PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Some agencies could be affected by an ongoing Republican walkout in the Oregon Senate as the remaining lawmakers are left unable to pass state budgets without the lawmakers in attendance.

By Oregon law, the legislature has until July 1 to pass budgets for 2024, but that may not happen if not enough Republicans return to the Senate floor.

Oregon is one of only four states in the U.S. that requires 2/3 of lawmakers to be present to make a decision, as opposed to a simple majority.

The state already has a continuing resolution in place until September, meaning agencies will stay open and operate at current spending levels. But there are a couple of new agencies that are supposed to get their own funding — like the Oregon Fire Marshal’s Office.

The office has always been part of the Oregon State Police, but as of July 1, it will be on its own, with its own building in Salem. 

It was originally expected to receive millions of dollars in funding. Sen. Elizabeth Steiner, a co-chair of the Ways and Means Committee, said the office will continue operating with its current budget, but new critical resources could be left hanging in the balance.

There is also a new Department of Early Learning and Care that’s set to open on July 1 that will focus on creating better, more affordable childcare options. Its funding is now also uncertain.

State school budgets could also take a hit. Many schools are in the midst of cuts, and without an end in sight for the Salem stalemate, they are left unsure whether they will get the money they planned to receive without the approval of a new state budget.

In early May, Republican lawmakers chose to walk out in opposition to legislation that would protect abortion rights, gender-affirming care and gun control. By walking out, they prevent a vote on such bills before the June deadline.

Oregon voters across the state voted for Measure 113, which aimed to stop walkouts by punishing lawmakers with 10 or more unexcused absences. Should someone miss 10 days of session, they would lose their ability to run for re-election.

But that didn’t stop the walkout. Currently, there are 10 senators — nine Republicans and one Independent — beyond the limit.

Stay with KOIN 6 as this story develops.