The Oregon Senate Republicans tonight issued a statement that suggests they are in no hurry to return to the Capitol.
Salem buzzed all day long with speculation about whether and when the senators, absent since June 20, would return to work so that lawmakers can resolve the fate of more than 100 bills awaiting final consideration before the scheduled end of session June 30.
Here's what Senate GOP spokesman Justin Brecht said tonight in a statement:
"Despite the rumors, there has been no deal."
"We appreciate the recent announcement from Senator Courtney that the Senate Supermajority has failed to muster the necessary votes within their caucus to force the massive and burdensome carbon tax onto the backs of Oregon families.
Despite this announcement, several of the Senate Democrats have publicly vowed to push the bill across the Senate floor to the Governors desk. This signals that HB2020 is not dead.
The governor was quoted yesterday on the Capitol steps saying, "The Republicans are not standing against climate change. They are standing against democracy."
We the Senate Republicans stand by our original request and demand that the House and Senate Democrats along with Governor Brown assure that any carbon bill must be referred to ballot so the people of Oregon can make the final decision on this job killing and truly life altering bill."
There is an anti-HB 2020 rally Thursday morning at the Capitol starting with loggers and truckers at 6:30 am, speakers to follow. After that show of strength, it may be the case that lawmakers will figure out some common ground and find a way to finish the session.
Brecht said in his statement Republicans would like to see a carbon reduction bill on next year's ballot:
"The Governor and her Supermajorities have the full ability to send such legislation to the people for a vote. The Senate Republicans do and will support that effort!"