Semi-trucks and tractors surrounded the Oregon Capitol Thursday to show support for GOP lawmakers who agreed Friday to return for weekend sessions.
The protest against climate legislation was held as most of the state senators stayed in hiding, despite Democrats’ assurances that they do not have the votes to pass HB 2020, the cap-and-trade bill that Republicans walked out on June 20, the Associated Press reported. (RELATED: Oregon Democrat Senators Fold Under Pressure After GOP Walkout On Climate Bill)
State Senate Minority Leader Herman Baertschiger, Jr. held a news conference Friday to announce status negotiations with Democrats, which he returned to town late Wednesday to conduct.
“I was disappointed by the barrage of threats from state police, fines and the possible removal of capital construction projects from our districts,” Baertschiger, Jr. in a televised press conference Friday.
“It saddens me that that’s how some people govern in this state,”
Hundreds of truckers rolled into the streets around the Oregon Capitol on Thursday morning to protest the climate bill that has divided the Oregon Legislature largely along party lines. https://t.co/d0af1fx2us pic.twitter.com/Ih6HwvDfuK
— The Oregonian (@Oregonian) June 28, 2019
“I don’t think anyone’s against coming up with a carbon reduction policy but we’ve got to get it right. We have a fragile economy here in Oregon we’re a small state and we have to protect our economy,” Baertschiger added.
Baertschiger said the rogue Republicans would only return if the bill was dead. He said the majority, if not all, of the lawmakers will return for weekend sessions that will be held Saturday and Sunday.
The 11-member Republican walkout kept the Senate from conducting business with two senators short of the necessary quorum of 20. The legislative session ends midnight Sunday, June 30. (RELATED: Oregon GOP Lawmakers Stay On The Lam)
Baertschiger also said the senators had been using personal funds for their travel, and as of now they are still being fined $500 a day.
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