What to watch during Oregon’s Committee Days next week


Aaron Kunkler


The Oregon Legislature kicks off its 2022 session preparation next week with Committee Days, where lawmakers are briefed and updated on issues ranging from health care and education to finances.

State of Reform will cover several panels, as health care, behavioral health, COVID-19, and prescription drug prices are all on the agenda. A preview of two committee sessions are provided below:


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Health Care Committee

The committee will convene to receive a COVID update from the directors of four state agencies, including Patrick Allen, director of the Oregon Health Authority. Prescription drug prices and policy considerations will also be discussed, as well the Medicaid waiver renewal and Oregon Health Plan redeterminations for 2022.

The Health Care Committee will meet on Jan. 11 at 2:30 p.m.

Human Services, Mental Health and Recovery Committee

The committee will receive an update on transparency and accountability in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Services from Lillia Teninty, director of the Office of Developmental Disabilities Services in the state Department of Human Services.

Chelsea Holcomb, director of the Child and Family Behavioral Health department within the Oregon Health Authority will also provide an update on restraint and seclusion in intensive treatment services. Holcomb will also provide an overview of Oregon kids’ system of treatment services.

In previous coverage, Rep. Andrea Salinas, vice-chair of the House Interim Committee on Health Care, said they will be focused on expanding the Racism is a Public Health Crisis resolution from last year. She will also be focusing on setting up mobile health units, and creating affinity groups throughout the state to work with leaders from BIPOC and Tribal communities to better understand health inequities within communities.

Salinas said the legislature will likely continue to lay the groundwork for a public option health plan, although a full plan is unlikely this session.

“Those are all big, big conversations that aren’t really primed for February, but I think could be primed for 2023,” Salinas told State of Reform earlier this week.