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

The 2022 Children’s Agenda set forth a holistic set of policies and investments this year, uplifting impactful, equitable, and community-driven items to both advance new policy and see-through unfinished business. And today, we are celebrating the progress that this session made to live into this bold agenda and improve the lives of children and families across Oregon! Over the course of a short 32 days, the Oregon Legislature advanced policy and spending that will impact Oregonians for years to come, including all three of our session priorities:
  • 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.
"The support of the Children’s Agenda and Our Children Oregon staff helped early childhood advocates win on our core priorities: investing in the child care sector and raising wages for providers in early childhood programs. Our partnership with the Children’s Agenda strengthens our collective goals and ensures decision-makers take action for Oregon’s children and families."
Dana Hepper headshot
Dana Hepper
Director of Policy and Advocacy, Children’s Institute
Our Children Oregon thanks our partners who passionately navigated the session’s obstacles and opportunities in service of strong and meaningful legislation for Oregon’s children and families. Similarly, we extend our gratitude to legislators and their staff members for championing the 2022 Children’s Agenda to a strong finish by prioritizing smart policy and investments for Oregon’s future. And you! Thank you for lending your voice, telling your story, responding to action alerts, sharing social posts, learning, and leaning in. Your advocacy for Oregon’s children makes a difference and moves us one step closer to an Oregon where all children thrive.

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.


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.

"Our Children Oregon was instrumental in securing funding support for the Oregon Child Abuse Prevalence Study and Youth Voice Project. Being listed on the Children’s Agenda opened doors to conversations with legislators, bolstered our bill’s credibility, and their advocacy, testimony, and expert consultation provided vital guidance to our team."
Jeff Todhal
Director of 90by30 and the Center for Prevention of Abuse and Neglect

Additional Wins for Children and Families

Beyond working to advance the items of the 2022 Children’s Agenda, we also followed the progress of other bills that will benefit children and families throughout the state. Some of these include:
  • 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.

"We are grateful and excited for the support of the Children's Agenda over the years on intersectional environmental health issues, such as getting toxic chemicals out of kids products, and this year’s 2022 session on climate worker protections. It is through this partnership that climate, environmental, and health impacts can be fully considered in the development of policies for our future generations."
Jamie Pang South
Environmental Health Program Director, Oregon Environmental Council

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.