Brown calling lawmakers back for special session on COVID, wildfire relief

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.

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