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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: 70832

Reported Deaths: 885
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah15875232
Washington997499
Marion9017137
Clackamas585377
Umatilla430149
Lane420241
Jackson364428
Malheur237942
Deschutes222814
Yamhill164816
Linn138522
Polk116816
Douglas91217
Jefferson80811
Union7715
Benton7667
Klamath7604
Morrow6517
Lincoln61315
Wasco51919
Josephine5104
Columbia4783
Coos4182
Hood River3941
Clatsop3510
Baker2723
Crook2176
Grant1341
Curry1292
Tillamook1230
Lake1171
Harney961
Wallowa713
Sherman230
Gilliam220
Wheeler30
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 1185576

Reported Deaths: 19089
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Los Angeles3877937604
San Bernardino902221129
Riverside857741437
San Diego76359996
Orange750951577
Kern40337448
Fresno37724481
Sacramento35854566
Santa Clara32985476
Alameda28857505
San Joaquin25738502
Contra Costa23571261
Stanislaus21460424
Tulare20649308
Ventura19058175
Imperial15862356
San Francisco15156160
Monterey14750116
San Mateo13715170
Sonoma11922157
Merced11537179
Santa Barbara11277135
Kings1047587
Solano1003681
Marin7628129
Placer635468
Madera604785
San Luis Obispo596435
Shasta471847
Yolo462675
Santa Cruz426928
Butte389459
Sutter314415
Napa298817
El Dorado22174
Yuba198110
San Benito183716
Lassen17733
Tehama161225
Mendocino148522
Nevada11849
Tuolumne9088
Glenn8928
Lake89019
Humboldt8509
Colusa6946
Siskiyou6242
Mono5273
Amador52016
Calaveras47822
Del Norte3131
Inyo29016
Plumas2050
Trinity1390
Mariposa1282
Modoc1250
Alpine470
Sierra190
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