Top News
Isro looking at July 21-22 for Chandrayaan-2 re-launch  ||   'El Chapo' sentencing, Puerto Rico protests, NFL training camps: 5 things to know Wednesday  ||   Saradha chit fund case: Former TMC MP Kunal Ghosh appears before ED  ||   Here's where you can have 4-day work week. Is this the next big thing?  ||   Fresh batch of 4,584 pilgrims leaves Jammu for Amarnath  ||   LEADING OFF: Angels streaking, Homer's odyssey, Reds-Cubs  ||   July deals: How and where to get free food – from chicken to ice cream – plus discounts  ||   El Chapo awaits life in prison sentence by US judge  ||   Government to auction 41 new coal blocks 'very shortly'  ||   'El Chapo' sentencing, Puerto Rico protests, NFL training camps: 5 things to know Wednesday  ||   India, China respecting bilateral pacts for peace at border: Rajnath Singh  ||   JuD chief Hafiz Saeed arrested in Lahore: Pak media  ||   Karnataka crisis: Rebel MLAs welcome SC verdict; BJP claims govt won't last  ||   How many Americans with $1 million feel wealthy? Fewer than you may think.  ||   Israel Aerospace signs $50 million follow-up deal with Indian Navy  ||   Donald Trump is not America's first racist president, but hopefully he'll be our last  ||   Kanwar Yatra kicks off: A look at what it entails  ||   Iran says minister’s missile remarks meant to challenge US  ||   Death toll climbs to five after quake in eastern Indonesia  ||   How many Americans with $1 million feel wealthy? Fewer than you may think.  ||            

11 Oregon Republican senators have vanished, possibly having fled the state. Now 100 pieces of legislation are at risk of dying  3 Weeks ago

Source:   USA Today  

SALEM, Ore. — A landmark bill that would have placed economy-wide caps on greenhouse gas emissions in Oregon does not have the votes to pass the Senate, Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem, said Tuesday.

There are still 11 Oregon Republican state senators missing, having fled Salem in protest of the cap-and-trade bill. The legislators say such a bill would harm Oregonians, especially those in industries such as logging.

Gov. Kate Brown has authorized the Oregon State Police, whose jurisdiction ends at the state border, to locate the absent senators and return them to the Capitol building.

It's believed that most of the 11 Republicans have fled the state, possibly to Idaho.

As the Oregon Senate Republicans for the fifth time ignored a scheduled Senate floor session Tuesday, staff and lawmakers in both chambers are taking a serious look at the bills that would die if they don't return.

Senate Democrats have circulated a list of about 100 bills headed for the trash pile, including budget bills for a number of state agencies, top priority bills for the governor and Democratic legislative leadership, and even Republican-sponsored bills designed to assist rural Oregonians. 

Declining to show up for the floor session means the Senate lacks a quorum needed to conduct business and pass House Bill 2020. With 18 members in the Senate, Democrats are in the supermajority, but they need two Republicans to reach a quorum of 20.

The state Constitution requires that the 2019 legislative session end on June 30, at which point all bills not passed by both chambers of the Legislature would die. A five-day extension of the session is possible, but would require a two-thirds vote in each chamber.

Senate Republicans also are incurring a $500 fine per missed session, which was levied by the Senate on Thursday.

Behind the scenes, phone conversations between Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem, and Senate Republican Leader Herman Baertschiger Jr., R-Grants Pass, continued Sunday and Monday.

Those conversations were described by legislative staff as the first steps of seeing what it might take to get at least two Republicans to attend a floor session — far from in-depth policy negotiations.

"No deal with the Democrats has been made," Baertschiger said in a statement Monday. "I have been in communications without any results and nothing has been determined. My caucus and I intend to remain out of the state."

Legislative staffers added that there is also some disagreement among Democratic senators about what path should be taken to bring their Republican colleagues back into the Capitol. 

Brown has said that she will call a special session of the Legislature starting July 2 if it adjourns without completing its work. 

Of the work that might be left undone, much hang-wringing is being done over failing to pass state agency budgets as required by the Constitution.

Co-chair of the Legislature's budget-writing committee Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, D-Beaverton, said that there are significant investments in the budgets that would benefit rural Oregon.

These include money for 40 additional Oregon State troopers; a package of funding to deal with wildfires; more resources for predator control and invasive-species management; and bonding for levee maintenance. 

There also is money for additional caseworkers to help alleviate problems in the state's beleaguered foster-care system. 

"To paint this as an urban-rural divide is missing a big chunk of what’s really going on here," Steiner Hayward said. "There are a lot of things in our budgets and in our policy bills and in our bonding bills that are really important for rural Oregon."

The Legislature did pass a continuing resolution that would allow the vast majority of state agencies without a budget to work off their 8th quarter funding levels.

Steiner Hayward said those current budgets are not sufficient and would not include any of the additional resources that the Legislature intends to put into the agencies.

Legislative leaders and the governor have priority bills on the chopping block that have already passed the House of Representatives, including bills that would refer a tobacco tax increase to voters; allow undocumented immigrants to get driver's licenses; create a paid family medical leave program; modify the death penalty; and change housing zoning laws to allow for more affordable housing.

“I am deeply concerned about the current situation Senate Republicans have put us in and the amount of legislation still pending," House Democratic Leader Jennifer Williamson, D-Portland, said in a statement. "Every member of the House is fulfilling our commitment — for the sake of every Oregonian, I hope the Senate Republicans will join us before it’s too late.”

The walkout began Thursday after Senate Republicans the day before offered a series of significant changes to HB 2020 — the greenhouse gas emissions bill — which were shot down. Their top request was to remove the bill's emergency clause. Removing that clause would allow the bill to be referred to voters so they can decide its fate.

The Senate met without a quorum Friday, and had planned to meet Saturday before Oregon State Police identified a threat from militia groups and suggested they cancel the session. 

The Senate convened briefly Sunday, met with around 150 protesters amid an increased police presence on Capitol grounds.

The House of Representatives has continued to do business as usual.

More News
About Us Terms & Conditions Disclaimer
Advertise Contact
register and win

NRIS.COM is one of the premier NRI website that provides a range of resourceful services to Indian expats residing in the USA. Visiting the site you will find comprehensive information related to restaurants, casinos, pubs, temples, carpool, movies, education, real estate, and forums. The simple and easy to navigate format allows NRIs to gain information within a fraction of a second. Moreover, advertising through its column of Indian free classifieds in USA allow businesses to improve visibility of their brand.

CT NRI's Chat (0 Users Online)