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Oregon lawmakers delay meetings over protest concerns

Oregon Capitol protest KPTV 1221
Protesters gather at Oregon Capitol during Dec. 21, 2020 special session

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon lawmakers will delay by at least two days much of the substantive work of next week’s beginning of the Legislature because of warnings from law enforcement about the possibility of violent protests.

The Legislature will convene on Tuesday, Jan. 19, but state House and Senate have cancelled floor sessions and committee hearings, and there will be no in-person meetings.

Senate President Peter Courtney, a Democrat from Salem, said the decision was made after consulting with police.

Before a mob of pro-Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol last week, Oregon lawmakers last month saw a violent crowd enter the state Capitol, fight with police and damage the building.

“There’s concern that they don’t quite know what the level or the intensity of the demonstrations might be because of what’s happened before to the Oregon Capitol … and in D.C.,” Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem, told the Statesman Journal.

Courtney said delaying the substantive start of the regular legislation sessions was one of several recommendations made by Oregon State Police and approved by legislative leadership. Concrete blocks were placed in front of the Capitol in late December, and the first-floor windows will soon be boarded up with plywood.

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Article Topic Follows: Crime And Courts

The Associated Press


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