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Oregon legislature's second 2020 Special Session ends late Monday night

The one-day session concluded with a balanced budget, changes to the unemployment process, and stronger rules on police use of chokeholds.

Posted: Aug 11, 2020 10:33 AM

SALEM, Ore. — Oregon's second legislative Special Session of 2020 ended on its first day after lawmakers worked late into the night — accomplishing major shifts in the state budget to accommodate a more than $1 billion revenue shortfall due to COVID-19, in addition to bills addressing unemployment claims and police accountability.

Democrats in the Oregon House and Senate said that the new budget preserved "critical services" — namely education, health care, and public safety. Lawmakers cut more than $400 million from various state agencies, while plugging in another $400 million in emergency funds from the Education Stability Fund, the Associated Press reported.

"Access to food and Medicaid are untouched, and we continue to invest in affordable housing and homeless services. Additionally, domestic violence services and child welfare will receive complete funding to do their seriously necessary work," said Senate Majority Leader Rob Wagner, D-Lake Oswego. “This budget rebalance was no easy task and no decision came lightly. Going forward, Oregon will need to continue to stay flexible as we learn more about the economic impacts of COVID-19."

In the immediate follow-up to the session, Republicans did not voice widespread criticism of the rebalanced budget, but took shots at Democrats' decision to keep public testimony out of the whirlwind process.

"At the end of the day our budget is balanced, but Democrats made the unprecedented decision to deny access to Oregonians, not even allowing for remote public testimony," said House Republican Leader Christine Drazan, R-Canby. "The lack of public access to this process is unacceptable, and the people of Oregon deserve better.”

Lawmakers also passed House Bill 4301, which bans the police use of chokeholds and other forms of force that impede breathing or circulation "except for instances of self-defense." The bill was championed by the legislature's Black, Indigenous, and People of Color Caucus.

“This bill continues the work of supporting a new concept of policing in the State of Oregon,” said Sen. Lew Frederick, D-Portland. “For many in marginalized communities, this is part of the first step. We have a long way to go.”

Democrats applauded the passage of bills that promise to streamline the unemployment process for the underemployed who have been trying to access benefits through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, but mourned the loss of Senate Bill 1702 which sought to help teachers more quickly navigate the unemployment process — a bill that died in committee before arriving on the Senate floor.

This is a developing story and will be updated with more details as they emerge.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 40443

Reported Deaths: 635
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah8743155
Marion5590106
Washington546973
Umatilla329543
Clackamas299065
Lane221226
Malheur186634
Jackson15556
Deschutes107413
Yamhill95615
Linn76414
Polk63915
Jefferson5979
Morrow5426
Lincoln50913
Union4582
Benton4186
Klamath4013
Wasco33515
Douglas3314
Hood River2721
Josephine2583
Columbia2491
Clatsop2340
Coos2290
Baker1132
Crook872
Tillamook700
Curry561
Wallowa402
Lake340
Sherman180
Harney170
Gilliam110
Grant100
Wheeler10
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 886939

Reported Deaths: 17167
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2904866944
Riverside650561275
San Bernardino609451065
Orange576351423
San Diego53263863
Kern33551413
Fresno30220430
Sacramento24811474
Santa Clara23591382
Alameda22932435
San Joaquin21436484
Contra Costa18273238
Stanislaus17403394
Tulare17317279
Ventura13930160
Imperial12610336
San Francisco11969137
Monterey1115884
San Mateo10918157
Santa Barbara9671119
Merced9386153
Sonoma9016134
Kings817383
Solano720574
Marin7036127
Madera492873
San Luis Obispo408032
Placer402355
Yolo309958
Butte302651
Santa Cruz272524
Napa190814
Sutter182112
Shasta178629
San Benito141114
El Dorado13024
Yuba128010
Mendocino111121
Tehama7938
Lassen7611
Lake67815
Glenn6473
Nevada5988
Humboldt5609
Colusa5486
Calaveras33917
Amador31316
Tuolumne2574
Inyo21815
Siskiyou1860
Del Norte1751
Mono1752
Mariposa782
Plumas610
Modoc270
Trinity250
Sierra60
Alpine30
Unassigned00
Medford
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