The Oregon Capitol building in Salem. Photo: Chas Hundley

Outgoing House District 32 Representative Tiffiny Mitchell (D-Astoria) called the Gales Creek Journal with an update on the proceedings at the capitol in today’s legislative special session. 

Lawmakers are meeting in Salem today to vote on an $800 million spending package introduced by Gov. Kate Brown to provide immediate state-funded relief for Oregonians financially impacted by COVID-19 or last summer’s wildfires, rent relief for landlords and tenants, and allowing bars and restaurants to sell cocktails to go

Mitchell said she did not know when the current special session will end, but that lawmakers are committed to wrapping up all business by the end of tonight, Monday, December 21. 

“That may mean that we finish at 11:59 p.m. — it’s hard to say,” she said. “Right now many of the bills (that have been introduced) have been distributed to various committees, so it’s all going to depend on how things go.  I’m not on the committees for the bills this session, so I’m not part of the ongoing conversation around the final language on them.”

Mitchell said if lawmakers end up disagreeing on some of the policies under consideration — for example, there isn’t 100 percent agreement on liability bills — the legislature could get pulled into a position of having to stay in special session longer.

“The last I heard, though, the commitment from both parties and chambers was to finish this by tonight,” she said. 

Click on the following links to view live video from the House Chamber and the Senate Chamber.