SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Enough Republicans members showed up in the Oregon Senate on Thursday to end a six-week walkout that halted the work of the Legislature and blocked hundreds of bills, including some on abortion, transgender health care and gun safety.
The boycott, which prevented the Senate from reaching a two-thirds quorum needed to pass bills, was prompted by a sweeping measure on abortion and gender-affirming care that Republicans said was too extreme.
The walkout also blocked the approval of the two-year state budget and a gun-safety measure opposed by the GOP that would increase the purchasing age to 21 for semiautomatic rifles.
GOP Minority Leader Sen. Tim Knopp had said the boycott would end only on the session’s last day — June 25 — to pass “bipartisan” legislation and budget bills. But an optimistic mood took over the Capitol this week as GOP and Democratic leaders met to negotiate compromises.
Republicans particularly opposed a provision in the measure on abortion and transgender health care that would allow doctors to provide abortions regardless of the patient’s age, with medical providers not required to notify the parents of a minor, especially when doing so could endanger the child, such as in cases of incest.
The gun-control measure originally would have punished the manufacturing or transferring of undetectable firearms with a maximum 10-year sentence and $250,000 fine. Republicans objected to amendments that would limit concealed-carry rights and increase the purchasing age to 21 for semiautomatic rifles such as AR-15s.
Andrew Selsky, The Associated Press