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2023 Legislative End-of-Session Report

In 2023, the legislature passed many critically important investments and initiatives that will dramatically impact the health of people in Oregon and the goal of eliminating health inequity in our state by 2030.

Overall, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) budget for the 2023-2025 biennium is $35.8 billion, an increase of about 6 percent. The total number of positions at OHA increased to 5,664, even with significant administrative reductions and the elimination of vacant positions in the agency. 

Beyond the budget, 2023 saw passage of many bills that will impact health and health equity. From strengthening Measure 110, to continuing to modernize our public health system, implementing our state's ground-breaking 1115 Medicaid waiver, and building and maintaining a stronger health care workforce, the Governor and legislators made clear that they have high expectations and high hopes for success.

Click here for the full OHA Legislative Session Report for 2023.

Prior Legislative End-of-Session Reports

Below are highlights of the 2022 session of the Oregon Legislature relating to bills and budget items expected to most significantly impact the health of Oregonians and the work of Oregon Health Authority. These bills and budget items are sorted by topic (though these topics are interrelated, and many items could be listed under more than one):

  • Increasing and Maintaining Access to Health Care
  • Transforming the Behavioral Health System
  • Strengthening Oregon's Health Care Workforce
  • Building Healthier Communities

pdf iconOHA End of Legislative Session Report 2022.pdf

Read the 2021 Legislative End of Session Report below:

pdf iconOHA 2021 Legislative End of Session Report.pdf (updated August 24, 2021)

Prior OHA Request Bills


Government Relations Staff

Ashley Thirstrup.jpegAshley Thirstrup (she/her) joined OHA in 2017 to address inequities through public health policy and health systems change in collaboration with community and state partners. For the last year, she served as the Interim Director of Health in Education in the OHA Director's Office. In this role, she coordinated the cross-sector work of OHA and the Oregon Department of Education towards shared goals that foster equity and hold both agencies accountable to developing and implementing anti-racist policies, practices and programs that center student, family and educator health and well-being. Prior to this, she served as the Manager of Community Policy, Systems and Environmental Change in the Health Promotion & Chronic Disease Prevention Section of the Public Health Division. Before joining OHA, she worked for ten years at the Native American Youth and Family Center in Portland, most recently as the Director of Youth and Education Services. Ashley holds a BA in International Relations from Burlington College and is a graduate of Portland State University's Executive Master of Public Administration program. In her free time, she plays basketball with her two young daughters and explores the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her family.

Government Relations Director

Email: Ashley Thirstrup
Phone: 503-720-2557

Emily Headshot.jpgEmily Droge (she/they) has dedicated her career to fighting for social justice and health equity. She brings a background in food justice, social work, community advocacy, and strategic communications to her role as a Senior Policy Advisor on the Government Relations team. She was most recently a Health Promotion Strategist in the Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention (HPCDP) Section. She managed the Smokefree Oregon brand and all commercial tobacco communications work in an effort to shift policies, systems, and environments to address commercial tobacco-related health disparities. Emily has been with Oregon Health Authority since 2021. They earned their Masters in Public Health from New York University and a Bachelors of Science in Nutritional Science from University of California, Berkeley.

Government Relations contact for: Public Health, Equity & Inclusion, 
Email: Emily Droge

Phone: 971-409-3449

Bobby Green.jpgBobby L. Green Sr. joined OHA at the creation of the agency in 2010. Prior to coming to OHA, he served as the Legislative Affairs Liaison for the Association of Community Mental Health Programs. He began at OHA as the Local Government Affairs Director, and also served several positions on an interim basis: Deputy Director of the Public Health Division, Chief Operation Officer, and Deputy Director of the Medicaid/Medicare Division. He was a Eugene City Councilor from 1989-1994, and County Commissioner for Lane county from 1994-2008. He was a board member of the Association of Oregon Counties, including President in 2007. Bobby has a BA in English/Literature from the University of Oregon. In his spare time, he enjoys his three grandchildren and film studies.

Local Government Affairs Liasion
Email: Bobby Green

Phone: 503-947-2349

mgreen.png Matthew Green (he/him) joined Government Relations as a senior policy advisor in January 2019. He focuses on the Legislature's Joint Committee on Ways and Means, as well as communications for the GR team, including regular outreach with external stakeholders and partners. Matthew came to OHA from the Washington State Department of Health, and brings years of experience in public health, media relations and government affairs. A former newspaper journalist, legislative aide, and political campaign manager for several elected officials, he also served as an elected City of Olympia council member. Matthew holds a BA from the The Evergreen State College and a Master in Public Policy from Harvard University.

Government Relations contact for: Oregon State Hospital, Addiction & Substance Use, Measure 110, Government Relations Communications

Phone: 503-983-8257

Sarah.jpgSarah Herb (she/her) joined OHA in April 2023 as the executive support specialist for the Government Relations team. Prior to coming to OHA, Sarah worked as the executive search and events specialist for the Oregon School Boards Association. She graduated from Oregon State University with a bachelors degree in natural resources and watershed management.

Government Relations contact for: Executive Support for Government Relations Director

Email: Sarah Herb
Phone: 971-372-9887

John Inglish.jpgJohn Inglish (he/him) was a healthcare service provider for over ten years, practicing occupational therapy in clinical and educational settings. Subsequently, he worked in disability law and policy, representing clients in healthcare and education matters, and engaged in local, state, and national policy work. John also worked at the Oregon Department of Education, where he oversaw safe and healthy schools initiatives, managed the state mediation program for special education, and served as a county liaison. Most recently, John directed the Conflict & Dispute Resolution program at the University of Oregon School of Law. He holds a Master of Public Policy & Administration and a Juris Doctorate, both from the University of Utah. In his spare time he skis, climbs, plays guitar in local bands, and spends time with his wife, three sons, and two dogs.

Government Relations contact for: 1115 Medicaid Waiver, External Relations Division

Phone: 971-393-3860

Robert Lee.jpgRobert Lee is deeply passionate about healthcare policy with over 17 years of government affairs, healthcare administration, and policy experience in private, public, non-profit and consulting industries. Previously, he served as the Quality Management Director of Standards & Compliance at the Oregon State Hospital where he successfully oversaw regulatory, policy, and compliance efforts. Robert holds advanced degrees in both Political Science and Public Administration from Portland State University, earned numerous professional certificates, and served as adjunct faculty at the PSU Hatfield School of Government teaching on healthcare policy analysis & development. In his spare time, he serves on his local school board, explores the mountains of the Pacific Northwest, and maintains a competitive team of spoiled sled dogs.

Government Relations contact for: Behavioral Health, Tribal Affairs

Email: Robert Lee

Phone: 503-490-6180

Marybeth Mealue (002).pngMarybeth Mealue (she/her) has been with OHA and the State of Oregon for over two years, and was previously the executive support specialist for the Government Relations and Communications teams. Before joining OHA, Marybeth worked as a personnel and office manager for four prominent newspapers in the mid-Willamette valley. Marybeth was born and raised in Oregon and has a bachelors degree in history and international studies from George Fox University. In her free time, Marybeth spends time with her family and goes to Disneyland.

Government Relations contact for: Oral Health, State-Based Marketplace, Medical Transport, Vital Records

Email: Marybeth Mealue
Phone: 503-490-8100

Phil (2).jpgPhilip Schmidt joined OHA in March 2020, and almost immediately began work on the COVID response in communications. Later he supported the Health Policy & Analytics Division and Medicaid/Oregon Health Plan with communications. Phil spent nearly a decade working on Capitol Hill for a Puerto Rican Member of Congress from New York, first as communications director and later as deputy chief of staff. After his time in DC, he moved back home to Oregon and worked at the state hospital association for several years. In his spare time he bikes, camps, and hangs out with his daughters. 

Government Relations contact for: Health Policy and Analytics, Medicaid, Pharmaceuticals, PEBB/OEBB

Phone: 503-383-6079

Legislative Reports

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