Oregon's governor sends police to find AWOL GOP senators

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on June 21, 2019 - Duration: 01:18s

Oregon's governor sends police to find AWOL GOP senators

Oregon's Democratic governor dispatched the state police on Thursday to bring back to the legislature Senate Republicans who left the Capitol in order to scuttle a vote on climate change legislation.

Linda So reports.

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Oregon's governor sends police to find AWOL GOP senators

NATS: "I need you, the legislature needs you, the people of Oregon need you." A plea from Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney to 11 Senate Republicans who'd gone AWOL.

Courtney even went to the governor, asking that she send state troopers to bring his colleagues back.

The GOP senators hadn't shown up in the chamber on Thursday as part of an effort to scuttle a vote on climate change legislation.

That meant Democrats were unable to move forward on the bill; Senate rules require a quorum of at least 20 members to be present for votes to be taken.

Negotiations over the state's climate change bill that seeks to reduce Oregon's greenhouse gas emissions have been acrimonious.

Republican Senator Brian Boquist has said if state police come for him, they should quote "send bachelors and come heavily armed." But Governer Kate Brown says, the police are committed and ready.

SOUNDBITE: OREGON GOVERNOR KATE BROWN, SAYING: "I am confident that our Oregon state police can do their jobs, their tactical and operations information will be available shortly." Senate Republicans who are in the minority have few options to block the bill.

Their walkout is an attempt to run out the clock until the legislative session ends on June 30th.

But the governor has already vowed to call a special session the first week of July if lawmakers don't show up.

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