Petitions introduced to curtail Oregon legislative walkouts

SALEM, Ore. – An Oregon political coalition launched a new initiative aimed at stopping legislative stall tactics.

Two years ago, Oregon’s Senate Republicans left the state in order to deny a quorum on a climate change bill. The minority party has deployed this tactic three times, including this past legislative session.

Majority Leader Rob Wagner said, “We have tremendously important work this session. Lives are at stake as we deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, and yet the Senate Republicans continue their anti-democratic walkout tactics.”

On Thursday, May 6, the “No More Costly Walkouts” coalition announced the filing of measures for next year’s ballot to “increase accountability and prevent the kind of gridlock caused by walkouts and duplicative bill readings.”

Initiative Petition 14 limits lawmakers to no more than ten unexcused floor session absences. If they miss eleven, they wouldn’t be able to run for reelection.

Initiative Petition 15 would implement a $500 per day fine for lawmakers skipping out on work, along with the withholding of all salary, per diems and expense reimbursements.

No More Costly Walkouts is currently collecting signatures for two petitions and eight others designed to lessen the impact of walkouts and raise the bar for other tactics that can stall the legislature.

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