News from Representative Suzanne Bonamici

March 30, 2015

Dear Friend,

March began with a trip to historic Selma, AL to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the civil rights march. Just last week, after two decades, the House of Representatives passed a bill to permanently fix the formula for Medicare reimbursement to help seniors access health care. I wrote a letter to the U.S. Department of Education to clarify a potential loophole in federal law that may mean inadequate privacy protections regarding college students' medical records. In Oregon, I visited Portland State University's Business Accelerator to learn how it is helping entrepreneurs start and grow their own businesses. And my office is now accepting applications for the Congressional Art Competition.

Selma: 50 Years Later
It was an honor to travel to Selma to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the civil rights march. Congressman John Lewis talked about his experience as a leader at the march, and President Obama delivered an inspiring speech about civil rights at the Edmund Pettus Bridge. The event was a powerful reminder of the progress we have made, and also about how much work there is left to do. I am holding a public discussion Monday March 30 with several local leaders to discuss the future of the civil rights movement. Find more information here and read about my experience in Selma here.

Protecting Medicare and More
After nearly two decades of short-term fixes, the House passed a permanent reimbursement solution for providers who treat Medicare beneficiaries. This means that older Americans will find it easier to access health care. The bill, which passed with strong bipartisan support, also extends the Children's Health Insurance Program for low-income kids, funds Community Health Centers, and provides resources through the Secure Rural Schools program for timber-dependent counties. Although the bill isn't perfect, it was necessary and we got it done. Read my statement here.

Protecting Campus Sex Assault Survivors
I wrote a letter to the Department of Education asking officials to clarify federal law regarding the privacy of student records in cases of sexual assault. It came to our attention that a loophole may allow the disclosure of health records in some circumstances. Campus sexual assault is a serious issue and students need to know that they can seek confidential assistance and counseling. I plan to work with the Department of Education to address this issue. Read more about my letter here and here.

Supporting Business Development
Oregon is known for its innovative small businesses. I visited PSU's Business Accelerator to learn how it helps entrepreneurs launch their own business. The Accelerator provides labs, work space, and support for small business startups. I met with the founders of Nouvola, designers of diagnostic and cloud performance testing tools, and learned how the Accelerator is helping their company grow. I've really been enjoying my small business tour across the district. Contact my office if you'd like to participate in the tour.

Congressional Art Competition for High School Students
My office is accepting applications for the annual Congressional Art Competition. A panel of professional artists will select the winner, and his or her artwork will be on display in the U.S. Capitol for a year. Last year, Sunset High School student Supriya Kapur came to Washington, D.C. to see her winning piece. If you'd like to apply, visit my website. A reception for all submitted artwork will be held at my district office in Beaverton. I look forward to seeing all the impressive young artists in my district.

As always, you can find more updates on my work around the district and in Washington on Facebook and Twitter. You can also contact my Oregon and Washington, D.C. offices with questions, comments, or for assistance with a federal agency. This mailbox is not monitored. To contact me via email, please use this secure web form.


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