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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.

Cases: 191405

Reported Deaths: 2530
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah37970584
Washington25360229
Marion21814306
Clackamas17186209
Lane12838145
Jackson10733135
Deschutes870374
Umatilla814084
Linn482867
Yamhill442275
Klamath433061
Polk371052
Malheur350461
Josephine330868
Douglas322570
Benton303919
Jefferson217034
Coos204933
Columbia171526
Union144423
Lincoln137120
Wasco137028
Hood River118130
Morrow110115
Crook107320
Clatsop9728
Baker94614
Curry6459
Tillamook6403
Grant5065
Lake4447
Harney3388
Wallowa1825
Gilliam621
Sherman581
Wheeler281
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3758137

Reported Deaths: 62314
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles123565124022
Riverside2990644587
San Bernardino2965964707
San Diego2779493725
Orange2707445008
Santa Clara1189012085
Kern1090311373
Sacramento1042081672
Fresno1016761684
Alameda876331545
Ventura808421011
San Joaquin730091391
Contra Costa68582803
Stanislaus619161055
Tulare49554839
Monterey43563382
San Mateo41871568
San Francisco36642543
Santa Barbara34317456
Solano32752249
Merced31743458
Sonoma29984318
Imperial28373721
Kings22971246
Placer22550290
San Luis Obispo21282260
Madera16442242
Santa Cruz16188206
Marin14037228
Yolo13894209
Shasta12071226
Butte11962199
El Dorado10111113
Napa985381
Sutter9413111
Yuba622146
San Benito604863
Lassen569824
Tehama556362
Nevada471675
Tuolumne412364
Mendocino406149
Humboldt393939
Amador365247
Lake347043
Glenn238225
Colusa223016
Siskiyou218123
Calaveras212153
Inyo142638
Del Norte13678
Mono12804
Plumas7066
Modoc4954
Mariposa4457
Trinity3995
Sierra1120
Alpine880
Unassigned390
Medford
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Brookings
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Crater Lake
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