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State Representative and Senator React to Emergency Relief Check Program

Brian Bull

The Oregon House Speaker and Senate President explained how the Emergency Relief Check program was developed in a press conference Friday.


The $500 Emergency Relief Check program made 70,000 payments available for eligible Oregonians in need. Starting Wednesday morning and continuing until Friday morning, tens of thousands of people stood in line for hours at approved financial institutions to submit their applications.


Senate President Peter Courtney said the state government decided on $500 allotments instead of higher payouts to ensure more Oregonians would have a chance at assistance. He said the program was initially intended to be for those who hadn't received their unemployment benefits.


"The employment department is struggling to do what it's trying to do," said Courtney. "What happened here, is that the legislative branch did an unprecedented thing because of the crisis we're in. I'm not sure by bringing the employment department in can you really get a read on what we did."


In the coming weeks, more data will be released concerning the demographics and locations of people served.


Copyright KLCC, 2020.

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