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Oregon Calls Special Session for COVID-19 Relief

Rachael McDonald

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced Tuesday morning that she is calling for a one-day special legislative session next week.

The meeting of lawmakers will be held next Monday (DEC. 21), and they are expected to discuss relief funding and policies for Oregonians during the pandemic.
The governor says her priorities for the session include aid for tenants and landlords, paying for vaccine distribution, wildfire prevention efforts, and reopening schools across the state.
Many COVID-19 relief funds and policies are scheduled to expire at the start of the new year.
Lawmakers have said they may send more money to Oregon's Emergency Board -- which could be used to address areas like COVID-19 and wildfire relief. Lawmakers say they expect the session to focus on four bills.
They include a proposal to extend the state’s eviction moratorium, and offer relief to landlords and tenants, along with a bill to allow restaurants to serve cocktails to-go.
Lawmakers will also consider a bill to protect schools from some coronavirus-related lawsuits. Lastly lawmakers are likely to transfer hundreds of millions of dollars into the state’s emergency account, largely to pay for COVID-related costs.
While some lawmakers have been insistent that any special session should be held remotely, the governor is calling lawmakers to Salem in person.
That means legislators will need to practice strict safety measures, as COVID-19 spread has spiked around the state.

Copyright 2020 OPB.

Copyright 2020 KLCC.

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