Internet connectivity has been restored at the Oregon State Capitol after a previous power interruption. At 1 p.m., the House and Senate were scheduled to reconvene.
Multiple state agencies were experiencing internet outages as a result of a firewall update, preventing employees from performing their duties and preventing hundreds of legislation from moving forward in the legislative process.
In an email sent to state employees on Wednesday morning (21 June), the Department of Administrative Services characterized the issue as having begun at 7:00 a.m. and as a “SEV-1,” or severity level one, event. Considered a critical occurrence, state technology personnel have made its resolution their top priority.
The issue affected remote connectivity and prevented legislative employees from using their Office applications, according to the email. The department was scheduled to update state employees at 11 a.m.
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The power outage delayed House and Senate floor sessions, initially until 11 a.m., and now until at least 12 p.m., with the possibility of extended delays. Without Internet, the chambers could proceed by printing legislation, but the public would not be able to view live proceedings.
Rep. David Gomberg, D-Otis, told a scattering of legislators, staff, and reporters in the House chamber to return at noon shortly after 11 a.m. The House staff advised members to remain in the building.
Gomberg stated –
“We’ll ask everybody to come back to the chamber at noon with high hopes and great expectations.”
Due to the fact that landlines in the Capitol operate over the Internet, staff were forced to carry communications between the House and Senate because their phones and state email were down.
There is an intermittent connectivity issue, but the Oregon Department of Administrative Services had no further information available immediately. A spokesperson for the agency’s Enterprise Information Services, which oversees cybersecurity, is investigating the matter.
Chris Crabb, a spokesman for the Oregon Department of Emergency Management, stated that staff managing emergency calls switched from logging calls on computers to taking notes with pens and paper. Crabb stated that the transition will not delay the deployment of emergency resources.
Crabb stated –
“We are still covered, just not able to do electronically.”
Through its Oregon Emergency Response System, the agency coordinates resources for emergencies such as natural disasters, search and rescue operations, and highway-blocking landslides.
The state’s campaign finance system and business registry were also affected by the disruption, according to a tweet from the Secretary of State’s office.