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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.

Confirmed Cases: 32994

Reported Deaths: 547
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah7204138
Marion469594
Washington454060
Umatilla298741
Clackamas242061
Malheur163327
Lane123417
Jackson11615
Deschutes85212
Yamhill76213
Jefferson5418
Polk53215
Linn52213
Morrow5056
Lincoln48213
Union4462
Benton3146
Wasco2963
Klamath2802
Hood River2520
Douglas2334
Clatsop2170
Josephine1982
Columbia1791
Coos1570
Baker942
Crook621
Tillamook530
Lake330
Curry310
Wallowa311
Sherman180
Harney120
Grant100
Gilliam80
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 812711

Reported Deaths: 15633
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2684556515
Riverside589321206
San Bernardino54482925
Orange534481216
San Diego46734776
Kern31994369
Fresno28441382
Sacramento22356406
Santa Clara21241314
Alameda21240406
San Joaquin20245441
Contra Costa16640206
Stanislaus16471356
Tulare15970263
Ventura12775150
Imperial11852317
San Francisco11195101
Monterey995372
San Mateo9897150
Santa Barbara9090113
Merced8872142
Kings765180
Sonoma7412122
Marin6730118
Solano640065
Madera453965
Placer358745
San Luis Obispo356229
Butte283344
Yolo281555
Santa Cruz23609
Sutter170511
Napa169013
San Benito134811
Yuba11537
El Dorado11304
Mendocino93418
Shasta88317
Lassen7400
Glenn5783
Tehama5735
Lake55511
Nevada5377
Colusa5316
Humboldt5088
Calaveras31714
Amador29616
Tuolumne2274
Inyo18815
Mono1662
Siskiyou1650
Del Norte1391
Mariposa752
Plumas500
Modoc270
Trinity160
Sierra60
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Medford
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