The Oregon Legislature met today for a one-day special session – the third this year – to address ongoing issues around Oregon’s response to the COVID pandemic, as well as the wildfire crisis.
After weeks of negotiations and two public hearings last week, legislators quickly passed a handful of bills:
- HB 4401 establishes a $150 million landlord assistance fund for unpaid rent after April 1, 2020, and extends the residential eviction moratorium until June 30, 2021.
- HB 4402 establishes liability protection for schools and community colleges.
- SB 5731 moves $600 million from the state’s general fund to the Emergency Board for use in wildfire and COVID-19 economic relief. The bill specifies that $100 million will go for wildfire recovery, $400 million for COVID-19 relief and $100 million for uses determined by the Emergency Board, including landlord assistance.
- SB 1801 allows the sale of alcoholic drinks to go, including delivery, as well as the sale of single-serving wine in sealed containers. The bill also caps the maximum fees delivery services can charge restaurants at 15%.
- Lawmakers also considered SB 1803, which would have established liability protections for hospitals and health care providers, but the bill failed. The Salem Chamber, Oregon State Chamber, Oregon Business & Industry, and Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association have been strong advocates for common-sense temporary and targeted liability protections for schools, health care providers, and businesses. The Oregon State Legislature is scheduled to convene for the 2021 long session on January 19th.