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Is There Any Bipartisanship Left In The Session?
Current challenges to shut-down orders

The Oregon House Republican Caucus announced last week that in response to new shutdown orders from the Governor’s office, they want to pull bipartisan bills to the House floor to bring up proposals with sponsors from both parties that would roll back COVID-19 executive orders and require additional accountability.

They are following the bipartisan actions of Legislatures in New York, Texas and Michigan, where state lawmakers seek to restore balance to government decision-making.

The following bills have bipartisan support: This week, New York’s legislature repealed several coronavirus-related executive orders, nearly two months after stripping Governor Andrew Cuomo of pandemic-era emergency powers. Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins, a Democrat, explained the decision by saying it is time to begin removing certain restrictions and regulations that are no longer necessary to rebuild the state’s economy.

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

In Oregon, Governor Kate Brown has exercised emergency powers which grant authority to enact widespread restrictions on commerce, education and public gatherings without any checks and balances. The newest shutdown orders do not reflect the current situation.

Today the personal protective equipment supply situation is different, the vaccination situation is different, and the treatment of patients has evolved as well. Furthermore, the regional collaboration among hospitals has been developed over the course of the pandemic.

Severe cases of COVID-19 are also less common now because nearly 70 percent of Oregon’s at-risk population is fully vaccinated. Hospital rates for parts of the state like Southern Oregon are also not increasing, yet the new shutdowns impact businesses in those communities.

House Republicans point out that despite these changing circumstances, the response from the Governor’s office has not changed. “The Legislature is in Session and we have a duty to engage.

"Oregonians need to have a balance of power between the separate branches of government again,” said House Republican Leader Christine Drazan (R-Canby.) “The decision to shut down businesses this week contradicts the newest CDC recommendations by not accounting for vaccinated individuals in Oregon. Furthermore, our businesses allow people to gather in places with standardized safety measures. There is no evidence that shutting them down will have an impact on transmission rates. If COVID guidelines in Oregon continue to ignore CDC guidelines to the detriment of families, kids and our main street businesses, we must restore the Legislature’s ability to hold the executive branch accountable.”

“There’s zero evidence that we’re anywhere close to running out of hospital capacity in Marion County from COVID-19 cases,” added Marion County Commissioner Colm Willis. “We have plenty of PPE and because of vaccinations we aren’t seeing the same high level of severity in overall cases who need hospitalization. On top of that, there is zero data to suggest that restaurants have ever been a top contributor to COVID-19 transmissions. Shutting businesses down won’t change the numbers.”

This week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidance that lifted many restrictions for vaccinated individuals, including dining at the same table without masks and social distancing.

Many Oregonians are suggesting that Governor Kate Brown should quit hiding behind her mask, follow federal guidance and open the state.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2021-05-04 16:06:02Last Update: 2021-05-04 19:58:45



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