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Oregon Gov. Kate Brown calls mid-August special session to cut state budget

Oregon lawmakers will return to Salem for a second special session Aug. 10, Gov. Kate Brown announced Friday. In this file photo, Senate lawmakers assembled for the first special session in June and many wore masks to protect against spreading coronavirus. (Brooke Herbert/Oregonian)
Oregon lawmakers will return to Salem for a second special session Aug. 10, Gov. Kate Brown announced Friday. In this file photo, Senate lawmakers assembled for the first special session in June and many wore masks to protect against spreading coronavirus. (Brooke Herbert/Oregonian)
By Hillary Borrud Oregonian

Oregon lawmakers will reconvene at the state Capitol Aug. 10 for a special session focused on cuts to close a more than $1 billion budget shortfall, Gov. Kate Brown announced on Friday.

Legislators have known since earlier this year that they had to return to Salem for a second special session to patch the budget, after Brown decided their first special session would focus on police accountability laws.

The governor’s decision to call lawmakers into session could be a concession that the state is unlikely to receive any budget assistance from Congress, a possibility Brown and public employee union leaders cited earlier in the summer as a reason to delay the second special session. But the U.S. House and Senate remain far apart on a new COVID-19 relief package and the Republican-controlled Senate’s plan contains no money to address shortfalls in state and local government budgets.

“For months, we have waited for Congress to take action, and it is still my hope that they will include aid for states and local governments in the coronavirus relief package currently being negotiated,” Brown said.

The governor also encouraged lawmakers to consider passing further “urgent legislation that builds on or remains from the first special session,” according to her proclamation calling lawmakers into session, which was reported by nonprofit health news site the Lund Report.

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