Police searching for Oregon Republicans who skipped town to dodge vote on climate change bill

Oregon lawmakers are running from the law.
Republican state senators fled from the state Capitol Thursday in a bid to prevent a vote on major climate change legislation, leaving chambers notably quiet and without a necessary quorum. Democratic Gov. Kate Brown, however, showed little patience for the ploy and authorized State Police to find the missing politicians and bring them back to Salem.
Brown additionally called for a $500 fine for the 11 fleeing Oregon Senators for every day they remain missing. She vowed to collect the fees starting Friday if lawmakers don’t return to cast their vote on the cap-and-trade bill.
They’ve reportedly left the state, making their escape into Idaho. KOIN reported troopers have been given authority to arrest those who refuse to willingly return to work, though officers have said they will go to great lengths to avoid such confrontations.
“The Senate Republicans have decided to abandon their duty to serve their constituents and walk out. The Senate Democrats have requested the assistance of the Oregon State Police to bring back their colleagues to finish the work they committed to push forward,” Brown said in a statement.
“As the executive of this agency, I am authorizing the State Police to fulfill the Senate Democrats’ request.”
The governor continued on to call the move “absolutely unacceptable” and slammed the missing lawmakers for turning “their backs on their constituents who they are honor-bound to represent in this building.”
Under the new, sweeping climate change legislation, Oregon would put an overall limit on greenhouse gas emissions and auction off pollution “allowances” for each ton of carbon industries intend to emit.
Critics of the bill have said it will result in a detrimental effect on Oregon’s rural communities, prompting carbon-producing businesses to foist the extra cost onto consumers.
Senate Republican Leader Herman Baertschiger Jr. defended the walkout and accused the majority party of bullying.
“We have endured threats of arrest, fines and pulling community project funds from the governor, Senate president and majority leader,” he said.
“We will not stand by and be bullied by the majority party any longer.”
GoFundMe campaign aimed at covering fines for the wayward lawmakers has already exceeded its $20,000 goal. The fund-raiser raked in more than $22,000 in less than 24 hours.
“Please support their decision to protect your family against this disastrous bill. All the money raised will pay for expenses for the senators,” the page reads. “The ruling majority has prohibited them from raising funds on their own.
Police searching for Oregon Republicans who skipped town to dodge vote on climate change bill Police searching for Oregon Republicans who skipped town to dodge vote on climate change bill Reviewed by CUZZ BLUE on June 22, 2019 Rating: 5

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