Salem, OR—Governor Kate Brown today issued the following statement after the Legislature adjourned the 2020 short session:
“Last week, I was saddened but not shocked when Republican lawmakers chose to walk out on their jobs in order to block their remaining colleagues from completing the people’s work. When they denied quorum and shut down government, they did so knowing full well that they put critical state funding in jeopardy — for wildfires, for foster care, for flood relief for Pendleton.
We’ve seen this tactic before, but this walkout — their fifth in ten months — has badly damaged Oregon’s legislative branch.
The vast majority of Republican lawmakers have spent the last ten days on a taxpayer-funded vacation running down the clock. Now, as they continue to stall on doing their jobs, they say they are willing to come back at the eleventh hour for votes on select items they have picked.
That’s not how democratic representation works. First it was about education funding, then about climate change. Every time they don’t like something, they just get up and leave. That’s not compromise. It’s holding Oregonians hostage to ultimatums and political posturing.
When lawmakers all clear out of the Capitol and go home to their day jobs, I will be working with our state agencies to continue to support the work Oregonians care about despite lawmakers’ failure to properly steward and spend taxpayer dollars. We will focus on bracing ourselves during a global health crisis, ensuring health care for our families and shelter for our neighbors, readying ourselves for a tough wildfire season ahead, and protecting our lands and children from the impacts of climate change.
I have always been clear that a legislative solution was my preferred path to tackle the impacts of climate change for the resources it would bring to our rural communities and the flexibility it would provide for our businesses. However, I will not back down. In the coming days, I will be taking executive action to lower our greenhouse gas emissions.
I am open to calling a special session if we can ensure it will benefit Oregonians. However, until legislative leaders bring me a plan for a functioning session I’m not going to waste taxpayer dollars on calling them back to the State Capitol.”