Oregon legislature summoned for another special session

Oregon

Special session slated to begin August 10

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Oregon legislature will return August 10 for another special session called by Governor Kate Brown on Friday.

This special session, scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. on that Monday is designed to rebalance the state budget after a revenue shortfall brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement, Brown said the state faces a nearly $1 billion budget deficit in the current biennium and noted the decisions won’t be easy.

“Oregon has been smart with our reserves and saved for a rainy day, preparing us to weather this economic storm. But if we use too much of our savings now, then we’ll be stuck with an even bigger budget gap for the next biennium. Putting off tough decisions this summer will only leave us with impossible choices next January,” she said.

In a statement, Senate President Peter Courtney said the legislature is constitutionally required to balance the state budget.

“COVID-19 upended our economy and put state services at risk. We need to address the budget. Key budget legislators have been working on this for months, now is the time to get it done,” he said. “We have another long session coming in January. Now is the time for the budget. That must be our mission this special session.”

The last special session ended June 26.

Senate President Peter Courtney said 24 bills passed during that session, more than 600 pieces of public testimony were submitted and over 100 people gave virtual committee testimony in only 3 days.

The state legislature passed bills that ranged from restricting police use of force to allowing people with developmental disabilities into hospitals during the pandemic.

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