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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.

Confirmed Cases: 30060

Reported Deaths: 521
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah6690129
Marion433689
Washington420858
Umatilla288141
Clackamas219961
Malheur147023
Jackson10073
Lane91314
Deschutes73912
Yamhill72114
Jefferson5038
Polk48915
Morrow4775
Lincoln47013
Linn44913
Union4352
Klamath2672
Benton2476
Hood River2400
Wasco2303
Douglas1953
Josephine1802
Columbia1481
Coos1340
Clatsop1060
Baker892
Crook601
Tillamook470
Lake290
Wallowa281
Curry260
Sherman180
Harney120
Grant100
Gilliam70
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 775037

Reported Deaths: 14804
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2572716324
Riverside563741143
San Bernardino51467839
Orange513991115
San Diego43619754
Kern31076340
Fresno27381348
Sacramento20961371
Alameda20162365
Santa Clara19891295
San Joaquin19701407
Stanislaus16150325
Contra Costa15544197
Tulare15486255
Ventura12073141
Imperial11457310
San Francisco1056991
San Mateo9332142
Monterey919765
Santa Barbara8785109
Merced8692131
Kings715877
Sonoma6827114
Marin6505111
Solano605455
Madera427058
Placer338541
San Luis Obispo331627
Yolo272153
Butte270433
Santa Cruz21088
Sutter162110
Napa158713
San Benito126010
Yuba11087
El Dorado10544
Mendocino81718
Lassen7300
Shasta66114
Glenn5473
Colusa4996
Nevada4975
Tehama4853
Humboldt4826
Lake43310
Calaveras30513
Amador28616
Tuolumne2163
Inyo18714
Mono1632
Siskiyou1590
Del Norte1351
Mariposa752
Plumas490
Modoc230
Trinity150
Sierra60
Alpine20
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