The Dalles chronicle. (The Dalles, OR) 1998-2020, February 08, 2020, Page 9, Image 9

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    Weekend of February 8-9, 2020   A9
The Dalles Chronicle
TheDallesChronicle.com
OREGON
Quiet start to session, but tensions simmer below surface
at the very beginning.”
Republicans have com-
plained Democrats, who
hold large majorities in
both chambers, would push
through hefty proposals with-
out giving the public enough
time to weigh in.
Senate Minority Leader
Sen. Herman Baertschiger,
SALEM — A contentious
proposal to reduce the state’s Jr., R-Grants Pass, opposes
“robust” legislation in such a
greenhouse gas emissions
compressed time, and said in
dominated political chatter
in the weeks before the 2020 an interview that Democrats
“have a large appetite.”
legislative session began.
Senate President Peter
So much so, that observ-
Courtney, D-Salem, Oregon’s
ers expected “sparks” when
longest-serving Senate
lawmakers convened on
President, was at the Capitol
Monday, Feb. 3, said Sen.
Monday, despite worries that
Brian Boquist, R-Dallas.
he might be absent due to a
But sitting in his office on
hip injury that had kept him
the appointed day, wearing
cowboy boots, jeans and his from attending a series of
signature turtleneck under a pre-session meetings earlier
sports jacket, Boquist said, “It this month.
Despite using a walk-
seems like it’s in neutral. This
building is never neutral.”
er, Courtney, 76, gaveled
Then the longtime senator through a light agenda
reconsidered.
speedily, and drew that day’s
Instead, he said, it was
floor session to a close in less
more like the Legislature was than an hour.
“out of gear” or like standing
In the House, things
on a calm beach as the water stretched on a bit longer, as
recedes before a tsunami.
Republicans voiced opinions
As legislators prepared for in a series of procedural
meetings inside the Capitol,
“remonstrances.”
Boquist said he said he was
“We get in a little too
going back to his district
deep, in my opinion,” said
office in Dallas to read
Rep. Daniel Bonham, R-The
legislation and meet with
Dalles, on the House floor
constituents. This might be
Monday morning.
his last chance to do that for
Rep. Kim Wallan,
a while.
R-Medford, even invoked the
“As soon as committees
Beatles in criticizing poli-
begin, our lives are not our
cies pushed through by the
own,” he said.
legislature in the recent past,
The pace is expected to
quoting from “Strawberry
pick up quickly as legislators Fields Forever”:
race to meet deadlines to
“The line that was in my
finish within 35 days.
head was, ‘Living is easy with
“If it doesn’t happen fast, it eyes closed,’” Wallan said.
doesn’t happen at all,” Senate “‘Misunderstanding all you
Majority Leader Ginny
see.’”
Burdick, D-Portland, told
She concluded her floor
reporters on Monday. “And
speech: “We need to really
that’s the reality of a 35-day
dig down and see what our
session. So I think you’re
policies do to real people,
going to see a lot of pressure really poor people, before we
First day of meetings
not as contentious
as expected
Sam Stites
■ By Oregon
Capital Bureau
just cavalierly decide this is
what’s best for everybody,”
Wallan said. “We need to
look a little closer. I hope that
we will keep the Beatles in
mind this session, and keep
our eyes open and try to
understand.”
Rep. Barbara Smith
Warner, D-Portland, who
leads Democrats in the
House, extended an olive
branch—albeit one laden
with platitudes.
“To my colleagues across
the aisle, while I know that
we won’t always agree on
the path forward, I truly
believe that there is more
that unites us than divides
us,” Smith Warner said. “…I
hope we search for common
ground and where our policy
views diverge, I hope that
we always assume the best
intentions from each other.”
The House of
Representatives has sworn
in four new members, and
the Senate, one new mem-
ber, since last year’s session
concluded,
Senate Republicans hav-
en’t ruled out a repeat of their
walkout that marked the last
session.
But if Republicans ditch,
they could imperil legislation
that would allocate state
money to their districts or ad-
dress constituent concerns.
“My concern is if the short
session blows up, there’s
some things that need to
be fixed that we won’t get
to,” said Rep. Ron Noble,
R-McMinnville, speaking
before the session.
While Boquist’s bag is
packed and ready to go in
case of another walkout, he
said he only expects to be
gone for one or two days. He
said he just wants the green-
house gas-reduction bill to
be put to the voters and that
a boycott is a legitimate tool
that has a bipartisan history.
ACUPUNCTURE
Cap and trade architect Sen. Michael Dembrow, D-Portland, explains how he’s attempted to craft his
bill to overcome Republican opposition.
Sam Stites/Oregon Capitol Bureau photo
“I’m actually upbeat,” he
said.
Burdick again criticized
the tactic employed twice last
year by Senate Republicans.
“I totally disapprove of
walking out,” Burdick said.
“They’re getting paid to do a
job and it’s their duty to show
up for work. Their constit-
uents are not represented
if they don’t show up, and I
know that my constituents
would be very, very mad, if I
just didn’t like the way things
were going and didn’t show
up. So I’m assuming they will
show up.”
On Monday, House
Speaker Tina Kotek,
D-Portland, stressed she
talks regularly with House
Minority Leader Christine
Drazan, R-Canby.
“The vast majority of
members, both Republican
and Democrat, want to work
collaboratively, want to get
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HEART OF HOSPICE
AKITA CHIROPRACTIC CLINIC
That work is likely to be
overshadowed Thursday by
what happens outside the
Capitol.
Timber Unity, a group
agitating against what it
says will be higher costs
for rural Oregonians and
people working in the natural
resource industry, is plan-
ning a rally at the Capitol for
Thursday, Feb. 6. The group
opposes proposed green-
house emissions legislation.
“All I’m asking for is, I
hope people come with very
specific suggestions, and not
just ‘We don’t like the bill.’
Because the reality is, until
we have another plan that
can reduce our greenhouse
gas emissions we need to go
with this,” Kotek said. “We
need to make it as good as we
can and pass the bill.”
Jake Thomas and Claire
Withycombe contributed to
this report.
MEDICAL MARIJUANA
HOSPICE
CHIROPRACTIC
things done together, are go-
ing to show up for work,” said
Kotek. “And then you proba-
bly have people both on the
left and right who are more
like, ‘We need to go further’
or ‘We need to walk out.’ But
I think those are small groups
in both sides. I think people
want to work together.”
Sen. Jeff Golden,
D-Ashland, said he’s confi-
dent that Republicans and
Democrats will pass legis-
lation proposed by Brown
and her Council on Wildfire
Response.
Baertschiger said Monday
he agreed with almost all the
Democrats’ views on wildfire,
with only mild points of
disagreement.
The heavy lifting of the
Legislature gets underway
Tuesday, as committees
move rapidly to conduct
hearings and consider which
legislation to advance.
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PHYSICAL THERAPY
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A progressive therapist-owned physical therapy practice
specializing in manual therapy.
Our services include, but are not limited to:
• Orthopedic care and sports injuries
• Post-operative rehabilitation
• Back and neck care
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Contracted with most insurances and handle all insurance billing.
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SURGERY
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