Oregon Gov. Kate Brown authorized the state police to bring Republican state senators back to the Capitol building Thursday after all 11 members fled Salem to deny Democrats the opportunity to pass a sweeping greenhouse gas emissions cap-and-trade bill.
“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,” Brown said in a statement. “They need to return and do the jobs they were elected to do.”
A vote on House Bill 2020 was scheduled for Thursday morning.
Declining to show up for the floor session means the state Senate lacks the quorum needed to conduct business. With 18 members in the Senate, Democrats hold the majority, but they need two Republicans to reach a quorum of 20.
Republicans said they are walking out in part because Senate Democrats broke their word. Part of the deal that ended Senate Republican’s previous walkout this session was a promise from Democrats that there would be a “reset” on HB 2020.
Before then, Republicans complained that they were being kept out of closing negotiations.
When they were finally allowed a seat at the table, Republicans said none of their suggestions were adopted in meaningful ways.