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The Latest: ‘Militia threat’ shuts down Oregon statehouse

June 22, 2019 GMT
A TV reporter interviews self-employed logger Bridger Hasbrouck, of Dallas, Ore., outside the Oregon State House in Salem, Ore., on Thursday, June 20, 2019, the day the Senate is scheduled to take up a bill that would create the nation's second cap-and-trade program to curb carbon emissions. Senate Republicans, however, pledged to walk out so there wouldn't be enough lawmakers present for a vote on House Bill 2020, which is extremely unpopular among loggers, truckers and many rural voters. (AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus)
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A TV reporter interviews self-employed logger Bridger Hasbrouck, of Dallas, Ore., outside the Oregon State House in Salem, Ore., on Thursday, June 20, 2019, the day the Senate is scheduled to take up a bill that would create the nation's second cap-and-trade program to curb carbon emissions. Senate Republicans, however, pledged to walk out so there wouldn't be enough lawmakers present for a vote on House Bill 2020, which is extremely unpopular among loggers, truckers and many rural voters. (AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus)
1 of 6
A TV reporter interviews self-employed logger Bridger Hasbrouck, of Dallas, Ore., outside the Oregon State House in Salem, Ore., on Thursday, June 20, 2019, the day the Senate is scheduled to take up a bill that would create the nation's second cap-and-trade program to curb carbon emissions. Senate Republicans, however, pledged to walk out so there wouldn't be enough lawmakers present for a vote on House Bill 2020, which is extremely unpopular among loggers, truckers and many rural voters. (AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus)

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Latest on a walkout by Oregon Senate Republicans to protest legislation to address climate change (all times local):

7:20 p.m.

A “possible militia threat” is shutting down the Oregon statehouse amid an ongoing walkout by Republican lawmakers who are blocking a vote on landmark climate change legislation with their absence.

A spokeswoman for the Senate President confirmed late Friday that the “Oregon State Police has recommended that the Capitol be closed tomorrow due to a possible militia threat.”

Gov. Kate Brown has deployed the state police to round up Republican senators who fled the Legislature — and in some cases, the state — to thwart passage of a climate proposal that would dramatically lower fossil fuel emissions by 2050.

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Right-wing militia groups said they would protest at the Capitol on Saturday as lawmakers convened.

It’s unclear if the “militia threat” was related to the protest or is something additional.

12:09 p.m.

GOP Senators will each be hit with a $500 fine for fleeing the capitol and blocking a vote on proposed climate legislation.

Republican Sen. Tim Knopp says Friday conservatives plan to file a lawsuit in protest over the fine.

Senate Majority Leader Ginny Burdick says that the fine is written into statute. She adds that Republicans are holding up portions of the budget in addition to the climate bill.

Republicans will continue to be fined at $500 a day for each day they’re away from the Capitol.

Knopp says conservatives are prepared to stay away for as long as it takes. A GoFundMe to cover senators’ expenses and fines has raised more than $4,000.

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9:23 a.m.

Republicans in the Oregon Senate were absent for a second day to delay a vote on a sweeping climate policy.

None of the 11 GOP Senators appeared Friday morning. They have until 11 a.m. to show if they want to avoid a $500 fine.

Gov. Kate Brown has deployed the state police to round up Republican senators who fled the Legislature — and in some cases, the state — to thwart passage of a climate proposal that would dramatically lower fossil fuel emissions by 2050. Under the proposed bill, Oregon would put an overall limit on greenhouse gas emissions and auction off pollution “allowances” for each ton of carbon industries plan to emit. The legislation would lower that cap over time to encourage businesses to move away from fossil fuels.

The Oregon State Police has confirmed it is working with out of state of state resources to track the lawmakers down.

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9:32 p.m.

GOP senators are preparing to remain absent from the Capitol for a second day to block a landmark climate plan that would be the second of its kind nationwide.

Gov. Kate Brown has deployed the state police to round up 11 Republican senators who fled the Legislature — and in some cases, the state — to thwart passage of a climate proposal that would dramatically lower fossil fuel emissions by 2050.

The GOP lawmakers didn’t show on Thursday and there were no indications they would return Friday.

State Police can force senators they track down in Oregon into a patrol car to return them to the Capitol, although the agency said in a statement that it would use “polite communication” and patience to bring the rogue lawmakers back.