Senator Wagner received his bachelor’s degree from Portland State University and went on to earn his master's degree in public policy from The George Washington University. His introduction to the Oregon Legislature came early, serving as a legislative aide in the Oregon House of Representatives in the late 1990s. His passion for education led him to a position with American Federation of Teachers Oregon, where he spent a decade advocating for Oregon’s teachers, faculty, healthcare workers and academic support professionals. He went on to become the Associate Vice President of College Advancement for Portland Community College, overseeing community outreach and working to secure student scholarship funding.
Senator Wagner and his wife, Laurie, share four wonderful teenagers and live just down the street from his parents. An avid and lifelong hiker, one of Senator Wagner’s favorite views in all of Oregon is from the summit of South Sister in the Central Cascades. He also enjoys playing piano, singing and playing guitar.
In his first year in office in 2018, Senator Wagner worked with his colleagues to pass legislation that closed the intimate partner loophole, keeping guns out of the hands of convicted stalkers. Believing that healthcare is a human right, Senator Wagner also supported legislation that requires greater transparency in prescription drug pricing so that those who depend on life-saving medicine will know they are getting a fair deal.
In the 2019 Legislative Session, Senator Wagner put his passion for education to good use by proposing and passing Senate Bill 52, which requires school districts to develop policies to prevent youth suicide. Another of his key legislative accomplishments, Senate Bill 664, requires Holocaust and genocide education. Senate Bill 3 expanded educational opportunity by permitting community colleges to offer applied baccalaureate degree programs.
During the 2021 Legislative Session, Senator Wagner supported a broad array of racial justice legislation, record investments in Oregon's students, and sweeping reforms to reduce gun violence and make our communities safer. As the Senate Majority Leader, he was proud to work with his colleagues to address the COVID-19 pandemic, expand access to health care, develop comprehensive wildfire policy, catalyze the clean energy transition, and embed a focus on equity into state investments and budgeting. For a more detailed summary, please see Senator Wagner's 2021 session summary.
Senator Wagner has spearheaded legislation with a larger goal of promoting access, equity, and inclusiveness in Oregon schools. You can sign up for more updates on key legislation here.
Come by the office and he'll share his steel string and a John Denver or Beatles tune.