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About ODHS

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​What W​​​​e Do

Oregon Department of Human Services' (ODHS) Government Relations Unit guides the agency's participation in state and federal legislative efforts with the goal of advancing the agency's mission and the well-being of all people in Oregon.​

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​2023 Legislative Session

During the 2023 Oregon Legislative Session, ODHS will focus on the priorities laid out in Governor Tina Kotek's​ 2023-2025 Governor's Recommended Budget. The budget is titled Mission Focused and zeroes in on issues of pressing statewide concern, including housing and homelessness and access to holistic behavioral health services.​

The budget includes a proposed $17.8 billion in total funds and 11,111 positions for ODHS, and it contains a range of investments that would support our agency's ongoing efforts in three focus areas:

  1. Strengthening our foundations to ensure we can serve our communities effectively; 
  2. Preparing for and responding to emergencies; and
  3. Creating a future where human services are more flexible and responsive to the needs of specific people, families, communities and cultures.​​

Investment highlights (in General Fund dollars) include:​

  • $405 million toward rates for providers around the state who deliver essential services to older adults and people with disabilities
  • $38.2 million to ensure that individuals of any immigration status can access Medicaid health care and long-term services and supports through the Healthier Oregon Program
  • $46 million to support the ONE eligibility system, which helps one in three people in Oregon apply for and manage medical, food, cash and child care benefits
  • $3 million toward modernizing the mainframe and provider payment systems
  • $5 million to strengthen services for families involved in the Child Welfare system, including $1 million to assist Child Welfare caseworkers in matching parents with dug and alcohol treatment providers and $4 million to expand legal representation services for Child Welfare cases
  • $2 million for the Office of Resilience and Emergency Management (OREM)
  • $7 million to expand the FOCUS Program - a program that allows children with complex needs to remain in their own communities in a culturally appropriate foster care home, relative care or parent's home
  • $17 million to raise the monthly pay for resource parents to provide foster care
  • $1.4 million for the Model Employer Program, which allows ODHS to hire people with intellectual and developmental disabilities more quickly and easily, creating more opportunities for young people and adults with disabilities to contribute to the state workforce
  • $4 million would fund staffing capacity and systems costs to implement the Oregon Health Authority's 1115 Medicaid Waiver​​​​​​​​​​​

Legislative Community Partner​ Calls

All times are subject to change; for more information,  please contact roberto.gutierrez@odh​​​​

​​​​​When: Third Thursday of each month from noon to 1 p.m.

Upcoming dates for 2023:

  • February 16, March 16, April 20, May 18, June 15

Meeting information:



  • Live CART captioning and American Sign Language will be provided.
  • To make an accessibility request, or for questions about accessibility, please email​. Please submit requests at least two business days before the event.​
When: Every other Wednesday from noon to 1 p.m.

Upcoming dates for 2023:

  • February 8 and 22; March 8 and 22; April 5 and 19; May 2, 17 and 31; June 14

Meeting information:

  • Updates on what's happening during the 2023 Legislative Session from the I/DD perspective.


  • American Sign Language interpretation, Spanish interpretation and CART captioning will be provided.
  • For questions about accessibility or to request an accommodation, contact ODDS at 503-945-5811 or​. Please submit requests at least three business days before the event.​​​

When: Every other Wednesday each month from noon to 1 p.m. through June 2023

Upcoming dates for 2023

  • March 15, March 29, April 12, April 26, May 10, May 24, June 7, June 21

Meeting information:


  • Bills to be reviewed will be emailed to registered participants prior to each meeting.

Final meeting in the series:


  • Live CART captioning and American Sign Language will be provided.
  • To make an accessibility request, or for questions about accessibility, please email​. Please submit requests at least two business days before the event.

​Updates for Legislators

Preparing Oregonians for Ben​efit Changes after the Public Health Emergency​ 

​​Recent Legislative Presentations​
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​End of Session Reports

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Contact Us

Government Relations Central

Roberto A. Gutierrez (he/him)
Government Relations Manager

Lindsay Maben (she/her)
Legislative Assistant
Kristin Strommer (she/her)
Legislative Communications Officer

Senior Legislative Policy Analysts

Max Bernstein (he/him)
Central/Shared Services
Oregon Eligibility Partnership

Mariya Klimenko (she/her)
Self-Sufficiency Programs
Vocational Rehabilitation
Michelle Pfeiffer (she/her)

Margie Salazar (she/her)
Self-Sufficiency Programs
Immigrant and Refugee Advancement​

Justin Withem (he/him)
Aging and People with Disabilities
Office of Developmental Disabilities Services

Government Relations Legislative Unit

500 Summer St NE, E-62
Salem, OR 97303​