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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: 8931

Reported Deaths: 208
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah223969
Marion153947
Washington137920
Clackamas75124
Umatilla5334
Union3421
Lincoln3242
Deschutes1830
Lane1653
Linn1519
Polk14912
Yamhill1268
Malheur1241
Klamath1230
Jefferson1180
Jackson1170
Hood River880
Benton845
Wasco731
Morrow641
Clatsop490
Douglas420
Coos410
Josephine331
Columbia300
Lake190
Tillamook110
Crook100
Wallowa100
Curry70
Baker40
Grant10
Harney10
Sherman10
Gilliam00
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 238681

Reported Deaths: 6169
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1056653405
Riverside18041463
San Diego14623370
Orange14413345
San Bernardino12746258
Imperial652397
Alameda6156136
Fresno528975
Kern476876
Santa Clara4572158
Tulare4323128
San Joaquin391454
San Francisco364850
Sacramento339768
San Mateo3311108
Contra Costa324877
Ventura309646
Santa Barbara289629
Kings250434
Marin239419
Stanislaus231044
Monterey169115
Solano140225
Sonoma11857
Merced113111
Placer72411
San Luis Obispo6422
Yolo55524
Madera5415
Santa Cruz3993
Napa3334
San Benito2392
Lassen2330
El Dorado1980
Sutter1973
Butte1892
Humboldt1334
Shasta1294
Nevada1171
Glenn1150
Yuba941
Mendocino850
Tehama821
Lake790
Colusa590
Del Norte511
Mono421
Calaveras400
Inyo321
Siskiyou310
Tuolumne300
Mariposa271
Amador240
Plumas100
Alpine20
Trinity20
Sierra10
Unassigned00
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