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Oregon sends police to bring back Republicans who left state over climate bill

Oregon Democratic Gov. Kate Brown on Thursday authorized state police to locate Senate Republicans and bring them back to the state Capitol after some left t...

Posted: Jun 21, 2019 3:51 AM

Oregon Democratic Gov. Kate Brown on Thursday authorized state police to locate Senate Republicans and bring them back to the state Capitol after some left the state to block the chamber's proceedings.

After more than eight hours of fruitless negotiations late into Wednesday night, Republican state senators in Oregon walked out of a session on Thursday over disagreements on HB 2020, a cap and trade climate bill. All 11 GOP senators failed to appear later Thursday for floor proceedings, leaving the legislative body two senators short of a quorum, according to Kate Kondayen, a spokeswoman for Brown.

At least some of the senators have left the state, according to a statement from the Oregon Senate Republicans, and the wife of one of them says they are all in Idaho at an undisclosed location.

"They all left and are in Idaho. I don't have a way of contacting him," Peggie Boquist, wife of Oregon GOP Sen. Brian Boquist, told CNN when asked the location of her husband.

Brian Boquist met Brown's initial warning to lawmakers by telling TV station KGW: "Send bachelors and come heavily armed. I'm not going to be a political prisoner in the state of Oregon. It's just that simple."

The Oregon State Police said in a statement to CNN on Thursday that it is complying with the governor's "lawful directive," and "utilizing established relationships to have polite communication" with the missing senators.

"While we obviously have many tools at our disposal, patience and communication is and always will be our first, and preferred, option," the police said.

A view of the Senate chamber in Oregon on Thursday revealed empty seats during roll call, as the senators were marked "absent." The absence prompted Brown to authorize a request from Senate Democrats to "bring back their colleagues to finish the work they committed to push forward for Oregonians."

"As the executive of the agency, I am authorizing the State Police to fulfill the Senate Democrats' request," Brown's office said in a statement. "It is absolutely unacceptable that the Senate Republicans would turn their back on their constituents who they are honor-bound to represent here in this building. They need to return and do the jobs they were elected to do."

The state Senate Republicans said in a statement Thursday that they "made the decision to walkout and have left the state to protest cap and trade because it should be referred to the ballot so every Oregonian has a voice."

The passage and signing of HB 2020 would have Oregon join 11 other states that use market-based approaches to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The bill would place a "cap," or an overall limit on emissions, and then would provide a mechanism to sell fuel providers "emission allowances." State Republicans argue that the measure should be referred to a state ballot rather than voted on in the Legislature.

"Protesting cap and trade by walking out today represents our constituency and exactly how we should be doing our job," Senate Republican Leader Herman Baertschiger Jr. said in a statement Thursday. "We have endured threats of arrest, fines, and pulling community project funds from the Governor, Senate President and Majority Leader. We will not stand by and be bullied by the majority party any longer."

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 135142

Reported Deaths: 1832
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah28678460
Washington18867175
Marion16394242
Clackamas11789138
Lane8467110
Jackson700485
Umatilla685671
Deschutes507339
Yamhill322846
Malheur316453
Linn314949
Polk249240
Klamath246944
Josephine178535
Benton174314
Jefferson171225
Douglas170943
Union112516
Wasco109123
Columbia105418
Lincoln100417
Hood River96121
Coos95215
Morrow94510
Clatsop6925
Crook62911
Baker5765
Tillamook3692
Curry3235
Lake2365
Grant2131
Harney1784
Wallowa973
Gilliam511
Sherman470
Wheeler201
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3074812

Reported Deaths: 35060
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles103873814416
San Bernardino2569141560
Riverside2510002676
San Diego2185552174
Orange2165092508
Santa Clara949051129
Kern87240572
Fresno83200968
Sacramento811831128
Alameda68649788
Ventura62774462
San Joaquin58843788
Contra Costa53349460
Stanislaus43121766
Tulare42186515
Monterey36464255
San Mateo32887309
San Francisco29502266
Solano25983107
Santa Barbara25405243
Imperial25333474
Merced24570316
Sonoma24184242
Kings19588148
Placer17490184
San Luis Obispo16056140
Madera13528151
Santa Cruz12461113
Marin11732159
Yolo10789138
Shasta9750123
Butte9528128
El Dorado788649
Sutter782879
Napa767244
Lassen519916
San Benito500346
Yuba499627
Tehama433244
Tuolumne340340
Nevada323474
Mendocino319232
Amador302431
Lake262531
Humboldt242725
Glenn194820
Colusa17969
Calaveras162123
Siskiyou145713
Mono11244
Inyo98329
Del Norte8672
Plumas5895
Modoc3853
Mariposa3464
Trinity3044
Sierra820
Alpine730
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