Sen. Boquist: “These Minority Legislators are Bravely ‘Doing their jobs'”

By Oregon State Senator Brian Boquist:

Last week marked the beginning of a walkout as Senate Republicans and Independents denied quorum and halted the legislative process.

With decades of control over the Oregon government, the Democrats in power have eroded trust in the political process by behaving as if they are above the law. No one is above the law. In walking out, these minority legislators are bravely “doing their jobs” because they work for Oregonians, not the legislature.

Quorum rules protect the minority from the rule of the majority. Majority party control is bad for Oregon. Denying quorum is one tool out of many that they have deployed to delay or stop bad bills this session; none have prevailed, meaning this walkout is the last resort and may result in losing their seats. The other tactics include having all bills read in full; demanding the Constitutional law on bill readability standards be followed (more on that later); and pulling Republican-backed bills on education, crime, natural resources, and more to the Senate Floor – all were voted down by the Democrats.

While previous walkouts focused on specific issues such as the 2019 gross receipts sales tax disguised as an education bill, and on environmental special interest bill cap and trade in 2019 and ’20; this walkout is not about a single issue. It targets specific pillars of wrongdoing:

1) HB 2002 – an attack on families and parental rights, and other bad bills
2) Lawlessness
3) Corruption

For this walkout to be successful, much like the one in 2019, it is critical for citizens to get involved. Citizen involvement is the only way the status quo in Oregon changes.