Nearly all 2022 Children's Agenda items advanced!
Session wins mean big gains for Oregon's children and families
This session brought much-needed momentum towards a thriving future
for Oregon's children and families
- Oregon made a historic investment of nearly $100M into our child care sector that will go towards supporting providers and increasing access to care for families across the state
- The legislature invested in taking health care directly to Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) communities as a strategy to address racism as a public health crisis.
- Oregonians facing immigration issues will now have access to legal assistance, called universal representation, helping immigrant families stay together.
2022 Children's Agenda Wins
Strengthen and expand child care for Oregon passed as HB 4005 and as part of the omnibus budget bill, securing nearly $100M investment for child care that will help stabilize the sector, support providers, and ensure more families can access and afford care.
Expand Oregon's commitment to houseless youth passed as HB 4013, increasing much-needed support to houseless and formerly houseless youth in Oregon by funding housing, higher-education supports, and other wraparound services.
Ensure wage parity for Healthy Families Oregon passed as part of the omnibus budget bill, allocating $2 million to ensure workers at Health Families Oregon are equitably compensated, helping to recruit and retain staff who are essential in providing holistic support to parents.
Invest in strategies to address racism as a public health crisis passed as HB 4052, implementing a pilot program to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate mobile health units to Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) communities and Tribes.
Implement emergency heat relief for Oregon passed as SB 1536, removing barriers for renters to install AC units and air filters, as well as providing access to $34 million for emergency heat relief resources. This will save lives and prepare families and communities for the continuous impacts of climate change.
Fund the Oregon Child Abuse Prevalence Study: Youth Voice as part of the omnibus budget bill. This first-in-the-nation study will engage youth directly on their experiences, elevating the problem of child abuse and neglect and uplifting youth-informed preventative action.
FAMILY & COMMUNITY
Institute universal representation passed as SB 1543, providing free, quality legal representation for Oregonians facing immigration-related cases. This ensures a fairer legal system that avoids unjust deportations and works to keep families together across the state.
Ensure wage parity for relief nurseries passed as part of the omnibus budget bill, allocating $2 million to ensure workers at Relief Nurseries are equitably compensated, helping to reduce turnover and improve consistency for 3,500 children served.
Invest in community violence intervention programs passed as part of the omnibus budget bill, allocating $15 million to take meaningful action on gun violence by funding violence prevention and intervention programs that are led and informed by communities most impacted.
Additional Wins for Children and Families
- HB 4002 Farmworker Overtime ends the exclusion of farmworkers from receiving the same overtime benefits as other Oregon workers. Starting in 2023, farmworkers will earn overtime pay after 55 hours of work, and over the next few years, will start receiving overtime pay after 40 hours.
- HB 4157 provides one-time payments to low-wage workers who claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit, helping support families and Oregon’s economic recovery.
- SB 1510 Transforming Justice reduces unnecessary interactions with law enforcement, improves success for people on probation and parole, and creates the Justice Reinvestment Equity Program to fund services that will reduce racial disparities prevalent in Oregon’s criminal justice system.
- The Legislature allocated $5 million for the African American/Black Student Success Program and allocated $237,389 to start a Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander student achievement plan.
- The Legislature allocated $65 million to the Oregon Worker Relief Fund to provide pandemic relief for individuals who lost work because of COVID-19 but who are ineligible for unemployment because of immigration status, as well as provide direct $600 payments to ITIN filers.
- The Legislature allocated $400 million for housing investments that focused on addressing homelessness, building and maintaining affordable housing, and access to homeownership.
- SB 1579 Equity Investment Act seeks to address the increasing wealth gap that exists for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and other systemically underserved communities across Oregon by awarding grants to culturally-responsive, community-based organizations that will support entrepreneurship, workforce development, and paths to home and land ownership.
A Missed Opportunity
New to the 2022 Children’s Agenda was the addition of a Climate and Sustainability section to uplift policies that address the current impacts of climate change and ensure a sustainable, resilient future for children and families. Unfortunately, the Oregon Legislature missed the opportunity to protect workers from climate hazards by not advancing HCR 203. This bill would have declared the need for health and economic protections for Oregon workers, their families, and our communities when there is an extreme climate event. This is not the last time we’ll see this policy and others like it. We stand with advocates who are fighting for smart policy enactment that will tackle the realities of climate change and put in place protections for Oregonians bearing the frontlines impacts of climate disasters.
Looking to 2023
Building off the momentum of the past two sessions, we will continue to strengthen and extend our partnerships throughout the state. The progress of the past two years cannot be understated, but we know that there is still much to do towards an equitable Oregon. As we look to 2023, we are committed to deepening our coalition work, and our relationships with legislators and community members alike. We know that connecting with each other is critical to connecting with our communities to ensure the voices and needs of our most impacted residents are valued and elevated. The power of collective action resulted in meaningful outcomes for children and families this year. We look forward to the coming year as we continue to build a brighter Oregon where all children thrive.
Issue areas to address in 2023:
- Protect workers and frontline communities from the impacts of climate change
- Literacy rates and instruction methods
- Increase access to quality, culturally-responsive, inclusive, and developmentally-appropriate services
- Representation of youth voices at decision-making tables and in the democratic process
- Equitable workforce pathways and compensation
- Implement a Student Success Act for students with disabilities
- Expand services and protections for immigrants
- Prevent homelessness and address the housing crisis
- Equitable economic recovery from the impacts of COVID-19
Feel the Wins ACT Community Webinar
On March 16th, community members and organizational partners connected to reflect on what it took to advance progress this past session for children and families, why it matters, and what comes next with partners from Family Forward, Innovation Law Lab, and Right to Health (a member of the Oregon Health Equity Task Force).
This community webinar was hosted as part of OCO’s All Children Thrive (ACT) Collective. Click here to learn more and become a member today.