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: 132412

Reported Deaths: 1799
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah28237458
Washington18512171
Marion16085238
Clackamas11577138
Lane8219108
Jackson686284
Umatilla670968
Deschutes490736
Yamhill316245
Malheur312452
Linn310246
Klamath242238
Polk241340
Josephine170633
Jefferson168725
Benton168414
Douglas166643
Union110416
Wasco106323
Columbia103318
Lincoln98517
Hood River94821
Coos93315
Morrow92710
Clatsop6695
Crook60410
Baker5665
Tillamook3622
Curry3185
Lake2295
Grant2131
Harney1734
Wallowa963
Gilliam481
Sherman470
Wheeler201
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2955323

Reported Deaths: 33342
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles100392313741
San Bernardino2482851560
Riverside2352352517
San Diego2098972065
Orange2093652320
Santa Clara914661060
Kern83547558
Sacramento802791080
Fresno79950932
Alameda65679757
Ventura59061412
San Joaquin56484748
Contra Costa50627430
Stanislaus41925739
Tulare40176501
Monterey34959249
San Mateo31291294
San Francisco28574254
Imperial24944463
Solano24654105
Santa Barbara23538228
Merced23492296
Sonoma23204234
Kings18661110
Placer16761173
San Luis Obispo15129128
Madera12883130
Santa Cruz11776113
Marin11345153
Yolo10240131
Shasta9594117
Butte9233121
El Dorado751544
Sutter748477
Napa723139
Lassen509413
San Benito485043
Yuba481827
Tehama397142
Tuolumne330438
Nevada309973
Mendocino307631
Amador295329
Lake243428
Humboldt226324
Glenn182419
Colusa16919
Calaveras153823
Siskiyou140813
Mono10834
Inyo92429
Del Norte8472
Plumas5735
Modoc3783
Mariposa3434
Trinity3024
Alpine730
Sierra700
Unassigned00
Medford
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