Protest at Oregon Capitol as climate bill stalls

Hundreds of people rallied Thursday at the Statehouse in Oregon to show support for Republican Senators who walked out to block a climate change bill. (June 27)

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Republican Senators Killed a Bill By Running Away From the Police

A climate change bill was pronounced dead in Oregon Tuesday, without anybody ever voting on it.

Last Thursday, the Oregon Senate was supposed to vote on HB 2020, a bill aimed at capping greenhouse gas emissions. Senate Republicans opposed the bill, but they were outnumbered on the floor. Even if each of them voted against it, it would almost certainly pass.

So instead of voting on the bill, they fled the state.

Oregon’s state constitution requires that a majority of senators be present for a vote to be held. So Senate Republicans calculated that if they could lay low until the current legislative session ended, the bill might die on its own.

Gov. Kate Brown was not amused by this tactic and sent Oregon State Troopers after them, in an attempt to bring them back and force them to vote.

Sen. Tim Knopp (R-Bend), in an interview at his cabin hideout in an undisclosed location in Idaho, maintained that the actions of his party were a political protest.

“18 percent of my constituents say that they would support increased gas taxes and increase natural gas prices to heat their homes and so on, and [support] losses in manufacturing jobs,” said Knopp. “But the majority of the constituents we represent don’t. So we’re doing the best job we can to represent them.”

Sen. James Manning Jr. (D-Eugene) disagreed. Speaking on Monday, he said that his colleagues across the aisle were sending a message to Oregonians that Republicans are “willing to jeopardize your livelihood… all under the guise that is one bill.”

On Tuesday morning, six days into the Republican walk out, Senate President Peter Courtney announced that the bill was effectively dead.

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Bodies of missing Oregon mother, son found

Authorities have found the bodies of a missing Oregon woman and her 3-year-old son. The boy’s biological father had been charged with killing them before the bodies were found. (June 17)

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Medical pot shrinks with legalization

An Associated Press analysis finds that when states legalize both medical and non-medical marijuana, medical cannabis shrinks. The data show Oregon’s medical marijuana registry shrank the most, dropping nearly two-thirds since 2015. (June 11

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Coach who stopped gunman: I was there to save him

Keanon Lowe, head football coach at Parkrose High School in Portland, Oregon, says he lunged for the gun when he saw an armed student in a classroom on Friday. Angel Granados-Diaz, 19, pleaded not guilty to multiple charges on Friday. (May 21)

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Teen in Oregon school gun case pleads not guilty

A high school senior who authorities say brought a shotgun to a Portland, Oregon, school but was tackled by a security guard before anyone was hurt has pleaded not guilty to gun-related charges. (May 20)

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Kitten recovers after being sprayed with hard foam

A kitten that was encased in hardened spray foam is expected to make a full recovery after being rescued from a garbage can by an Oregon sanitation worker. (May 16)

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Thousands of Oregon teachers walk out over funding

Thousands of teachers are marching through downtown Portland to call for more money for Oregon schools. The Portland protest was one of many statewide as teachers walked out to draw attention to education funding. (May 8)

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Police dog stuck by porcupine during pursuit

An Oregon sheriff’s police dog got into a prickly situation while chasing a suspect. The dog named Odin encountered a porcupine and got 200 quills stuck in its face. Odin had the quills removed and is recovering. (April 23)

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