Lawmakers return to Salem for special session

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon lawmakers return to the Capitol for the second special session of 2020.

But the question remains if the session, which begins Monday, will be solely dedicated to rebalancing the state budget thrown out of whack because of the COVID-19 pandemic or if bills altering policy, such as those addressing police reform, will be added to the agenda.

Tasked with filling a $1.2 billion budget hole, leading lawmakers have proposed cuts totaling $387 million across state agencies and utilizing $400 million in emergency funds from the Education Stability Fund.

While some lawmakers predict the session could be completed within a day or two, that time frame could be lengthened depending if the Legislature decides to focus on the budget or to also include bills altering policy, such as ones surrounding police reform following more than two months of sometimes violent protests in Portland after George Floyd’s killing.

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