March 3: Governor Brown prepares for coronavirus management in Oregon
Oregon Governor Kate Brown spoke with Vice President Mike Pence on what Oregon is doing to combat the recent coronavirus outbreak. According to Oregon Public Broadcasting, she requested 400,000 respirator masks, gowns and gloves, disposable protective suits and up to 100 ventilators, as well as increased flexibility on criteria for testing for the COVID-19 virus. There are concerns about whether rural hospitals in Oregon are prepared to handle an outbreak of the virus. According to AP News, concerns center around staffing shortages in the event that rural hospitals are forced to operate at a consistently higher volume due to the virus.
March 5: Democratic candidates Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Warren and Bloomberg drop out
Following the ending of Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign, Senator Amy Klobuchar
ended her bid for the Democratic presidential election. The same day, Klobuchar endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden at a campaign rally, CNN News reported. Senator Elizabeth Warren dropped out of the Democratic presidential race after low poll support following Super Tuesday, according to The Oregonian. After a successful beginning, the former frontrunner failed to win any states on Super Tuesday. Warren has yet to announce any endorsements. Michael Bloomberg ended his presidential race after unfavorable Super Tuesday results, according to The New York Times. The former mayor of New York City backed former Vice President Joe Biden in the Democratic presidential race.
March 5: Oregon legislative short session ends after GOP Walkout
Oregon’s fifth short legislative session ended early amid a walkout by Republicans, leaving many bills on the congressional floor. The unanswered bills include flood aid to eastern Oregon, assistance for the houseless and changes to wildfire fighting policy, according to OPB. The 2020 legislative session closed without the cap and trade bill, which prompted the Republican walkout. According to AP News, Republican Senate Leader Herman Baertschiger Jr. said his party would only return to vote on emergency budget bills. House Democrats announced they would be calling the Emergency Board and ask Governor Kate Brown for executive action on the climate bill, according to a press release from the Oregon House Democrats. In response to the short session, Brown announced she would take executive action to lower greenhouse gas emissions similar to the cap and trade bill, OPB reported.