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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