PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Oregon State Legislature adjourned Sunday evening after senators considered a flurry of bills in two days.
The 160-day session adjourned after sending Gov. Kate Brown a new two-year state budget and dozens of policy priorities.
A fuller picture of the two-year budget won’t be made available until July. But the Legislature approved millions of dollars to increase funding for higher education, the foster care system and public safety.
Lawmakers also rushed through major legislative priorities including an increased tobacco tax and a paid family and medical leave program.
Republican senators returned after a 9-day walkout over a carbon emissions bill they said would harm their rural constituents.
The departure of the 11 Republicans had prevented the Senate from reaching a quorum to vote on the bill that was aimed at countering climate change. They left the state after Gov. Kate Brown ordered the state police to bring them to the state capitol.
“The significant accomplishments this Legislature achieved were many years in the making and will benefit Oregonians for many years to come,” House Speaker Tina Kotek said in a statement.
Senate Majority Leader Ginny Burdick (D-Portland) said this legislative session was historic in her time.
“For more than 40 years, our state has been trying to figure out how to adequately fund schools. This session, we created billions of dollars in dedicated, sustainable school funding that will help our children get ahead. It will help us improve graduation rates and keep our kids engaged in school so they grow into productive adults,” she wrote in a statement.
The Oregon House Republican Office released a statement saying this session was “an indictment against one party rule.”
House Republican Leader Carl Wilson said “Oregon is on the wrong track,” and that Brown and the supermajority “have no intention of looking out for the working people of this state who want nothing more than to feed their families, keep a roof over their heads, and ensure a better future for their children.”
More than 100 bills stacked up in the Senate during the walkout.
Highlights from this weekend:
The Associated Press contributed to this report