Monday, February 24, 2020
After 75 minutes of debate and motions, the full Ways & Means Committee has just passed SB 1530, the Cap-and-Trade bill.
Senator Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose) voted with Republicans on all amendments and in opposition to the bill. Ordinarily, this would result in the failure of the bill due to a 6-6 tie from the Senate committee members. Senate President Peter Courtney was added to the Committee roster today and broke the tie on the bill, allowing it to pass.
Senate Republicans moved several amendments, including an amendment to refer SB 1530 to the voters for the November 2020 election. All amendments failed.
Today’s committee vote will trigger a ‘walkout’ from Senate Republicans, who have made it clear their intention to deny quorum to defeat the legislation. House Republicans are also indicating they may follow suit.
Despite the walkout, legislative committees will continue to meet and pass legislation. However, the Senate will not be able to vote on legislation due to lack of quorum. The same would hold true for the House if House Republicans also denied quorum.
By Constitution, the short session must be completed by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, March 8. Legislation not passed by that time is considered dead and must start again, either in a special session or in the 2021 long session.