SALEM, OR -- Republicans in the Oregon Senate again stopped a vote on a bill to tax large businesses to raise a billion dollars a year for schools. State Senator Tim Knopp (R-Bend) was the only Republican to attend Wednesday's floor session. He released a statement saying he stands in solidarity with his fellow republicans and ask that their voices and actions be recognized.
Democrats have the super majority to pass the bill, but they can't put it up for a vote without at least two Republicans in the chamber, to establish a quorum. Senate President Peter Courtney was forced to adjourn the session early, for a second day, Secretary of the Senate has informed me we were unable to locate another state Senator so we are – we simply don’t have a quorum."
Republicans oppose the bill because they say it'll hurt businesses. The gross receipts tax would apply to businesses that make over a million dollars a year. It's expected to raise a billion dollars a year for schools.
"I respect and support my caucus members decision to deny quorum in the Senate and call for meaningful PERS reform to ensure education funding makes it to students and is not eaten up by our broken public pension system," Knopp said in a statement released Wednesday afternoon, "HB 3427 has technical issues that must be fixed and needs input and vetting from all parties involved. It would be an important gesture to get a commitment to send HB 3427 to committee to hear testimony and make technical fixes." Knopp added, "As one of the most bi-partisan members of my caucus, I have felt that it is important for me to remain in the building to continue work on multiple issues that will help resolve this stalemate and bring the session to a close. I have made commitments on several pieces of legislation that are still moving through the process and I intend to keep my commitments by seeing them through to the end."