SALEM, Ore.– Senate Republicans announced Tuesday they plan to return to the Senate on the very last day of the legislative session.
The walkout is currently is now in its 15th day Tuesday.
Now, Republicans are announcing they won’t return until June 25th.
In a press release, Senate Republicans said Democrats and Senate President Rob Wagner are threatening to shut down the government if Republicans don’t end their walkout.
Democrats said if Republicans refuse to return, they will adjourn and put a continuing resolution in place to let agencies operate as they normally would.
Ashland Democrat Senator Jeff Golden said, “we are saying that’s not how a legislature works. You go away to prevent votes on everything you don’t like and then you come back and pass the budgets and call yourself good responsible legislators. That doesn’t quite fly.”
Golden said the walkouts are an example of why Measure 113, which prevents legislators from running for re-election after having 10 unexcused absences, is ineffective.
He said even though he voted for the measure, he hopes to make changes to ensure walkouts like this don’t happen.
Golden still hopes Republicans will rejoin the Senate, but he doesn’t think its likely to happen at this point.
NBC5 reached out to the senate minority leader’s office, as well as Senators David Brock Smith, Art Robinson and Dennis Linthicum for interviews Tuesday.
Senate Republican Leader Tim Knopp released a statement:
“Democrat leadership including President Wagner are threatening to shut down the government if they don’t get their way. That is no way to govern.
We guarantee that we will be back before constitutional sine die to address the issues most important to Oregonians.”
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