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C.O. lawmakers react with dismay to short session’s ‘unfortunate’ end

'It's really unfortunate that partisan politics has drawn us to the place we're in.'

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The Oregon Legislature's short session was abruptly adjourned Thursday afternoon by majority Democrat leaders after rejecting a late Republican offer to end their no-show over the controversial cap and trade bill, but only for emergency spending bills on the final day of the session.

That means numerous pieces of legislation introduced or supported by High Desert lawmakers apparently died with the gavel's drop.

Central Oregon lawmakers offered these reactions to the early adjournment:

"This is how they have acted all session -- they are not willing to negotiate," Rep. Jack Zika said. "They are not willing to budge. This is how everything started. We notified the speaker, and also the Senate president that cap and trade would cause an impasse, and they knew that. They decided to put it midway through the session as a political move, and now this is the result." 

Sen. Tim Knopp said, "I think it's an unfortunate ending. I was obviously hoping for a bipartisan resolution to the budget bills, which was the intent of the short session, which is what the people of Oregon had when they voted for it. We do have some budget issues that need to be worked out."

Rep. Cheri Helt said, "It's really unfortunate that partisan politics has drawn us to the place we're in. I think the people of Oregon deserve more pragmatic, more centered solutions, and the good bills that we need to address are issues at home. We have a housing crisis, we have s homeless crisis. We need to make sure we're doing those things and passing those bills, and it is deeply disappointing that we are not."

Helt said she plans on appealing to the Legislative Emergency Board Monday morning in hopes they will approve her bill on homelessness and unaccompanied youth. She says she will represent the people of Bend by any means necessary.

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Arielle Brumfield

Arielle Brumfield is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Arielle here.


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