1st Special Session of 2020 Is Underway

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Representative Smith Warner


Today, the Oregon Legislature convened a special session to address coronavirus relief, including extensions of the eviction and foreclosure moratoriums, and police accountability. We have the opportunity right now to make meaningful progress on long-entrenched issues and provide the aid that so many are desperate to receive. I look forward to joining my colleagues from across the state and across party lines this week to do what is right for every Oregonian.To keep up with everything happening in the Joint Committee on the First Special Session of 2020, click here. You will be able to watch hearings on proposed bills online and review instructions for how to submit testimony on proposed legislation.


Bills Being Considered                                                                                                        Many of the bills to provide relief for Oregonians suffering from the pandemic were already debated and vetted in the Joint Special Committee on Coronavirus Response, which held hours of hearings and meetings in March when the pandemic first hit. Several others had broad bipartisan support in the regular 2020 session. Here are a few of those bills that are being brought up during the special session:

SB 1604                                                                                                                                  This bill would prohibit an arbitrator from lessening disciplinary action against a law enforcement officer if the arbitrator and the law enforcement agency determine that the officer has committed misconduct. 

SB 1605                                                                                                                                 This bill modifies Oregon’s  Promise program to extend eligibility to certain Oregon foster children who attain their highest level of education while in out-of-state placements.

SB 1606                                                                                                                                  This bill clarifies the rights of those with disabilities to receive equitable medical care, including the right of a person with a disability to have a support person present.

HB 4204                                                                                                                                      This bill would establish temporary limitations on lenders being able to enforce default remedies on obligations secured by mortgages, trust deeds, land sale contracts or other instruments.

HB 4211                                                                                                                                    This bill provides technical fixes that clarify the timing of when the Department of Education is required to make transfers from the Fund for Student Success. 

HB 4213                                                                                                                                      This bill prohibits residential and commercial evictions up to 90 days after the emergency period has ended.

Staying Safe and Social Distancing In the Capitol                                                            The legislature is taking the appropriate precautions to ensure that we are conducting business in the safest way possible. Infectious disease experts from OHSU toured the Capitol and reviewed the legislature’s mitigation efforts to make sure we are doing everything we can to protect public health while fulfilling the urgent work the Governor called us in to do. Among the protocols being utilized by the legislature are: 

  • Minimized staffing 
  • Required Masks 
  • Cleaning protocols
  • Social distancing measures to minimize contact with other folks while in the building. 
  • Limits, within the bounds of the Governor’s executive order, to the number of people who can be within the chamber. 

Rental Relief and Energy Assistance Funds Available                                                      Earlier this month state lawmakers unanimously allocated $95 million in Coronavirus Relief Funds to Oregon Housing and Community Services for housing stabilization, rent assistance and energy assistance.The rental relief funds were distributed to Community Action Agencies (CAAs) across the state. Eligible tenants must have had their ability to pay rent impacted by the current pandemic and live at or below 80% in area median income (AMI) of the county for which they reside. To access these resources in Multnomah County you can do the following: 

  • CALL: 211 or 1-866-698-6155 (Language interpreters available by phone)
  • TTY: dial 711 and call 1-866-698-6155
  • TEXT: your zip code to 898211 (TXT211) (text and email in English and Spanish)
  • EMAIL: help@211info.org 
  • WEB: search for resources online: https://www.211info.org/search-resources 
  • You can visit 211info.org or call 2-1-1. The full list of Community Action Agencies, funding allocation amounts and service territories with contact information can be found HERE.

Oregon Health Authority Increases Contact Tracing Statewide                                      The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) released an update to the number of COVID-19 case investigators and contact tracers statewide. As of June 15, the current statewide total of county and state contact tracers is now about 600 people, an increase of 359 from a prior survey conducted in late April. Funding opportunities are available for community based organizations (CBOs) throughout the state to aid COVID-19 response efforts, including contact tracing and strategies that are most responsive to the needs of people of color, people with disabilities, immigrant and refugee communities, Tribes, Migrant and Seasonal Farm Workers and LGBTQIA+ communities. For more information on what you can expect if contacted by local public health staff, and other important information please visit healthoregon.org/contacttracing or healthoregon.org/rastreodecontacto 

Please reach out to my office if you have any additional questions, or if there’s anything you think I could help with. 



Representative Barbara Smith Warner
House District 45

email: Rep.BarbaraSmithWarner@oregonlegislature.gov I phone: 503-986-1445
address: 900 Court St NE, H-295, Salem, OR 97301
website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/smithwarner