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Governor Brown invokes state police as Republicans hint at walkout over cap-and-trade

Senate Republicans have threatened to pursue 'other options' if the Democratic majority insists on passing a controversial cap-and-trade bill.

Posted: Jun 19, 2019 12:32 PM
Updated: Jun 19, 2019 12:32 PM

SALEM, Ore. — Politicial barbs over the future of a controversial bill to address climate change through cap-and-trade escalated on Wednesday, with Governor Kate Brown saying that she would pursue a special session to make sure all bills see a vote.

Senate Republicans made an offer on Tuesday to "suspend the rules and pass all budget bills," but indicated that they would pursue "other options" over voting on House Bill 2020, the cap-and-trade bill that passed Oregon's House this week.

“Senate Republicans are willing to stay in the building and suspend the rules to pass all budget bills and do the work of the people. However, we are prepared to take action to stop HB 2020," said Senate Republican Leader Herman Baertschiger, Jr. (R-Grants Pass). "The bill makes the urban-rural divide stronger than ever because the biggest polluters are in Oregon’s large cities. It is fundamentally inequitable to put the responsibility of cleaning up their pollution on the backs of rural Oregonians."

Republicans disappeared from the Capitol for four days in early May, protesting a bill for education funding that instituted a tax on businesses. They returned after Democrats, including Governor Brown, negotiated to give up several of their priorities for the session.

That agreement killed a bill that would have ended philosopical exemptions for vaccines and another bill that would have instituted comprehensive gun control measures. Governor Brown also indicated at the time that there would be consequences if Republicans attempted to deny a quorum once again, according to reporting by the Associated Press.

On Wednesday Gov. Brown sent her reply to the apparent threats of Senate Republicans, saying that she was preparing for a special session to ensure that all planned votes would be held.

"We ask for, and take on responsibility, as elected representatives of the people of Oregon to show up and speak up on their behalf. I’m disappointed in the Senate Republicans’ indications of a walkout, which would silence their constituents while stifling democracy. It’s not only dishonest, it violates the oaths they took to speak for their constituents as well as the word they gave to their colleagues and to me.

"People place their lives on the line to protect our democracy, and it’s a slap in the face of those sacrifices for the Senate Republicans to turn their back on respectful dialogue just because they don’t agree with others in the conversation," Gov. Brown said.

Her statement then indicated the possible 'consequences' she had hinted at previously.

"I am prepared to use all resources and tools available to me as Governor to ensure that Oregonians are being served by their leaders," Gov. Brown said. "I am in close communication with Oregon State Police and my office is making preparations for a special session to be held on July 2, 2019, in the event that the business of this state does not conclude by Sine Die. We will stay in Salem to work until our job is done."

Both federal and state governments in the U.S. have a storied (if not proud) history of "quorum busting" — the practice of a minority party denying the majority enough votes to pass legislation by avoiding the chamber. However, lawmakers are also vulnerable to being compelled to attend a vote by state police. In some cases, state lawmakers have even fled their own state in order to accomplish the tactic.

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
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