SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Gov. Kate Brown is calling Oregon lawmakers back to the Capitol for a one-day special session, asking them to approve hundreds of millions of dollars to aid people and communities struggling with the pandemic and the effect of this summer’s devastating wildfires.
In a statement Tuesday Bown said the Legislature would convene Dec. 21 and consider $800 million in relief funding.
“Oregon families are struggling with unemployment, housing, food insecurity, and paying their bills — and those most impacted are the same people who are often left behind, including rural, Black, Indigenous, Latino/Latina/Latinx, Asian, Pacific Islander, and Tribal communities,” the Democrat said in a statement.
Since the start of the pandemic in Oregon, more than 95,000 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed and 1,161 people have died. Shutdowns and restrictions imposed because of COVID-19 have also caused widespread job losses and business closures.
Deadly wildfires in late summer also burned about 1,500 square miles across the state and destroyed more than 2,000 residences.
Advocates for housing implored lawmakers to extend an eviction moratorium, saying up to 40,000 households faced eviction.
“We hope that lawmakers are planning to take action to extend the eviction moratorium and create a landlord compensation fund to ensure that COVID doesn’t bring a lifelong economic setback for Oregon working families,” Alison McIntosh of the Oregon Housing Alliance, sad in a statement.