Oregon’s Democratic governor, Kate Brown, has dispatched state troopers to find missing Republican senators and bring them back to Salem to legislate.
All 11 Republican senators are in hiding, at least some of them out of state, in order to prevent the Senate from having the quorum it needs to operate. They can’t abide the Democrat-backed carbon cap and spend bill that is up for a Senate vote today.
When Republicans failed to show up on the Senate floor for today’s 11 a.m. session, Senate President Peter Courtney of Salem, a Democrat, asked the sergeant at arms to search the Capitol for the missing lawmakers. That search proved fruitless.
In response to the walkout, Courtney formally requested that Brown dispatch Oregon State Police troopers to round up the missing Republicans.
Brown quickly granted that request. “It is absolutely unacceptable that the Senate Republicans would turn their back on their constituents who they are honor-bound to represent here in this building,” she said in a statement. "They need to return and do the jobs they were elected to do.”
Speaking on the partially vacant Senate floor, Courtney said, “I apologize to the citizens for taking (state troopers) off the streets to look for (missing lawmakers)."
Oregon’s constitution allows the majority party to “compel” the attendance of absent members of the legislature. The process is rarely used, though.
While a carbon cap is a pretty good excuse for civil disobedience, I don't approve of legislators going on strike. Show up, get voted down, and sit and watch your state descend into Venezuela with Doug Fir. If you can't be good, you can always be a bad example.
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