SALEM, Ore. (KOIN) — On Day 21 of the GOP-led walkout in Salem, Senate President Rob Wagner announced Thursday that there would fine for the lawmakers that are participating.
Lawmakers voted in favor of a bill to impose a $325 fine per day for each Senate member racking up unexcused absences until there’s a quorum again.
After the vote, Wagner chastised the missing lawmakers, saying they were “blocking the will of the people in opposition to legislation they personally don’t like.”
“The people of Oregon don’t want kill lists, don’t want backroom deals. They want lawmakers to lift each other up, not tear each other down,” the Senate president said.
In response, Senate Minority Leader Tom Knopp released a statement in which he said his fellow Republicans “don’t feel compelled to entertain (Wagner’s) political theater.”
“In fact, we suggest President Wagner pay our fines since it is his behavior that galvanized our protest,” Knopp wrote.
Senate Majority Leader Kate Lieber, meanwhile, says it’s “time to deliver results for the people of Oregon.”
“Oregonians who do not show up to work don’t get paid. Senators who do not show up need to start returning the hard-earned tax dollars they do not earn,” she stated. “Our communities have urgent problems that require urgent action. Senate Democrats are here every day, ready to take action. Our colleagues in the House on both sides of the aisle are working hard too. It’s time to deliver results for the people of Oregon.”
A majority of Republicans and one Independent senator have stayed away since the walkout began on May 3. The fine will take effect on Monday, June 5.