Findley, other Republican senators boycott session after greenhouse gas bill advances

Senator Lynn Findley, R-Vale. (The Enterprise/File).

The long-expected stalemate at the Oregon Legislature over climate control legislation burst into the open Monday morning as a legislative committee voted to send the bill to the Senate floor.

“Senator Courtney’s actions leave no other option for Senate Republicans but to boycott and deny quorum because cap and trade is on the way to the Senate floor,” said Senate Republican Leader Herman Baeretschiger Jr. (R-Grants Pass).

Sen. Lynn Findley, R-Vale, said he couldn’t allow the legislation to go through.

“If my colleagues will not allow for a fair process in the building, then I will represent my constituents from outside the building,” he said in a statement Monday morning.

In a phone interview at midday, Findley confirmed he had left Salem but declined to say where he was going.

He said Senate Republicans had no choice but to deny a quorum.

“The only tools we have is to boycott and protest the process,” said Findley.

Findley said he was “terribly disappointed.”

“But when it comes to my way or the highway, we have to make a tough decision,” said Findley.

Findley said there was a “lot of work going on behind the scenes” to find a way forward.

“I know there is a lot of discussion but the discussion has to come to fruition,” said Findley.

During the 2019 Legislature, Republican senators disappeared from Salem, many going out of state to evade a search by the Oregon State Police.

With the Republican action, the Senate is short of the quorum needed to legally conduct business even though Democrats dominate the chamber. Republicans hold 11 of the 30 seats.

This is a developing story.