Ten days after Oregon Republicans walked out of the Senate, the legislature's Democratic leaders adjourned this year's legislative session—without a bill to cap carbon emissions.
Republicans in the Senate, along with the House, had walked off the job to block the passage of Senate Bill 1530, a variation on the carbon cap bill that had spurred Senate Republicans to flee the state last year in a similar walkout.
Without the Republicans, the Democratic supermajorities were denied the two-thirds quorums required to pass legislation.
The Republicans left the Senate on Feb. 24 and the House on Feb. 25. (Two Republicans from Bend, Sen. Tim Knopp and Cheri Helt, did not join the walkout; they both represent swing districts.)
Today, Gov. Kate Brown pledged to use her powers of the executive office to address climate change.
"In the coming days, I will be taking executive action to lower our greenhouse gas emissions," Brown said in a statement. "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."
The action won praise from environmental groups who have pushing for the legislation and for the governor to use executive power to make changes.
"In the face of the Republicans' desertion of their jobs and abdication of their duties as legislators, we can take heart that they will not get the last word. The Democratic leaders of this state, along with the people of this state, are sick and tired of the Republicans shutting down our government," said Doug Moore, Oregon League of Conservation Voters executive director.
"Today, we saw strength from our leaders. What they said is that the Republican Senators and Representatives will not stop climate action in 2020. The Democrats are continuing to stand strong for Oregon. They have the backs of Oregonians and we have their backs as well."