Oregon climate bill dead, top Senate Democrats say

SALEM — Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney said Tuesday that the climate change bill that prompted Republicans’ walkout lacks the votes necessary to pass because not enough Democrats support it.

“House Bill 2020 does not have the votes on the Senate floor,” Courtney, D-Salem, said after Democrats assembled for their morning roll call. “That will not change.”

He then ticked off a lengthy list of pending policy and budget bills, including protections for foster kids and schoolchildren, that he said have bipartisan support and wants to see passed when and if Republicans end their standoff.

Senate Republicans fled the state last week to block a vote on the carbon capping plan. Courtney appeared to be laying groundwork for Republicans to return, but it was not clear Tuesday that Republicans would agree to return to vote on other bills. Oregon lawmakers face a June 30 deadline to wrap up work under the state Constitution.

Democrats’ support for the climate bill had not been assured. Two Democrats voted against it in the House and Senate leaders scheduled a vote on it last Thursday knowing it might fail, said Senate Majority Leader Ginny Burdick, D-Portland.

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