PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Negotiations to end a Republican walkout have reached a standstill as state senators reach nearly a month out of office in protest of legislation protecting Oregonian’s right to abortion and gender-affirming care.

In a statement issued Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Tina Kotek shared her disappointment in the ongoing walkout — saying that the window to achieve mutual policy goals in the current legislative session “is getting more narrow by the hour.”

“After a week of productive conversations and continued attempts to work with the Senate Republican caucus to revive a number of their priorities, I am disappointed that Senator Knopp has made clear to me that there is not a path forward unless House Bill 2002 is substantially amended or dead,” Kotek said. “It is clear from my conversations that negotiating on House Bill 2002 is not an option. The bill has already passed the House and is scheduled for a floor vote in the Senate, where it has broad support. Today, the Senate Republican walkout is entering its fifth week and is already the longest in Oregon history.”

The walkout began on May 2, with Republican legislators decrying increased gun restrictions, abortion and gender-affirming care. The lawmakers claimed the bills under consideration are “unreadable.” 

“Laws are to be plainly written and easy to understand,” according to a release from the Senate Republican Office. “When the majority of bill summaries written demand a post-graduate degree to understand what the bills do, we disenfranchise Oregonians across the state and violate the law in the process. It’s apparent that there are those in state government who think they can skirt around the rules to facilitate their extreme agenda by any means necessary.”

As of Wednesday, May 31, ten senators – nine Republican senators and one Independent senator – have reached 20 days of unexcused absences.

According to Oregon law, these legislators have risked their chances for reelection by surpassing a 10-day absence limit approved by voters in November 2022.

Measure 113 aimed to stop walkouts by barring any lawmaker with 10 or more unexcused absences from reelection.

However, Republicans expect to challenge the measure in court based on how these unexcused absences are determined. Two senators involved in the current walkout say they can still run for reelection due to what they say is an error in the way Measure 113 was written.

If the walkout continues, the Senate president could shut down the session before June 25. The governor could then call a special session to vote on budget bills, such as funding for schools, police and social services.

Stay with KOIN 6 as this story continues.