SALEM, Ore. (KOIN) — Protesters disrupted a special session of the Oregon Legislature Monday, breaking a glass door on the side of the State Capitol that was quickly declared an unlawful assembly, resulting in four arrests.
And while it delayed the start of the special session, it did not derail the efforts to deal with the economic aspects of the coronavirus pandemic in Oregon.
Just before 6 p.m., the third special session adjourned after the Oregon House and Senate passed all the bills they considered: The $800 million in relief, cocktails to-go, rent relief for landlords, extension of the eviction moratorium and a bill limiting liability of schools for COVID claims.
Protesters arrived early
Protesters gained entry to the State Capitol early Monday and tried again on Monday afternoon to enter while lawmakers convened for a special session.
The Oregon State Police and Salem Police removed the protesters in the morning. The Statesman Journal reported that a smaller group of protestors were successful in entering while protesters outside banged their fists against the doors chanting, “Let us in.”
An unlawful assembly was declared. A total of 4 people were arrested and one other man was being sought.
Those arrested were identified as Ryan Lyles, Ronald Vanvlack, Jerry Dyerson and Jeremiah Pruitt. The man being sought is Jeremy Roberts.
Ryan Lyles, 41, is facing charges including trespassing and assaulting a police officer. They said he used bear spray against police officers.
OSP said they did not use CS gas but did use inert pepper ball.
The legislative session
The House and Senate were scheduled to go to the floor to vote on several bills at 1 p.m. but they didn’t convene until 2:30 p.m. Senate President Peter Courtney said they didn’t have the paperwork needed to start on time.
But they got their work done and passed all the bills. They moved on to Gov. Kate Brown’s desk for her signature.
The bills on the table have to be voted on by both the House and the Senate. The Senate and the House passed the bill that would provide $800 million in relief, including funding for items like vaccine distribution, contact tracing, wildfire prevention and rent relief.
The Oregon Senate also voted to allow restaurants to do cocktails-to-go and limits the fees that 3rd-party platforms can charge a customer for pick-up and delivery orders. Both of those were later approved by the Oregon House.
By a 39-15 vote, the House passed the bill to extend the eviction moratorium through June 2021 and provide rent relief to both tenants and landlords. The bill was approved by the Senate.
Governor Kate Brown called the special session in order for the legislature to allocate $800 million dollars in relief efforts for Oregonians, which could go to help tenants and landlords and providing funding for vaccine distribution, contact tracing and wildfire prevention and preparedness among other pressing issues.