The window for potential special session is running out

MEDFORD, Ore. – Oregon Gov. Kate Brown may call for a special session this month, focusing on the impacts of the pandemic.

Oregon Speaker of the House, Tina Kotek, is urging Gov, Kate Brown to call the legislature’s third Special Session of the year this month focusing on the pandemic.

“There is a really broad agreement we have an emergency that needs to get addressed as soon as possible,” said State Sen. Jeff Golden.

However, not every legislator believes another special session is necessary.

“Legislators are going to be in regular session here in another month in a half, month and a week. I don’t know why we would have to have another special session,” said State Senate Minority Leader Herman Baertschiger.

One of Kotek’s biggest concerns is extending the eviction moratorium. It’s scheduled to end on December 31.

“There are tens of thousands of Oregonians who might be out on the streets after that and we really can’t let that happen with COVID,” said State Sen. Golden.

But unlike in February and August, a Special Session this month would be held online if the governor declares a catastrophic emergency.

Senators Jeff Golden and Herman Baertschiger told NBC5 News they’d have different priorities if a session is held. However, they doubt anything would come up after the eviction moratorium. Golden also wants to discuss wildfire recovery. Baertschiger wants to address the economy and small business assistance.

In a statement, Gov. Kate Brown’s office said the governor is open to holding another special session if legislators can agree on a succinct list of policies.

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NBC5 News reporter Katie Streit comes from her hometown, Las Vegas. Katie went to the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism & Media Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. While in Las Vegas, Katie won a Student Emmy for her coverage of the Las Vegas Shooting Anniversary. She also hosted and produced the university's political news show, where she interviewed Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak and Congresswoman Dina Titus (NV-1). Her passion for politics turned into a coveted internship at the US Capitol in Washington D.C. In her final months working in the Las Vegas area, she was recognized for her journalism achievements by the Nevada Broadcaster's Foundation. Katie is excited to tell the stories of local Southern Oregonians and Northern Californians. Feel free to contact her at [email protected]
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