Text Size:   A+ A- A   •   Text Only
Site Image

Frequently Asked Questions

The Governor welcomes your questions and comments. If you are unable to find an answer to your question below, please feel free to contact the Governor and his staff.

Federal Issues

Governor Kitzhaber serves the people of Oregon and is the chief executive of the state. The governor has no jurisdiction over federal issues like Social Security or immigration. For federal issues or legislation, Oregon's federally elected officials in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives are best suited to answer your questions.

For assistance with these issues, please contact Senator Ron Wyden, Senator Jeff Merkley or your member of congress.


For information about immigration, please contact the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services at http://uscis.gov.

Social Security

For information about Social Security claims and services, please contact the U.S. Social Security Administration at http://www.ssa.gov.    

Local Issues
For issues pertaining to local government, please contact your local city or town officials. A directory of Oregon city and county contacts can be found here. 
Legal and Contractual Issues

As a state elected official, Governor Kitzhaber cannot provide legal assistance or advice, nor does he have the authority to intervene in matters involving the Judicial branch of state government.

For professional legal advice, the Oregon State Bar can refer you to an attorney. Legal Aid Services of Oregon is able to provide legal assistance, in some cases free of charge or at a significantly reduced price, if you are income eligible. 

Executive Clemency

Oregon law gives Governor Kitzhaber executive clemency power. This means that the Governor has the power to grant pardons, commutations, reprieves and remissions of fines:

  1. A pardon forgives a person for the crime that person committed. Only in extraordinary cases will the Governor consider granting a pardon while a person is still serving a sentence either in a penal institution or on parole.
  2. A commutation substitutes a less severe punishment for the original sentence than the person was given.
  3. A reprieve is temporary relief from punishment.
  4. The remission of fines is a reduction or cancellation of court-ordered fines imposed against the person.

To request clemency from Governor Kitzhaber, you must first decide which type of clemency (pardon, commutation, etc.) best applies to your situation. You must also provide the Governor with the necessary information to enable him to evaluate your application. It is your responsibility to provide the Governor with any information you believe will be helpful. If you do not provide the information required, your application may be denied on that basis alone.

If you have been convicted of multiple crimes, your application should specify which crime or crimes you wish the Governor's power of executive clemency to operate upon; you should also provide separate reasons why the Governor should grant clemency for each crime if seeking clemency for multiple crimes. Be advised that operation of executive clemency to more than a single conviction is unlikely.

Additionally, please be aware that the Governor regards executive clemency as an extraordinary remedy of last resort. Therefore, it is highly unlikely he will consider applications based upon allegedly wrongful convictions where applicants have not fully exhausted their appellate, post-conviction and habeas corpus remedies. Thus, if you feel you deserve clemency because you believe you were wrongfully convicted, you should not apply until you have fully exhausted all such available remedies.

To request a clemency application, please contact the Citizen's Representative Unit at 503-378-4582. 

State Legislation
The Governor appreciates your comments about Oregon legislation. Please submit your comments here. We also encourage you to share your opinions with your state legislator
State Agencies and Programs

Department of Human Services

This agency handles unemployment, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), medical and disability assistance programs, and services for families, adults and children.

The Governor's Advocacy Office for the Department of Human Services and the Oregon Health Authority work to resolve issues and concerns including, but not limited to, child abuse and neglect, adult and elder abuse or neglect, access to DHS public assistance programs, resources for individual and family support services or treatment programs, including services for individuals with physical, mental or developmental disabilities.

Phone: (503) 945-6904
Toll free: 1-800-442-5238
TTY: 711
Fax: (503) 378-6532
Email: dhs.info@state.or.us 


Oregon Department of Transportation

For questions pertaining to the Oregon Department of Transportation, please visit ODOT's Frequently Asked Questions site or submit a question through Ask ODOT.

Toll free: 1-888-275-6368
Fax: (503) 986-3432
Email: Ask ODOT


Other State Agencies and Boards

A full directory of Oregon State Agencies and Boards is available here

Housing Resources

Resources for Oregon Homeowners

The Oregon Homeownership Stabilization Initiative (OHSI) is accepting applications for the Mortgage Payment Assistance Unemployment Program (MPA-U) in some Oregon counties.

If you need help with foreclosure prevention measures, please contact your local housing counselor.


Resources for Renters/Tenants

Oregon State Bar Landlord and Tenant Resource Package

Tenant Rights from HUD

Renter's Packet from HUD

Foreclosure help for renters 

Health Insurance Assistance

Oregon Health Connect is a joint effort between the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services and the Oregon Health Authority to help Oregonians find health programs and services that best fits their needs.

Toll free: 1-855-999-3210
Email: health.connect@state.or.us

Veteran Resources

Whether you served your country more than 60 years ago or have just returned home, the Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs (ODVA) and Veterans Service Officers (VSOs) are here to help you.

VSOs are accredited and certified professional with expertise in veteran law. VSOs work out of every county in Oregon, tghrough many national service organizations, and at the Salem and Portland offices of the ODVA.

Find your local Veterans Service Officer

Phone: (503) 373-2085
Toll free: 1-800-692-9666


Veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom

For Veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom, this pamphlet from the Department of Veterans Affairs provides additional information.

Phone: (503) 220-8262
Toll Free: 1-800-949-1004, ext. 53062
Fax: (503) 220-3475

VA Medical Center
Bldg. 101/Room 107
3710 SW US Veterans Hospital Road
Portland, Oregon 97239

Business Owner Resources

Oregon has numerous resources for people who own or would like to start a business.

Business Oregon

Business Oregon helps create, retain, expand and attract businesses that provide sustainable, living-wage jobs for Oregonians through public-private partnerships, leveraged funding, and support of economic opportunities for Oregon companies and entrepreneurs.

Visit the Business Oregon Web site for a full list of business resources.

Phone: (503) 986-0123
Toll-free: 1-866-467-3466


Oregon Small Business Development Center

The Oregon Small Business Development Center (SBDC) provides consulting, training, and other resources to people looking to start a small business.

Visit the SBDC Web site.


Business Employment Resources

WorkSource Oregon provides solutions for busineses workforce challenges.

Visit the WorkSource Oregon Business Resources Web site.


Governor's Office of Economic and Business Equity

The Governor's Office of Economic and Business Equity focuses on supporting equitable business opportunities for Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE), Minority Business Enterprises (MBE), Women Business Enterprises (WBE), and Emerging Small Businesses (ESB).

Visit the Governor's Office of Economic and Business Equity Web site.

Employment Resources

WorkSource Oregon offers a variety of services including: skill training resources, workshops and tools all designed to help you find a new or better job in today's competitive job market.

Visit WorkSource Oregon's Job Seekers Web site. 

Consumer Complaints

If you have a consumer complaint that you would like to be investigated, please contact the Oregon Attorney General's Consumer Hotline:

Salem Phone: (503) 378-4320
Portland Phone: (503) 229-5576
Toll-Free: 1-877-877-0392
Email: consumer.hotline@doj.state.or.us

Other Resources for Oregonians

211 Info

211info is an independent non-profit that helps connect people with various community resources.

Call: 2-1-1
Website: 211info.org