Usually 30 senators fill the chamber floor, but on Tuesday only 18 did. The 12 Republicans were absent in protest. (Claire Withycombe/Oregon Capital Bureau)
There aren’t many Republicans in the Oregon Senate, but on Tuesday, there weren’t any at all.
The minority caucus was spread around the state, some in Salem and others in their hometowns, in an act of solidarity to deny the chamber a quorum to delay the passage of a bill to raise $1 billion in new taxes for public education. The bill was the lone item being voted on.
It’s the biggest vote for the Senate so far this year, and the Republicans successfully stalled it.
Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem, entered the chamber at 10:59 a.m. A minute later, he called . . .