Republican senators have been missing from the Oregon legislature for nearly a week after holding a walkout in response to House Bill 2020.
Both local democrats and republicans held rallies today in downtown Bend, each with opposite views on whether or not state senators should return to Salem to vote on the ‘Cap and Trade’ bill. The bill would require companies in the utility, transportation and industrial sectors to buy emission allowances to cover each metric ton of pollution that their operations emit.
Eleven republican senators left the state to deny democrats a quorum for a vote on the bill, but democrats say these senators were elected to represent more than a million Oregonians across the state and have a responsibility to return to the capitol to do just that.
On the other side republicans say the bill is useless and is just an excuse to raise taxes across the state. They’re also praising senate republicans for doing, what they say, “needs to be done.”
Senate President Peter Courtney did announce on the Senate floor this morning that the bill does not have enough votes to pass because not enough democrats support the bill.
Republicans could return to the capitol as early as Thursday but want confirmation that the bill will not pass before they return.