SALEM, Ore. (AP) – Republican lawmakers returned to the Oregon Senate on Saturday, ending a walkout that began on June 20 over a carbon emissions bill they said would harm their rural constituents.
The minority Republicans returned after Senate President Peter Courtney said the majority Democrats lacked the votes to pass the controversial legislation. The House had previously passed the bill (HB 2020), one of the centerpieces of Oregon’s 2019 legislative session, which is scheduled to end on Sunday.
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. Meanwhile, more than 100 bills have stacked up in the Senate.
HB 2020 was sent to the Rules Committee during Saturday’s session.
KOIN 6 News contributed to this report.