Dems offer concession on vaccines to end Republican walkout

A state lawmaker says Senate Democrats are willing to drop a controversial vaccine proposal to coax Republicans back to the Oregon capitol.

Posted: May 13, 2019 2:48 PM
Updated: May 13, 2019 3:46 PM

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Republicans in the Senate returned Monday to the Oregon Capitol after a multiday walkout to vote on an education tax proposal after Democrats agreed to drop a controversial vaccine proposal among other possible concessions.

Three Republicans appeared on the Senate floor in the afternoon, giving the chamber enough members to conduct business.

The bill, which had already passed the House, was in response to a measles outbreak in the Pacific Northwest that sickened more than 70 people. The outbreak was recently declared over but the national measles count has hit its highest in decades.


CLICK HERE for more on the vaccine bill in question, which passed the House last week.


The proposal would have ended families' ability to opt-out of school vaccination requirements for personal, philosophical or religious reasons. On Friday Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed a similar measure into law.

"This bill was about saving lives, protecting children and ensuring our shared immunity from dangerous and preventable diseases," said Oregon Rep. Cheri Helt, the Republican from Bend behind the vaccine proposal. "It's disappointing that once again the loudest, most extreme voices in our politics prevailed and the sensible-center and thoughtful policy-making lost."

Senate Republicans walked out last Tuesday, May 7 to protest a proposed half a percent tax on some of Oregon's wealthiest businesses. The tax, expected to raise $1 billion a year, would affect less than 10% of all businesses and is planned to be funneled into the classroom to help educators boost student performance and decrease class sizes.

But opponents said the tax will lead to higher prices for consumers and that the money will be diverted to pay down outstanding pension costs. Republicans had wanted the tax proposal sent back to committee and substantive changes to the state's Public Employment Retirement System, which is more than $25 billion in debt.

Democrats responded by releasing their long-awaited pension fix on Friday, offering to shield public employers from the brunt of upcoming interest rate hikes by refinancing the debt and diverting money from employees' individual pension accounts.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 175121

Reported Deaths: 2460
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah34937568
Washington23491229
Marion20195299
Clackamas15386204
Lane11591144
Jackson9923127
Umatilla796883
Deschutes712972
Linn416063
Yamhill410175
Klamath349059
Polk344252
Malheur342858
Josephine306362
Douglas304765
Benton273218
Jefferson207032
Coos197531
Columbia154526
Union141624
Lincoln130220
Wasco129128
Hood River112529
Morrow107915
Clatsop8958
Crook88019
Baker85814
Curry5959
Tillamook5813
Lake4137
Grant4124
Harney3066
Wallowa1575
Sherman570
Gilliam561
Wheeler251
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3718210

Reported Deaths: 61038
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles122899723653
Riverside2972154525
San Bernardino2947794555
San Diego2749603674
Orange2689624896
Santa Clara1170812013
Kern1078591322
Sacramento1011721646
Fresno1005621646
Alameda853671477
Ventura802301000
San Joaquin714311334
Contra Costa67019782
Stanislaus603831028
Tulare49383829
Monterey43267357
San Mateo41157560
San Francisco36032523
Santa Barbara33896446
Solano31875239
Merced31196452
Sonoma29696311
Imperial27987719
Kings22774245
Placer21751283
San Luis Obispo20917256
Madera16260239
Santa Cruz15571204
Marin13861226
Yolo13580200
Shasta11677217
Butte11573196
El Dorado9719109
Napa966679
Sutter9268109
Yuba609844
San Benito598663
Lassen566924
Tehama543056
Nevada445775
Tuolumne406664
Mendocino398747
Amador362551
Humboldt358737
Lake340943
Glenn235725
Colusa219816
Calaveras205551
Siskiyou194021
Inyo141738
Del Norte12747
Mono12734
Plumas6906
Modoc4884
Mariposa4247
Trinity3985
Sierra1100
Alpine880
Unassigned610
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