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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Malheur Occupation Costs Oregon Taxpayers $500,000

Chris Lehman
Northwest News Network
Oregon Governor Kate Brown addresses reporters at the state Capitol Tuesday.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown wants state lawmakers to approve roughly $500,000 in emergency funding to cover costs associated with the armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

Brown said the money will help offset the estimated $100,000 per week that local and state agencies are spending on law enforcement. An armed group seized control of the refuge headquarters on January 2.

Brown said she hopes that Oregon taxpayers ultimately won't be on the hook for the full cost of the occupation.

"This issue is on federal jurisdiction,” the governor said. “The federal authorities are in control of the situation and I would expect that the state of Oregon would be reimbursed."

Brown sent a letter to the White House and U.S. Justice Department last week urging a "swift resolution" to the situation. The Democrat told reporters in Salem Tuesday that she's been in ongoing conversations with federal officials, but she didn't elaborate on the substance of those talks.