SALEM, Ore. – After Oregon Governor Kate Brown ordered Oregon State Police to bring Republicans back to the State Senate, OSP representatives are issuing a response.
Senate Republicans decided to walk out of Senate proceedings to protest HB 2020, legislation they call an economically stifling “cap-and-trade” bill. Democrats, however, see the bill as a necessary way to help mitigate climate change.
After the staged walkout, Governor Brown told OSP to bring back Senate Republicans so they can “finish the work they committed to…”
On the afternoon of June 20, OSP issued the following statement:
State Senators left the Salem area before various bills made it through our legislative process to a final vote. A bill cannot move forward to a vote without a quorum. The departure of the Senators leaves the Senate without the minimum number of members required to constitute a quorum, so the legislative process has stalled.
Consistent with the provisions in the Oregon Constitution, the Senate President requested the assistance of the Oregon State Police to bring Senators back to the capital to resume the legislative process. Consistent with her authority under Oregon law (ORS 181.050), the Governor has directed OSP to provide that assistance.
OSP has assisted in resolving a similar situation in the past, and, with the help of diplomats from both sides of the aisle, the Department has done so in a peaceful, gentle, and process-supporting way which allowed members of our Legislature to return to work without forfeiting the good relationships essential to moving forward collaboratively and productively.
Oregon State Police serves the Governor in her elected role as leader of Oregon’s Executive Branch of government, and she has now given a lawful directive which OSP is fully committed to executing. OSP is utilizing established relationships to have polite communication with these Senators. While we obviously have many tools at our disposal, patience and communication is and always will be our first, and preferred, option.
OSP will work with the Governor’s office and members of the Legislature to find the most expeditious way to bring this matter to a peaceful and constructive conclusion.
No further information will be provided at this time.
You can read HB 2020 here: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2019R1/Measures/Overview/HB2020