UPDATE: The Governor has officially authorized State Police to bring back Senate Republicans.
–Here’s the AP’s story on today’s events–
None of the Oregon Senate’s 12 Republicans appeared for a vote on what could be the nation’s second statewide cap and trade law.
Senate President Peter Courtney has requested the governor to deploy the state police to physically compel members back to the Statehouse.
Members will be fined $500 a day starting Friday for every day Republicans continue to delay a vote.
Courtney says he “had no choice” but to call the Oregon State Police and adds “this is the saddest day of my legislative life.”
He begged Republicans to return to take a vote calling their behavior “extraordinarily dangerous and explosive.”
Under a cap and trade program, the state would put an overall limit on greenhouse gas emissions and auction off pollution “allowances” for each ton of carbon industries plan to emit.
Here’s the press release:
(Salem, OR) — Governor Kate Brown today released the following statement on the Oregon Senate’s request for assistance of the Oregon State Police to bring back the Senate Republicans:
“After many hours of well-intentioned, respectful negotiations on Wednesday, the Senate has come to an impasse. The Senate Republicans have decided to abandon their duty to serve their constituents and walk out. The Senate Democrats have requested the assistance of the Oregon State Police to bring back their colleagues to finish the work they committed to push forward for Oregonians. As the executive of the agency, I am authorizing the State Police to fulfill the Senate Democrats’ request. It is absolutely unacceptable that the Senate Republicans would turn their back on their constituents who they are honor-bound to represent here in this building. They need to return and do the jobs they were elected to do.”
SALEM, Ore. (AP) – Gov. Kate Brown is prepared to extend the legislative session and mobilize the Oregon State Police force if Senate Republicans follow through on a threat to block a vote on a sweeping climate plan.
The governor said Wednesday she is getting ready to extend the session past the end of June if Republicans walk out. She said will also send the state police to physically bring members back to the Senate if they don’t show.
Democrats in Oregon control both the House and the Senate. The GOP has used walk outs as a way to slow the legislative process.
Brown struck a deal last month to put an end to a four-day Republican walkout over a school funding tax package. The governor tabled controversial legislation on guns and vaccines in exchange for a promise from Republicans that they wouldn’t walk out again or delay votes.
Brown says the threat of a second walkout amounts to a “slap in the face.”