Republican state senators have gone into hiding to avoid capture. It’s TV drama time.
Without a quorum, the legislature cannot legally vote on the bill.
The stalemate continued into the weekend.
“I don’t think you’re going to see us anytime soon,” Republican Sen. Herman Baertschiger Jr, the state Senate’s minority leader, told Portland ABC affiliate KATU by phone Saturday evening.
The Republicans are being fined $500 dollars/day by the Democratic Governor while avoiding showing up.
A GoFundMe account was started to raise money to pay off the absentee politicians’ fines, which had raised over $37,000 in two days as of Saturday night. State ethics laws prevent the senators from accepting the money, however, unless the donations are tracked through the government’s filing system, called Orestar.
The walkout strategy is not new, has been used by both sides , previously, and has even been successful during the current legislative session.
GOP senators walked out earlier in the legislative session over an education funding bill, but that impasse was quickly broken when Democrats agreed to kill two other bills, according to KATU.
For now the game of hide and seek continues.
State troopers were indeed searching for the senators on Friday and Saturday, Brown said.
They were unlikely to find state Sen. Tim Knopp, who told KATU on Friday he was not even in Oregon anymore.
“I am in a cabin near a lake,” Knopp said during a Facebook video chat interview. “And that’s about all I can tell you.”
The 11 senators who are MIA include Baertschiger, Cliff Bentz, Brian Boquist, Fred Girod, Bill Hansell, Dallas Heard, Knopp, Dennis Linthicum, Alan Olsen, Chuck Thomsen and Kim Thatcher.