Staying in Touch
The Capitol was filled with lots of activity once again this week with May Legislative Days. Committee meetings were in full swing, lobby and constituent meetings filled my schedule, with evenings spent at different political events. I'm already beginning to gear up for the 2017 Legislative Session and researching potential legislation. 
 
Besides that, I thought I'd share a few positive updates with you. I hope you enjoy reading the newsletter and better yet, have a great Memorial Day weekend!
 

Mental Health Heroes Award
In 2015, Trillium Family Services launched the 31 day Mental Health Awareness Awards as a part of Mental Health Awareness Month, which takes place each May. The awards recognize organizations and community leaders each day throughout the month of May for their dedication and advocacy of mental and behavioral healthcare in the Pacific Northwest.
 
Nominations for the awards are completely community-driven as Trillium searches for heroes who have helped reduce stigma, advance the mental and behavior healthcare field, and make Oregon a more supportive place to live.

From politicians to teachers, therapists to clients, children to seniors, the Mental Health Heroes Awards is a chance to recognize those who advocate for mental and behavioral healthcare.

I'm extremely honored to say I was selected to receive this award. Mental and behavioral healthcare issues have always been very near to my heart and I plan to continue advocating for increased support throughout this community in any way I can.
Positive Outcomes - An Update
If you remember, in 2015 I introduced HB 2394 and HB 2393 which established a data match program within the Oregon Lottery for the Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) clients. The bill passed with unanimous bi-partisan support, requiring the Lottery to notify DHS of prize winnings of $1,250 or more within seven days of the payout.
 
This has given the State an opportunity to identify lottery winners who are delinquent in paying benefit overpayments, allowing the state to recover some serious dollars.  An overpayment is when an individual receiving certain public or medical assistance received more benefits than allowed by law. An overpayment can be the result of fraud, incorrect information or lack of timely reporting of information provided by the individual, and in some circumstances an error by the state agency in determining benefits.
 
The bill took effect on January 1, 2016, and through May 17th the state has already recovered $67,117.85. I'm happy to see the legislation working as it should be with potential of exceeding the estimated recovery of $209,952 per biennium. Our public assistance programs are extremely important and ensuring an overpayment is recovered is vital in continuing these critical programs.

Something to Celebrate
Not only did Governor Brown sign HB 4071 which passed in the 2016 Legislative Session, but I received the 2016 Champion Award from the Oregon Health Equity Alliance for my sponsorship of the bill. If you recall, HB 4071 passed in the 2016 Short Legislative Session. The legislation extended Medicaid like coverage to the COFA (Compacts of Free Association) Islanders by providing a 9-1 federal match, ensuring 1,500 Islanders receive the proper healthcare they are in dire need of as a result of the 67 atomic bomb tests conducted by the United States in the Marshall Islands during WWII.
 
From left to right; CANN lobbyist Loyd Henion, President of CANN Kianna Angelo, Rep. Olson, Community Organizer David Anitok, Republic of Marshall Island Minister of Foreign Affairs John Silk, Chief Deputy of RMI Embassy Junior Aini, Lobbyist Shane Jackson, and community member Eldon Alik
Members of the Marshallese Community after the Governor's signing ceremony

Constituent Spotlight
A big congratulations to Chelsey Mick and Taylor Megy from Linn Benton Community College in receiving the All Oregon Academic Team Awards! It was an honor to attend the community college luncheon to celebrate these students and all their accomplishments!

From left to right; Rep. Olson, Chelsey Mick, Taylor Megy, and LBCC President Greg Hamann
STAY CONNECTED
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Oregon State Legislature, 900 Court Street NE, Salem, OR 97301
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