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Oregon emergency board approves millions for coronavirus response, climate action

A meeting of Oregon lawmakers on Monday saw the wrapping up of some unfinished business, plus two important new developments.

Posted: Mar 9, 2020 4:11 PM
Updated: Mar 9, 2020 4:21 PM

SALEM, Ore. — Following a short legislative session that fell flat amid the acrimony over a bill aimed at capping carbon emissions, funding for a few budget measures that would have otherwise died with the untimely end of the session has been approved by the Oregon Legislative Emergency Board.

Alongside those unfinished funding measures comes $5 million for the state's response to COVID-19, now an official emergency following an announcement this weekend, and another $5 million that will likely form the foundation of Governor Kate Brown's executive action on carbon emissions.


Governor Kate Brown convenes the Coronavirus Response Team (Gov. Kate Brown Press Office / My Oregon News).


RELATED: Oregon Republicans 'willing to return' to the legislature on March 8, Senate Leader says


The Legislative Emergency Board represents a small subset of Oregon lawmakers charged with allocating emergency funds and other matters when the full legislature is not in session.

The board's allocations included considerable funding for flood recovery efforts in northeastern Oregon, most of which was put on indefinite hold during the Republican walkout while the session remained ongoing.

$5 million from the state's emergency fund will go to the Oregon Health Authority, while the board also raised the ceiling on federal fund expenditures "to support coronavirus emergency response activities" once a plan is presented and approved.

The Oregon Military Department will also receive $2.7 million from the emergency fund for an "all-hazard emergency preparedness and response program."


RELATED: First presumptive cases of COVID-19 in southern Oregon found in Jackson, Klamath counties


Finally, the state Emergency Board approved $5 million from the emergency fund for the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) "to be used for rulemaking and other actions with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions across all emissions sources, including point sources, natural gas emissions and transportation fuels."

When the legislative session ended without a compromise between Democrats and Republicans on cap-and-trade, Governor Brown said that she would make good on a promise to deliver climate change solutions through executive action if a legislative route did not succeed.

“I have always been clear that a legislative solution was my preferred path to tackle the impacts of climate change for the resources it would bring to our rural communities and the flexibility it would provide for our businesses," Brown said last week. "However, I will not back down. In the coming days, I will be taking executive action to lower our greenhouse gas emissions."

On Monday the Oregonian/OregonLive reported that DEQ director Richard Whitman said Brown's executive order would be coming "very soon."

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 12438

Reported Deaths: 237
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah296672
Marion189354
Washington189221
Umatilla10418
Clackamas100628
Malheur4002
Union3692
Lincoln3615
Lane3093
Deschutes2680
Yamhill2059
Linn18210
Jackson1810
Polk17912
Jefferson1680
Morrow1541
Klamath1381
Wasco1171
Benton1156
Hood River1060
Douglas640
Josephine571
Clatsop550
Columbia540
Coos540
Lake240
Crook181
Tillamook160
Wallowa150
Baker120
Curry90
Sherman50
Gilliam20
Harney20
Grant10
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 333357

Reported Deaths: 7089
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1363573824
Riverside25748550
Orange25255424
San Diego19929422
San Bernardino19502307
Fresno828288
Imperial7977136
Alameda7976148
San Joaquin698870
Kern660198
Santa Clara6542167
Tulare5942152
Sacramento571483
Stanislaus497351
Contra Costa485290
San Francisco459050
Ventura424653
San Mateo4045112
Santa Barbara393131
Marin370232
Kings297039
Monterey279018
Solano207528
Merced188412
Sonoma181916
Placer111411
San Luis Obispo10065
Yolo92928
Madera8938
Santa Cruz5693
Napa5184
Lassen4280
Sutter4034
San Benito3622
Butte3384
El Dorado3070
Shasta2006
Yuba1983
Glenn1760
Humboldt1654
Nevada1631
Mendocino1320
Lake1211
Colusa1130
Tehama1071
Tuolumne730
Calaveras670
Del Norte610
Mono521
Siskiyou410
Amador400
Inyo351
Mariposa321
Plumas190
Alpine20
Trinity20
Sierra10
Unassigned00
Medford
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Brookings
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