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Oregon GOP senators continue climate bill boycott


SALEM, Ore. (AP) – The Oregon Senate was again unable to conduct business Sunday because of a Republican boycott of the Legislature over major climate change legislation. Meanwhile, dozens of supporters of the GOP senators’ walkout gathered at the Capitol for another weekend protest.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports Senate President Peter Courtney announced lack of a quorum again on Sunday and adjourned a roughly five-minute session until another attempt on Monday.

Republicans fled the Capitol — and some the state — last week to deny the majority Democrats a quorum for a vote on the climate bill, intended to reduce fossil fuel emissions.

Unlike last week, Courtney didn’t ask the sergeant-at-arms to search the building for absent Republicans. He said staff members to conduct such a search don’t work Sunday.

The Capitol was closed Saturday on the recommendation of State Police, after they said anti-government groups threatened to join a protest planned inside the building.

One of the groups, the Oregon Three Percenters, had joined an armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in 2016.

The newspaper said fewer than 100 supporters of the Republican senators gathered peacefully outside the Capitol on Sunday, a handful wearing clothes bearing the militia group’s insignia.

KGW reported families and individuals turned out to voice their opposition to the cap and trade bill and other legislation. The station said OSP troopers closed down and secured the Capitol building around 10 a.m. after a group of protesters went inside to sing the national anthem.

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