AWOL OR GOP could snarl DMV


No legislation getting done as Republicans remain absent from Capitol

SALEM, Ore. (KOIN) — The walkout by Republican lawmakers in Salem could mean even longer lines at the DMV offices later this year.

In just a few months, Oregon will start issuing Real IDs at the DMV offices, a new type of driver’s license/ID card you’ll need to board an airplane beginning October 1, 2020. It’s part of a new federal requirement. Without it, you’ll need a passport to get through airport security.

When Oregon rolls out the Real ID program on July 6, huge lines at DMV offices around the state are expected. The DMV received funding for 49 extra people last session and they asked for funding for 50 more. That would allow the DMW to have special Saturday hours at some locations to deal with the Real ID crunch.

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Republicans, though, continue to be absent from the Capitol and many of them, such as Keizer Sen. Kim Thatcher, are out of state.

“We have no idea how this is going to affect our communities our constituients or districts but we are being asked to vote and say ‘Trust us’ or vote no on something so gargantuan,” Thatcher told KOIN 6 News Friday. “I just really thing what we are doing by denying the quorum is upholding our responsibilities and our oath of office.”

Without the Republicans, there is no quorum. Without a quorum, nothing can get done.

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Thursday, Democrats subpoenaed the AWOL Republicans to appear at a House committee on March 5. It remains to be seen if the GOP will honor the subpoenas.

The short legislative session is scheduled to end March 7. It is possible Gov. Kate Brown could call for a special session later.

For now though, nothing is getting done. Which is why you might see long lines at the DMV later this year.

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