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
OHA End of Legislative Session Report 2022.pdf
Read the 2021 Legislative End of Session Report below:
OHA 2021 Legislative End of Session Report.pdf (updated August 24, 2021)
Prior OHA Request Bills
Government Relations Staff
Ashley 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 enjoys playing basketball with her two daughters, ages 9 and 12, and exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her family.
Government Relations Director
Coline Benson (she/her) joined the Government Relations team in July 2022, after working in OHA's COVID-19 Response and Recovery Unit. Previous to OHA, she worked three years in the Governor's Office. Coline has an undergraduate degree in Political Science from Portland State University and a Masters in Legal Studies from Willamette University College of Law. She is an enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians. In her free time, Coline enjoys attending Tribal events, watching horror movies, and spending time with her rambunctious, sweet dogs Blu and Bo.
Government Relations contact for: Health Policy & Analytics, Tribal Affairs, COVID-19, Equity & Inclusion Division
Email: Coline Benson
Cynthia Branger Muñoz (she/her/ella) has focused her career and personal efforts on being culturally responsive and looking for equitable outcomes using data to inform decisions. She brings a background in education, having taught elementary students in math, reading, and Spanish, taught adult classes, and also led professional development for education staff using data and research based practices. She is a longtime community organizer and advocate, including working with Causa (Oregon's Immigrant Rights Organization), Unite Oregon, Oregon Education Association, and the Oregon School Employees Association (OSEA). Cynthia earned her Masters in Education at Portland State University.
Government Relations contact for: Public Health, Equity & Inclusion, Tribal Issues, Education, Oral Health
Bobby 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
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 an MPP from Harvard University.
Government Relations contact for: Ways & Means, Government Relations communications
Marybeth 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 enjoys spending time with her family and going to Disneyland.
Government Relations contact for: Medicaid/Oregon Health Plan, Public Health, 988 Crisis Services, Measure 110, Non-Emergent Medical Transport
Email: Marybeth Mealue
Philip 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 likes to bike, camp and hang out with his daughters.
Government Relations contact for: Medicaid/Oregon Health Plan, Health Policy & Analytics
Kazim (Kaz) Zaidi joined OHA in December 2022 as a senior policy advisor focusing on behavioral health. Kaz was born and grew up in the United Kingdom and spent ten years working with elected leaders, government agencies and community to improve services for historically excluded groups in London. Since moving to Oregon in 2016, Kaz has worked as a staffer in the Oregon legislature, led the City of Eugene's police reform program in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, and worked on the Oregon Department of Transportation's equitable engagement and program design for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill. Kaz holds a Bachelors in English Literature from the University of Cambridge and a Masters in Political Science from the University of Oregon.
Government Relations contact for: Behavioral Health, Oregon State Hospital