GOP Walkout Aftermath Leaves Lawmakers Banned

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( – LaVonne Griffin-Valade, the Secretary of State in Oregon stated that those Republican state senators who had over 10 unexcused absences because of the six-week walkout would not be allowed to join the 2024 re-election race.

Griffin-Valade is in charge of overseeing the state’s election and announced this decision on Tuesday. However, Republicans have already promised that they would challenge the decision in court. Measure 113 was first approved by Oregon voters in November 2022 and had a wide margin. The GOP had previously staged walkouts in 2019, 2020 and 2021. The state rules dictate that for floor sessions two-thirds of the Senate members in the state needed to be in attendance. As a result of this Republican lawmakers had the ability to block legislation by not attending the sessions.

Measure 113 is targeting this behavior, however, there was a dispute over the measure’s wording which relates to who is disqualified. According to the measure, the disqualification would start for “the term following the election after the member’s current term is completed.”

GOP senators have argued that this would mean that any senators with over 10 absences would still be allowed to run in 2024 as technically their term times are not going to be completed until 2024. However, Griffin-Valade has argued that this was not the case and that following a consultation with the state’s Department of Justice, those with more than 10 unexcused absences would not be able to run for re-election in 2024. She further argued that this was clearly the intention of the voters who passed the measure.

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