take up in their portfolio. The Speaker of the House has just announced committee assignments for 2023, and I will have a gavel again – as Chair of House Committee on Revenue and another as Co-Chair of Joint Committee on Information Technology and Management. I’ll once again serve on the Joint Transportation Committee and Joint Legislative Audit Committee. (As a reminder, joint committees have members from both House and Senate, and co-chairs to determine agendas and manage meetings.)

As we move into 2023 I recall some things I'm glad to say "goodbye" to and turn my attention to new experiences and hope. Family is visiting us from out of state. After a good time at the Eugene Symphony Orchestra New Year's Eve concert (great program ranging from Strauss to Gershwin, Sound of Music and Hamilton), we started the New Year with a day of winter yardwork, took down holiday lights, and watched a fun movie. Already 2023 is looking good.
Fall berries
If you missed my last e-news, here's the link to Summer 2022.
At the Capitol
Capitol renovation and Olivia
It ain't what it used to be—that's for sure. This session will be logistically challenging. The seismic retrofit and renovation work continue at the Capitol. We are back in our offices, and most of the committee meeting rooms were open for hearings when we met in December. But public gathering space is limited and there's no food or beverage available other than a few vending machines. Some of our key support staff are relocated to offices across the street or a block or two away, so no more quick in-person consultation with the nonpartisan professional staff who support some of my committees. Here's Olivia looking out our office window down at renovation contractor equipment and materials.
Joint IT
A few of my colleagues, appointed in the past year or two, had never attended an in-person legislative committee meeting, so December was an eye-opening experience. Regardless of technology glitches and closed hallways, it was great to see colleagues in person. We also said goodbyes to friends leaving office. This photo shows my co-chair of Joint IT, Sen. Rachel Armitage, and Sen. Akasha Lawrence Spence, both leaving the legislature. I will miss them a lot.
SOS Audits
Legislative Audit Committee:
Prescription Drug Monitoring Program

One of the best, and most concerning, presentations that I heard in a committee hearing was the Secretary of State audit report on the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP). In short, Oregon falls short—way short in stopping abuse of prescription drugs and in particular misuse of opioids. The audit illustrates "doctor shopping" and warns that "Oregon has one of the weakest PDMP programs." All personal information is withheld, but in one case a person had 140 prescriptions filled from 102 different prescribers at 57 different pharmacies. To know more, these links will take you to the Audit Report and the presentation at committee. I am working with colleagues to make changes in statute to take action on recommendations in the report. In this photo I'm talking with Secretary of State Audit Director Kip Memmott and Cheryl Myers, Deputy Secretary.
The next legislative session
My "to do" list

My chief responsibility will be chairing the Revenue Committee and co-chairing Joint Information Technology. Beyond the importance of managing the business of those committees, I have my eyes on a number of ways that I want to help improve the lives of Oregonians, from affordable housing and youth services to cybersecurity.

Here’s a list of some of my bills that will be filed in early January. You can see from this list that we’ve managed hundreds of calls and meetings as we worked to refine these ideas, some of which come directly from constituents and local organizations!

- Supporting new affordable housing options
  • Limited Equity Housing Co-Ops (LEHC) property tax exemption
  • Affordable housing tax credit for LEHC
  • Housing Preservation tax credit

- Helping local organizations meet challenges of serving youth
  • Improving Oregon Registry Online: jobs in early learning (for Relief Nurseries)
  • Enhanced services model for youth (for Oregon Alliance and Looking Glass Community Services)
- Pharmacies and prescription drugs: helping local pharmacies by reining in the costs and burdens of the “middlemen” Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBM)
  • Licensing and tighter regulation for PBMs
  • Prohibit retroactive fees by PBMs
  • Price transparency for PBMs
- Promoting smarter government, safety, and emergency response:
  • Public Safety Answering Points (9-1-1 call centers) incentive to consolidate and modernize
  • Better support for Urban Search and Rescue
  • A Cybersecurity Center of Excellence to help schools, local governments, and Oregon businesses prevent and manage cyber attacks
- Pressing for improvements to passenger and freight rail infrastructure to address energy, equity, and environment:
  • Multi-state collaboration
  • High-performance passenger trains (higher speed, better reliability, more options)

- Helping first time homebuyers: tax and grant support
- Helping renters: returning application fees to renters
- Cutting red tape for exam qualification, requested by Oregon CPAs
- Supporting K-12 schools: improve accountability measures for better schools, not just test scores
Visiting the Portland & Western Albany railyard with colleagues Boomer Wright and Raquel Moore-Green
TAO Cybersecurity Summit
With Reet Kaur,
speaking at Technology Association of Oregon: Cybersecurity Summit
UO Cybersecurity Conference
With an LCC expert in the field and the League of Women Voters Pres. at the at the state Cybersecurity Conference, hosted at The University of Oregon. Partners include U.S. Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Oregon Department of Justice Titan Fusion Center, and the Technology Association of Oregon. See the facebook post
Around the state
News and resources
Severe housing shortage is to blame (for housing emergency and high cost)

Our state economists have explained the housing shortage and its impact on the state's economy and family budgets, in several recent reports to the legislature (see Addressing Oregon's Housing, and page 16 in the December 2022 report). And the state Department of Land Conservation and Development says we need to build more than 550,000 (yes, more than a half million) homes over the next 20 years. The Department of Housing and Community Services estimated in 2021 that we needed 140,000 homes. Local organizations are leading efforts to tackle this in new ways: St. Vincent de Paul operating safe sleep sites and initiating HOPE Community Corporation (shown in my Summer enews) and Square One Village's Peace Village using a shared-equity ownership structure to create "the most accessible pathway to homeownership in Lane County—reaching people with incomes as low 30% area median income—while also preserving the long-term affordability of the housing." And each is providing advice on how to change Oregon law and tax code to help—you'll see their work in the bills coming forward in 2023.

Here's a report from the state's Housing and Community Services agency. It reports on progress meeting goals such as permanent supportive housing for people who are chronically homeless, and housing for rural communities and communities of color.

Safety net for workers

The program Paid Leave Oregon begins on Jan. 1, 2023. This program is a significant step toward Oregon workers having a vital safety net. On that date, employers and employees will start contributing to the Paid Leave Oregon trust fund, which will pay for employees to take paid time off for some of life’s most important moments. The program covers leave for the birth or adoption of a child, for serious illness or injury, for taking care of a seriously ill family member, and for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, or harassment. Read about it here.

The PDGA Masters coming to Eugene

Eugene Cascades and Coast - Travel Lane County reports that The Professional Disc Golf Association has awarded Eugene the 2023 Tim Selinske US Masters Championships.
Crypto Scam

From Oregon's Department of Consumer and Business Services

The Oregon Division of Financial Regulation (DFR) warns cryptocurrency investors to do their homework before giving any money to a crypto trading platform. Many crypto trading apps or websites are really just fake platforms set up by scammers to take investor money and give nothing in return, according to the agency.
“Investors are promised huge returns in a short amount of time and will see account balances increase rapidly, but will not be able to withdraw funds without having to deposit more money in “withdrawal fees” or “taxes.” The scammer will continue extorting these fees until an investor becomes suspicious.

After that, the account is drained and the scammers are gone, along with the investor’s funds. Before transferring money to a crypto trading website or app, research the company and web address to make sure it is legitimate.

Student Loan Scam

Good news spurs more bad actors: Scams are popping up in the aftermath of the recent changes to federal student loan programs, like the White House’s recent announcement on loan forgiveness and the limited waiver opportunity for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program.

From Oregon Department of Justice, and Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum:

Oregonians should ignore phone calls, emails, social media messages, and other unsolicited messages from anyone claiming that they can help you get your student loans forgiven faster or telling you that you should refinance your loan. Scammers may use phrases such as a “pre-enrollment for all loan forgiveness” or “you must apply within the next 24 hours.” Don’t fall for it!

You don’t need to pay anybody to sign up for the new loan forgiveness program — or the payment pause. Nobody can get you in early, help you jump the line, or guarantee eligibility. "Anybody who says they can or tries to charge you money, is a scammer,” said Attorney General Rosenblum.

Oregon Health News: Here's a link to read the weekly newsletter from Oregon Health Authority
McKenzie River Watershed
McKenzie River watershed
McKenzie River watershed
McKenzie River watershed
McKenzie River watershed
McKenzie River watershed
McKenzie River watershed
In October Rep. Paul Holvey and I visited several restoration sites around Finn Rock Reach, an area devastated by the 2020 Holiday Farm Fire in the McKenzie River valley and foothills. We saw the progress that has been made through great leadership and collaboration including McKenzie River Trust, EWEB, and US Forest Service. State and federal investment is already showing significant improvements.

We toured project sites that showcase collaborative restoration projects emphasizing wildfire recovery and climate change mitigation, resilient landscape and water quality.

On the land of the Molalla, Kalapuya, Siletz, and Grand Ronde, here are some snippets of what we talked about: Drought resilience. Reintroducing cooler McKenzie River water. Erosion control on private lands, keeping sediments and contaminants from burned homes out of the river. Wildflower and grass seeds from Friends of Buford Park & Mt. Pisgah to re-create turtle habitat where painted and western pond turtles will coexist with lamprey and salmon smolt.

"The successes are the result of putting the mission at the center of the work, not the organization" —Jared Weybright, McKenzie Watershed Council.
Our local area
Special housing: Harlow House

This residential treatment home will provide “recovery support to individuals with mental health disorders in a safe, home-like setting.”

I toured Harlow House with CEO Janet Yousey on the eve of its opening. This renovated five-bedroom home in north Eugene in a quiet neighborhood makes the third residential treatment home in Eugene for Shangri-La. Shangri-La operates treatment homes in Salem, Jefferson, Albany, Corvallis, and Eugene. Their homes give living and employment supports for adults with intellectual development disability and recovery supports for adults with severe and persistent mental illness. Staff will be on-site in the home 24/7 supporting the residents.
Shangri-La Harlow House
Shangri-La Harlow House
Working with local groups and agencies
United Way Human Service Forum legislative breakfast: hearing from a couple dozen local organizations about their situation, needs, hopes, concerns, as they care for thousands of Lane County individuals and families
EEA educators
Weekend breakfast with educators and board members from Eugene, Bethel, and Springfield schools. Listened to teachers and counselors about students' needs in their classrooms and how losing a home, transportation, and food impacts their learning, and teachers' need for affordable childcare.
More fun at ...
a rehearsal of Ballet Fantastique, a Ducks game visiting with former City Council colleagues
Bobby Lee and Pat Farr, and "backstage" before modeling outdoor wear and gear at a
runway show for Eugene Gear Traders, hosted at Thinking Tree Spirits
Ballet Fantastique
Ducks game with Bobby and Pat
Runway show - outdoor wear
The Office
Lindsay and Olivia
Last enews I wrote, "We said goodbye to Lindsay and welcomed Olivia!" Lindsay came back to visit a couple of weeks ago and it was great to see her!

Olivia and I are welcoming an additional legislative aide to our office in early January. Aden comes with experience gained in the Governor's Office the past few years. We'll also see three new interns, from Willamette U and UO. We'll introduce them to you in the next enews.