Representative Pam Marsh discusses special session
Happened right after that exchange... but heard did not vote in the next motion before the senate went into recess.
Joining us now to talk about today's special session and how those discussions are going as representative pam marsh.
So thank you so much for joining us today.
We really appreciate it.
Glad to be here.
Have there been any discussions made at this point?
Well, we have had, uh, we have a special session committee, um, that was convened and has been at work all morning, hearing the proposals that will come on to the house and senate floors.
Um, they've concluded their work and we expect both the house and the senate, um, to convene probably within an hour.
What are some of the sticking points you could see preventing an aid package for oregonians.
Well, actually i think things are moving ahead.
Um, pretty handily.
There are only four proposals that are scheduled at this moment to go to, to the, to the house and senate floors.
Um, one of them is really a budget item, but it really important budget item.
We're going to be transferring $800 million from the state reserves to the emergency fund that emergency fund can be tapped for covid relief for wildfire recovery.
Um, for rent relief, um, and then for any other, um, issues that have to be dealt with before the session begins in january that's that was the big item.
Then we also have another bill that will continue the current eviction moratorium and create a landlord fund that can be accessed by landlords to reclaim up to 80% of a rent.
That's been unpaid.
Um, we have another bill that provides some restaurant relief.
You may have heard of it as cocktails to go.
We added wine.
So when you order your dinner from a nice restaurant, you can get a couple of margaritas or a glass of wine to bring home with you as well.
Um, and then the fourth pillar is a school-wide ability.
So we're looking toward the months to come.
When we think that k-12 schools will be reopening, um, we want to make sure that if they are following the rules and that's an, that's an, a really important part of it, um, that they can't be held liable for any kind of covid that is contacted onsite.
We've watched is our federal lawmakers struggled to reach an agreement.
Do you see that level of disagreement without our state congress?
You know, there was a lot of negotiation to get us to the point of having the special session today.
Certainly the governor and legislative leaders on both sides really talked about what work we could come together to do.
We're only here for one day.
So we have to make the most of our time, there is not time to sit around and argue about a lot of different things.
So the work was really done.
Pre-session um, and.
We all recognize that if we did not do, for example, this major budget item that we would be in a world of hurt, because we simply wouldn't have money in the emergency board fund to pay for important public health, um, responsibilities by the end of the year.
So it was a pretty cut and dried decision to do that.
Certainly there was a lot of conversation around many different policy items that people wanted to bring forward.
And that eventually got narrowed down to the three that i mentioned.
A discussion about medical liability, um, that took place this morning, the, the committee failed to come to agreement, so that will not be moving forward on the floors.
Assuming some of these bills that are being discussed are passed.
One will oregonian.
See the impacts will changes be immediate.
Yes, they will be particularly for the eviction moratorium.
I mean, without action.
Now, now we hear that the feds are talking about taking some action around eviction.
Um, but without that federal action, if we had not come together today in oregonians who are unable to pay their january rent or who have been unable to pay their rent during the covid emergency.
Would be subject to eviction.
So we'll have that on the ground right away.
Um, we're also certainly hoping some of that money that's going to the emergency board will be allocated in the beginning of january in the case of our region.
Certainly we need some public health money, but we are also really looking toward the e-board for wildfire recovery, representative marsh.