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Hill to Hall August 10–12

Aug.10: Oregon Legislature convenes and concludes special session

Oregon lawmakers started and ended a one-day special session Monday, fixing deficits in the budget due to the COVID-19 pandemic and passing a measure further restricting the use of chokeholds by police. The session, according to AP News, was primarily focused on balancing a $1.2 billion hole in the state budget left by the pandemic. In 15 hours, the legislature passed 11 bills, including H.B. 4301, which prohibits the use of chokeholds by either police or correctional officers, unless it is for self defense as defined by law. 


Aug. 11: Supreme Court halts Oregon redistricting measure

In a Tuesday ruling, the U.S. Supreme court issued an emergency stay halting the effort of government watchdog groups to put a measure on the November ballot, which would create a nonpartisan commission in charge of drawing legislative and congressional districts. Previously, U.S. District Court Judge Michael McShane ruled the campaign, “People not Politicians,” should get additional time to meet a lower signature threshold to get the measure on the November ballot, according to The Oregonian. It was granted by Oregon Secretary of State Bev Clarno. Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum requested the current stay from Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan last month, arguing McShane’s ruling “encroaches on the state’s sovereign authority to determine for itself the process by which its own constitution can be amended.” The appeals court will now have to decide on the case for the measure to move forward. 


Aug. 12: Dan Ryan wins city council special election

Dan Ryan won the special election for commissioner seat two on Portland City Council. According to OPB, Ryan, the former head of an education nonprofit, declared victory Wednesday morning after 95% of the vote was counted and Ryan was ahead by 5,000 votes. Ryan defeated his opponent, Loretta Smith, by 51-48% of the vote. Ryan and Smith were the top two out of 18 candidates in the May primary for the position to finish the term of former commissioner Nick Fish, after his passing in January. However, in the runoff, only 39% of registered Portland voters cast a ballot.