December 22, 2020 •
Oregon Lawmaker Pass COVID-19 and Wildfire Relief Bills Despite Disruption from Protestors
The Oregon Legislature gathered in person for a one day special session on Monday.
During the session, lawmakers passed four bills including $800 million in relief for those struggling due to the pandemic and the aftermath of the historic summer wildfires.
Gov. Kate Brown called for the special session last week.
Lawmakers also passed:
- An eviction moratorium including $200 million in relief for landlords and tenants
- A restaurant relief package with a provision legalizing cocktails to-go
- A bill protecting schools from some coronavirus related lawsuits
- A measure transferring $600 million into the state’s emergency fund for COVID-19 and wildfire response and recovery.
The special session got off to a chaotic start with far-right protesters storming the statehouse calling on lawmakers and the governor to reopen the state economy and end the restrictions aimed at curbing the coronavirus.
The Oregon State Police declared an unlawful assembly as a growing number of protesters pushed their way through the Capitol doors.
Police officers donned gas masks as they squared off with protesters, some of whom carried firearms and bear spray, and many of whom were not wearing masks.
Despite the hectic backdrop, lawmakers were able to finish the special session.
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