August 1, 2020 8:20 a.m.
On Friday, Governor Kate Brown announced that she will convene a Special Session of the Oregon State Legislature to rebalance the state budget by addressing the revenue shortfall created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Brown said the session will start Monday August 10th.
Brown said Oregon families, businesses, non-profits, and local governments have all had to cut budgets. She said the State of Oregon has been tightening its belt as well. Brown said “…With a nearly $1 billion budget deficit in the current biennium, there is more to work to do”.
Brown said the decisions will not be easy. She said Oregon has been smart with its reserves and “…saved for a rainy day, preparing us to weather this economic storm”. Brown said if too much of the savings is used now, there will be an even bigger budget gap in the next biennium.
Brown said “We need to preserve critical services like health care, education and senior services during this pandemic”.
In the proclamation calling for the special session, Brown also noted her support for “…urgent legislation that builds on matters considered in the first special session, including additional police accountability reforms”.
In response Senate Republican Leader Fred Girod said “Senate Republicans have been willing to work on the budget since before the governor called the first special session earlier this summer”. He said “If we diverge from the stated purpose of addressing the budget, this second special session will make a mockery of the legislative process yet again”. Girod said policy bills should be off the table with the focus being on the budget.