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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: 387485

Reported Deaths: 5116
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah59768836
Washington41571393
Marion39592504
Clackamas32426376
Lane29856354
Jackson24672350
Deschutes23182185
Umatilla15087180
Linn14488178
Douglas13236286
Josephine10057240
Yamhill9665142
Klamath8979145
Polk813698
Benton605137
Malheur591586
Coos5573106
Columbia423855
Jefferson416865
Lincoln357252
Union336854
Crook330156
Wasco314846
Clatsop258335
Baker217531
Tillamook214345
Hood River211337
Morrow197025
Curry190136
Harney119332
Grant108314
Lake104016
Wallowa74713
Sherman1903
Gilliam1844
Wheeler1141
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 5057759

Reported Deaths: 74098
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles152224027074
San Diego4047084319
Riverside3849455306
San Bernardino3718825944
Orange3329505675
Sacramento1674002423
Kern1565171781
Fresno1558992246
Santa Clara1511691922
Alameda1246581499
San Joaquin1070001833
Ventura1036461188
Contra Costa1032921045
Stanislaus910641413
Tulare856141082
San Francisco56614669
San Mateo56058627
Monterey52340625
Solano47422356
Santa Barbara47035548
Merced44807664
Sonoma42912412
Placer41881468
Imperial38128769
Kings35038358
San Luis Obispo31294358
Madera26005311
Shasta25917440
Butte25295309
Santa Cruz22028222
Yolo21451257
Marin18342248
El Dorado18166161
Sutter14494181
Napa13372104
Yuba1070088
Tehama10230129
Humboldt10043117
Nevada9914103
Mendocino848894
Lassen792355
San Benito775977
Tuolumne767790
Lake6990110
Amador573766
Siskiyou470954
Glenn455136
Calaveras435685
Del Norte371242
Colusa323519
Inyo254345
Plumas19127
Mono18294
Mariposa156718
Trinity98817
Modoc7475
Unassigned2430
Sierra2170
Alpine1060
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