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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: 33509

Reported Deaths: 559
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah7274140
Marion477996
Washington461560
Umatilla300441
Clackamas246663
Malheur165030
Lane129317
Jackson11906
Deschutes87312
Yamhill77414
Jefferson5458
Polk53515
Linn53213
Morrow5136
Lincoln48113
Union4462
Benton3286
Wasco2964
Klamath2902
Hood River2520
Douglas2434
Clatsop2210
Josephine2042
Columbia1841
Coos1600
Baker982
Crook631
Tillamook530
Lake340
Wallowa331
Curry320
Sherman180
Harney120
Grant100
Gilliam80
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 819115

Reported Deaths: 15885
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2702996576
Riverside594051226
San Bernardino55203955
Orange537511268
San Diego47180783
Kern32073369
Fresno28621390
Sacramento22590416
Alameda21383412
Santa Clara21379322
San Joaquin20411456
Contra Costa16793207
Stanislaus16512362
Tulare16204263
Ventura12875150
Imperial11908320
San Francisco11275104
Monterey1005073
San Mateo9990150
Santa Barbara9164113
Merced8961143
Kings768180
Sonoma7578122
Marin6734119
Solano644571
Madera458368
San Luis Obispo361231
Placer360448
Butte284844
Yolo282855
Santa Cruz239410
Napa172713
Sutter172011
San Benito135211
Yuba11728
El Dorado11514
Mendocino95418
Shasta94320
Lassen7410
Glenn5963
Tehama5855
Lake56611
Nevada5417
Colusa5356
Humboldt5128
Calaveras32214
Amador29616
Tuolumne2274
Inyo18815
Mono1662
Siskiyou1660
Del Norte1441
Mariposa762
Plumas500
Modoc270
Trinity160
Sierra60
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Medford
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Brookings
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Crater Lake
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