SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Gov. Kate Brown will call lawmakers back to the Capitol beginning Aug. 10 to try to fill a billion-dollar budget hole due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Business closures have caused tax revenues to plunge and legislators need to deal with a more than $1 billion budget deficit for the current two-year spending plan. Oregon Public Broadcasting reports that under a framework released earlier this month, that could involve closing two state prisons. Also, a special committee charged with looking into police reforms following the killing of George Floyd has been working on measures that could bolster limits on tear gas and chokeholds and change the system by which police discipline cases are settled.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The first nightly protest in Portland, Oregon, since a deal was struck for federal agents to withdraw from the city was largely peaceful after state troopers took over protecting a federal courthouse. The demonstrations that started Thursday night and stretched into early Friday were in sharp contrast to two weeks of violent clashes between protesters and the federal agents sent to Portland by President Donald Trump. State and local officers stepped up their presence as part of a deal forged with Democratic Gov. Kate Brown. At the latest protest, hundreds of demonstrators gathered to listen to speeches about a block from the courthouse, with little sign of a law enforcement presence.
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Trump administration is proposing to restrict what land and water can be declared as “habitat” for imperiled plants and animals. The move could potentially exclude areas that species could use in the future. The proposal obtained by The Associated Press in advance of its public release for the first time defines habitat for purposes of enforcing the Endangered Species Act. That could have broad implications on how far the government must go to protect plants and animals sliding toward extinction. Legal observers said the two-sentence definition would restrict the areas that officials can designate as critical to the surival of species.
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — The U.S. government says four huge dams on the Snake River in Washington state will not be removed to help endangered salmon migrate to the ocean. Friday’s announcement thwarts the desires of environmental groups that fought for two decades to breach the structures.The Final Environmental Impact Statement was issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation and the Bonneville Power Administration, and sought to balance the needs of salmon and other interests.The plan calls for spilling more water over the dams at strategic times to help fish migrate faster to and from the ocean.