Oregon Lawmakers Considering First-Ever Catastrophic Special Session - State and Federal Communications

November 19, 2020  •  

Oregon Lawmakers Considering First-Ever Catastrophic Special Session

Oregon Senate Chamber - photo by Cacophony

Lawmakers on Wednesday signaled support in using a provision from the state constitution never before used.

Under the provision, Gov. Kate Brown can declare a catastrophic disaster.

In addition, she can convene a special legislative session under looser rules than lawmakers would normally abide by.

Legislators likely would not be required to appear at the Capitol for such a session, eliminating concerns about spreading the coronavirus.

The House and Senate also could operate without a two-thirds quorum of lawmakers in attendance.

If Gov. Brown does declare a catastrophic emergency, it can only last for 30 days unless extended by lawmakers.

A spokesperson for Brown stated the governor is open to holding another special session if legislators can agree to a succinct list of policies addressing Oregonians’ most pressing needs.

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