Lawmakers are elected to represent the people of their district, to be their voice through the legislative process. Our lawmakers need to work together for the benefit of the state, not themselves. But Oregon’s Republican lawmakers have done the opposite—they walked out on us, took off on taxpayer-funded vacations, and shut down the 2020 legislative session. We can’t let them get away with this.
If regular Oregonians like you and me don’t go to work, we don’t get paid. Neither should our elected officials. That’s why we’re joining a bold movement to hold Oregon’s Republican lawmakers accountable: we’re calling on lawmakers who walked out to give back the paychecks and daily stipends they didn’t earn when they stopped showing up to work. Sign the petition today!
Oregon’s Republican lawmakers have held our democracy hostage for too long. Yesterday, they refused to show up to a hearing where they had been ordered by subpoena to appear. Most of them are still on vacation out of state. They refuse to show up to work, even when summoned by law. They ran away to stop climate action, and refused to come back. Their walkout has also blocked other important legislation, including wildfire prevention and the Healthy Kids & Farmworkers Act. In short, Republican lawmakers have robbed Oregon of a short session, and robbed the next generation of a better climate future.
During a powerful closing speech, Speaker Kotek made it clear that Oregon’s Democratic lawmakers would not give in to the Republicans, who had offered to come back for the last day of session if certain bills (the climate bill being number one) were sacrificed. As Speaker Kotek put it, “that would be the equivalent of one basketball team walking off the court for most of the second half, then asking to return in the final minute on the condition they can dictate the final score.”
The House Floor rose to its feet after Speaker Kotek’s speech, and her sentiments were echoed by Senate President Peter Courtney and Governor Kate Brown, who all agreed that something must be done to prevent future walkouts by Oregon’s Republican lawmakers. “Every time they don’t like something,” Governor Brown said in a news release yesterday, “they just get up and leave. That’s not compromise. It’s holding Oregonians hostage.”
This isn’t the first time Oregon’s Republican lawmakers have walked out. It’s the fourth time in less than a year. And each time they’ve wasted taxpayer money and prevented important legislation like the climate bill from going to a vote.
Help hold Oregon’s Republican legislators accountable: sign the petition and demand that they give Oregonians their money back. If they don’t do the jobs they were elected to do, they shouldn’t get paid.
This may be the end of session, but Oregon’s Republican lawmakers aren’t off the hook. And it’s definitely not the end for climate action in Oregon. Please sign the petition today, and urge your friends and family to do the same.