Senator Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose) is serving her third term in the Oregon Senate. She joined the Senate after being appointed to fill the District 16 position formerly held by Senator Joan Dukes. The appointment came as Senator Johnson began her 3rd term in the Oregon House of Representatives. Her father, the late Sam Johnson, was a member of the House of Representatives from Redmond. Her mother, Becky Johnson, has served on numerous State Boards, including the State Board of Higher Education and the Teachers Standards and Practices Commission.
Senator Johnson received her undergraduate degree in History from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota and her Law degree from the Northwestern School of Law, Lewis & Clark College.
A licensed commercial pilot of both fixed and rotor-wing aircraft, she founded Transwestern Helicopters, Inc. in 1978. The helicopter division of the firm was sold in 1993 and the company, now known as Transwestern Aviation, Inc., is managed by her husband, John Helm.
In September 1993, Senator Johnson was selected as Manager of the Aeronautics Division of the Oregon Department of Transportation, a position she held until September 1998. During the 1999 Legislative Session she was Vice President for Legislative Affairs for the Oregon Pilots Association, where she successfully championed legislation that created the Oregon Department of Aviation.
Senator Johnson has served on numerous local, regional and national boards and commissions, including the Oregon Health Sciences University Foundation, Doernbecher Children's Hospital, the Oregon Public Broadcasting Foundation and the High Desert Museum. Senator Johnson currently serves on a number of regional boards, most recently elected as a member of the Board of Visitors, Northwestern School of Law of Lewis and Clark College. She also serves as the President of the Samuel S. Johnson Foundation.
In the 2017 Legislative Session, Senator Johnson will serve as the Vice Co-Chair of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means, Co-Chair of the Ways and Means Transportation and Economic Development Subcommittee, and member of the Ways and Means General Government Subcommittee. Senator Johnson also serves on the Joint Committee on Transportation Preservation and Modernization and on the Joint Legislative Policy and Research Committee.
Senator Johnson has served on Ways and Means since her first session.