Oregon Democrats release 2022 legislative agendas

Democratic lawmakers in the House and Senate have released their policy focus statements, charting the course for this year’s short legislative session. 

Bolstering the health care system and increasing access, as well as focusing on economic recovery were shared points of interest. Democratic Senators released their priorities on Feb. 1, which include promoting access and equity for Oregon students in public education, supporting healthy communities, strengthening workforce protections and advancing the economy, adapting to climate change, and transforming justice and advocating for equal access to the courts. 

 

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“Senate Democrats will focus on making sure Oregon’s economy works for everyone, standing up for small business and connecting people with more jobs and skill training opportunities,” the statement reads. Workforce and education legislation will be focused on in the 2022 session. 

Democrats in the Senate will also help provide affordable health care, housing and child care. This will include strengthening community-based services to improve workforce retention. 

The House Democrat priorities were similarly released on Feb. 1. Broadly, the caucus will focus on legislation that will increase affordable housing, increase access to child care, well-paying jobs, mental and physical health care, protection against climate change, and investments in education. 

They plan to push for expanding access to child care, especially for BIPOC families, and for families who have lost work due to the pandemic. 

On housing, legislative goals include developing temporary shelter for more people who need it, creating more affordable housing units, implementing policies to drive homeownership, supporting eviction prevention, and implementing protections for small landlords. 

On health care, a major focus will be on investing in the workforce to expand and diversify the community of health professionals. House Democrats will also continue to safeguard access to abortion and other reproductive health services regardless of any actions from the U.S. Supreme Court. 

In a recent interview with Sen. Deb Patterson, chair of Oregon’s Senate Committee on Health Care, highlighted two bills she’s working on — SB 1530 and SB 1528 — which deal with access to in vitro fertilization and brain injury resources, respectively. The four-part omnibus bill will also command much attention this session. 

House and Senate Republicans have yet to release their legislative priorities for the 2022 session, which begins this week.