Hill to Hall Feb. 26–27

Feb. 26: Governor Brown authorizes $1.8 million emergency loan for Pendleton to repair 

flood-damaged levee


According to the East Oregonian, Governor Kate Brown announced the state agency Business Oregon will award Pendleton $1.8 million from Oregon’s special public works fund for emergency repairs to the Zone 2 levee damaged by flooding earlier this month. The Oregonian reported a planned $12 million aid package has been delayed by the Republican walkout. The remaining funds would come from the general fund or from lottery revenue, which require legislative approval. AP News reported that other bills held up by the walkout include wildfire mitigation legislation, houselessness assistance and a compromise plan between environmentalists and the timber industry. 


Feb. 26: Umatilla County gathering signatures for separatist group Move Oregon’s Border


The separatist group Move Oregon’s Border started gathering signatures in Umatilla County for a ballot initiative proposing that multiple rural Oregon counties merge with Idaho. The group has already gathered signatures in Josephine and Douglas Counties, according to The Oregonian. The group, whose full name is Move Oregon’s Border For a Greater Idaho, is dissatisfied with what they perceive as an urban, liberal Democratic supermajority in the state legislature that does not align with their values, NPR reported. KPIC News reported the group has planned a rally for March 7 in Roseburg.


Feb. 27: Oregon House Democrats subpoena Republicans to compel return


The Oregonian reported that Democrats on the House Committee on Rules voted to subpoena House Republicans who walked out over Senate Bill 1530, the controversial cap-and-trade bill. The subpoena would require those Republicans to testify on the reasons for the boycott before the committee on March 5. House Speaker Tina Kotek stated to a news conference, “We feel this is within our legal right to ask our colleagues to come back and explain before a committee why they feel it’s okay for them to not do their job,” according to Oregon Public Broadcasting. Kotek said at the conference that a private company has been hired to find the House Republicans who have walked out and serve them with the subpoenas, AP News reported.


Feb. 27: State Sen. Shemia Fagan begins campaign for Oregon Secretary of State


Oregon State Senator Shemia Fagan, D–Portland, announced she will run for Oregon Secretary of State, OPB reported. According to The Oregonian, Fagan said the Republican walkout in the state legislature was “the tipping point” for her decision to run. The report notes that Fagan had hinted in recent weeks that she would run after former House Majority Leader Jennifer Williamson, D–Portland, dropped out earlier this month. Fagan will face State Sen. Mark Hass, D–Beaverton, and Jefferson County Education Service District board member Jamie McLeod-Skinner in the May primary, Willamette Week reported. She has been endorsed by former Secretary of State and former Governor Barbara Roberts.