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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: 392197

Reported Deaths: 5186
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah60432839
Washington42082398
Marion39986507
Clackamas32861382
Lane30179358
Jackson24956361
Deschutes23639185
Umatilla15135182
Linn14704179
Douglas13438292
Josephine10201246
Yamhill9787143
Klamath9072147
Polk8248102
Benton611138
Malheur592790
Coos5693107
Columbia433356
Jefferson420866
Lincoln363852
Union339255
Crook336356
Wasco317046
Clatsop262735
Baker220833
Tillamook217045
Hood River214537
Morrow197825
Curry192439
Harney119933
Grant108515
Lake105616
Wallowa76013
Sherman1913
Gilliam1854
Wheeler1141
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 5087907

Reported Deaths: 74561
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles152858627184
San Diego4074794340
Riverside3880835358
San Bernardino3748555967
Orange3346265736
Sacramento1684922447
Kern1578751804
Fresno1568972259
Santa Clara1522681929
Alameda1252361507
San Joaquin1076041834
Ventura1040841191
Contra Costa1038691046
Stanislaus915481417
Tulare861371099
San Francisco56931672
San Mateo56354629
Monterey52521626
Solano47693358
Santa Barbara47345553
Merced45086668
Sonoma43207412
Placer42204470
Imperial38516773
Kings35221362
San Luis Obispo31511360
Madera26233311
Shasta26113458
Butte25476318
Santa Cruz22268224
Yolo21590260
Marin18495249
El Dorado18325166
Sutter14577186
Napa13424105
Yuba1076389
Tehama10282130
Humboldt10183119
Nevada10029105
Mendocino857799
Lassen797656
San Benito782979
Tuolumne774691
Lake7046110
Amador578366
Siskiyou475855
Glenn457436
Calaveras442288
Del Norte376942
Colusa325921
Inyo256746
Plumas19397
Mono18924
Mariposa160718
Trinity99817
Modoc7725
Sierra2180
Alpine1080
Unassigned810
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