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The controversial House Bill 2020, which places a cap on greenhouse gas emissions, has been deemed dead by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown.

Senate President and top Democrat in the chamber Peter Courtney announced Tuesday, June 25, that his caucus did not have the votes needed to pass House Bill 2020. Senate Republicans walked out last week denying the Democrats the 20-member quorum necessary to conduct business. Gov. Brown released a statement just after the announcement was made.

“Senate Republicans have blocked a bill that provides a better future for our state and for our children, and the tactics they employed to do so are not just unacceptable, but dangerous,” Brown said. “The Republicans are driving us away from the values that Oregonians hold dear and are moving us dangerously close to the self-serving stalemate in Washington, DC."

Senate Republican Leader Herman Baertschiger, Jr. (R-Grants Pass) was pleased to hear that the Democrats could not garner the necessary votes. However, he is still trying to sort out the process of what comes next.

“The bill itself has been second read and a vote will have to take place,” Baertschiger, Jr. said. “Republicans must be assured that the vote or motion will guarantee the bill’s complete end. We need to have further conversations so that the Republicans feel comfortable with the process."

At this time, it is unclear if the Senate Republicans will return to the Capitol by the state legislature’s scheduled adjournment on June 30. If they decide not to return, more than a hundred budget and policy bill and resolutions that are still pending in legislature could die as well.

Gov. Brown said this week that she would not negotiate with the Republicans until they returned and has challenged them to prove her wrong.

“Are they against climate change legislation or are they against democracy?” Brown said. If they are not back by Wednesday afternoon, we will know the answer.”

It should come as no surprise to anyone in Oregon that the 2019 Legislative Session in Salem has been one of the most difficult in anyone’s me…

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