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Governor Brown calls on Oregon legislature to convene a special session

Governor Kate Brown on Tuesday announced that she would convene a special session of the state legislature to address both COVID-19 and police accountability measures.

Posted: Jun 16, 2020 9:23 AM
Updated: Jun 16, 2020 10:04 AM

SALEM, Ore. — Governor Kate Brown on Tuesday announced that she will convene a special session of the state legislature to address both COVID-19 and police accountability measures.

The short 2020 legislative session ended abruptly at the beginning of March after Democrats and Republicans reached an impasse over a cap-and-trade bill, leaving a number of other bills unaddressed. Some funding measures were later taken up by the Legislative Emergency Board as the state went on lockdown in response to coronavirus.

Governor Brown said that the special session is set to begin at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, June 24. The focus of the session will be to improve police accountability and further address the ongoing impacts of COVID-19.

“We are at a unique moment in America,” Brown said. “I am calling a special session to take up two urgent issues facing our state: the COVID-19 pandemic and police accountability. Several pandemic-related policies that I have implemented via executive order, including the temporary eviction moratorium and protecting CARES Act payments from garnishment, should be codified in statute. And the public’s call for significant police reform is too urgent to wait until the next regular legislative session. It’s imperative that the Legislature take action on these issues right away.”


RELATED: Jackson County lobbies Oregon legislature to limit Governor's emergency powers


On Monday, the House Republican caucus released a statement on the potential for a special session, saying that they wanted to minimize the economic impact of COVID-19 by "reducing the weight of government waste, protecting the safety net, preserving essential public services, reversing job-killing regulations and lightening the burden of aggressive new taxes."

House Republicans took aim, in particular, at the "economic devastation" caused by Governor Brown's executive orders during the coronavirus response.

Following Brown's announcement on Tuesday, Senate Republican Leader Fred Girod, R-Stayton, released a statement questioning the purpose behind calling a special session that did not immediately address the state's budget.

“I fail to understand why the Governor is calling the legislature in for a special session, an expensive undertaking for taxpayers, in the middle of a pandemic, when it is not intended to address the state budget deficit," Sen. Girod said. "The intent of this special session should be to balance the state budget, which is the fundamental job of the legislature, and provide relief to Oregonians suffering from the ongoing COVID-19 economic disaster. Instead, the Governor is prioritizing policy bills."

Brown said that she wants to call a second special session later in the summer in order to balance the state's budget in light of the major impacts of coronavirus.

"Unless the federal government takes action, states like Oregon could be forced to make significant cuts to schools, health care, and senior services," Brown said. “In the meantime, I am finalizing a list of $150 million General Fund savings for this biennium, to be released by the end of this week as part of my efforts to put Oregon’s budget on better footing.”

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 43793

Reported Deaths: 673
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah9502166
Marion6024109
Washington599178
Umatilla343545
Clackamas326766
Lane246727
Malheur194938
Jackson17967
Deschutes118513
Yamhill101315
Linn84515
Polk66815
Jefferson60710
Morrow5517
Lincoln51813
Union4842
Benton4636
Klamath4223
Douglas3688
Wasco34916
Hood River2841
Columbia2711
Josephine2703
Coos2601
Clatsop2480
Baker1403
Crook1132
Tillamook740
Curry581
Wallowa492
Lake430
Harney350
Sherman200
Grant120
Gilliam110
Wheeler10
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 923648

Reported Deaths: 17559
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles3050707044
Riverside675521306
San Bernardino641311073
Orange594421468
San Diego55898885
Kern34114420
Fresno31195439
Sacramento25882499
Santa Clara24665404
Alameda23636463
San Joaquin21988492
Contra Costa18877243
Stanislaus17814400
Tulare17730291
Ventura14409166
Imperial13023338
San Francisco12277145
Monterey1153892
San Mateo11278159
Santa Barbara9886126
Sonoma9601136
Merced9588155
Kings848683
Solano758676
Marin7107127
Madera506676
Placer429059
San Luis Obispo424032
Yolo325060
Butte313453
Santa Cruz284825
Shasta199931
Napa199816
Sutter188912
San Benito144915
El Dorado13684
Yuba133810
Mendocino115421
Tehama9219
Lassen7711
Lake70216
Glenn6793
Nevada6328
Humboldt56910
Colusa5536
Calaveras34721
Amador33716
Tuolumne2855
Inyo24015
Siskiyou2140
Mono1822
Del Norte1801
Mariposa812
Plumas760
Modoc450
Trinity280
Sierra60
Alpine40
Unassigned00
Medford
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Brookings
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Grants Pass
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Klamath Falls
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