Legislative Update for Oregon Realtors® – 2/26/2020

| February 26, 2020

In the face of significant public opposition, Senate Democrats advanced the highly-controversial cap and trade bill with a parliamentary move by the Senate President to negate the no vote of fellow Democrat, Senator Betsy Johnson. Senate Republicans repeatedly stated their intent to deny a quorum without a referral to the voters of Oregon in November. Once again denied the opportunity to amend the bill, including the rejection of a referral, Senate Republicans did in fact leave the legislative building following the vote.

In the House, tensions over the bill were just as hostile. Republican members of the chamber staged a protest Tuesday evening, that left Democrats without a quorum for their evening floor session. Speaker Tina Kotek retaliated by stripping Rep. Greg Smith of his committee chairmanship. Smith was one of the only Republicans in the Legislature to hold a gavel. On Monday evening, the House Rules committee attempted to introduce four highly controversial measures that were effectively a mirror image of ballot measures put forward by the environmental group Renew Oregon.

This breakdown led to the House Republicans to boycott the session as well. Both Republican caucuses have made clear they will return to Salem if the cap and trade bill is referred to the voters in November. Without a quorum for the remainder of session, all bills currently in the process will die at 11:59 pm on March 8, 2020.