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Oregon's Republican walkout ends, cap-and-trade bill 'dead'

At a press conference in the Republican caucus office on Friday, the Senate Minority Leader signaled that a walkout over HB 2020 was at an end.

Posted: Jun 28, 2019 10:44 AM
Updated: Jun 28, 2019 2:48 PM

SALEM, Ore. — Oregon's Senate Minority Leader Herman Baertschiger (R-Grants Pass) held a press conference at the Capitol in Salem on Friday, indicating that a Republican walkout over controversial cap-and-trade bill HB 2020 was at an end.

"The bill is dead," Sen. Baertschiger said firmly, citing assurances from Senate President Peter Courtney, Governor Kate Brown, and members of the Democratic caucus who had planned on voting against the bill.

Sen. Courtney had previously indicated that the bill was dead already, with enough Democrats planning to vote against it that it had no hope of passing — even if the Republicans were to return and provide a quorum.

"Denying a quorum is something that should never be used until we get to a point where we no longer will talk," the Senate Minority Leader said. He indicated that he had initially opposed the idea, but was out-voted by other members of the Republican caucus, prompting them to leave the state and scatter in different directions.

At present, Sen. Baertschiger said that he was alone in returning to the Capitol. However, he said that he anticipated the other 10 Republican Senators of the "Oregon 11" would be returning to the building on Saturday, ready to vote on vital budget bills that have languished in their absence.

On Thursday, hundreds of truckers, farmers, loggers and other supporters of the Republican walkout gathered at the Capitol in Salem. Long convoys of semi-trucks streamed inexorably down the highways to parade in front of the building that Republican Senators had shunned more than a week prior.

"We had a rally yesterday that was unprecedented in the history of Oregon — it was rural Oregon," Sen. Baertschiger said. "I want you to know that these people came from hundreds of miles across the state. And that's why we walked."

While supporters of the cap-and-trade bill have lauded it as a necessary step for addressing climate change and moving toward greener industries, opponents have skewered it as a death knell for Oregon's traditional logging, trucking, and agriculture companies that employ thousands throughout the state — particularly in rural communities.

"I don't think anyone is against coming up with a carbon reduction policy," the Senate Minority Leader said. "But we've got to get it right."

The legislative session ends by midnight on Sunday night. According to Sen. Baertschiger, there would be "no need" for a Special Session, and that his caucus was prepared to vote on all remaining budget bills first, followed by policy bills.

This is a developing story, and NewsWatch 12 will update the article with more information as it emerges.

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
Out of CA00
Medford
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Very small chance for showers Saturday, dry and mild for Sunday
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