The Latest: Steps taken amid Oregon lawmakers’ threats
SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Latest on a hearing by the Oregon state Senate over a lawmaker’s comments made during a Republican revolt over climate legislation (all times local):
A special committee of the Oregon state Senate decided unanimously on Monday that a Republican senator who threatened the Senate president and Oregon State Police troopers must give at least 12 hours notice in writing if he intends to come to the Capitol and that state troopers beef up their presence while he is in the building.
In addition, Sen. Brian Boquist, a Republican from Dallas, will be advised that he must not retaliate against anyone who reports concerns about their safety.
The committee of two Democrats and two Republicans passed the motion at the close of a hearing into the senator’s conduct. The hearing was held after Boquist made threats before Republican senators fled the Capitol to protest climate legislation.
A special committee of the Oregon state Senate began a hearing, packed with spectators, over a lawmaker’s threats made right before Republican senators began a walkout over climate legislation.
Sen. Brian Boquist, a Republican from Dallas, warned on June 19 that if the State Police were sent to force him to return during the walkout they should “send bachelors and come heavily armed.” He also told Senate President Peter Courtney that “hell is coming to visit you personally” if he sent the state police after him, but apologized minutes later for his comments.
Boquist said in the hearing Monday of the Senate special committee on conduct that he has filed a lawsuit against Courtney, but gave no details. He said he wanted to see the matter attended to in a court of law.
Brenda Baumgart, an outside attorney for the Senate, testified that while the investigation continues, the Senate should take steps to ensure it maintains an intimidation-free and safe work environment.
A special committee of the Oregon state Senate is holding a hearing over a lawmaker’s comments made during a Republican revolt over climate legislation.
The hearing concerning Sen. Brian Boquist, a Republican from Dallas, is scheduled for Monday. Boquist was part of a group of GOP lawmakers who fled the Capitol to thwart legislation aimed at imposing a cap and trade plan in Oregon to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Democrats control the Legislature but the GOP senators left Salem to deny the Senate a quorum.
Boquist warned if the State Police were sent to force him to return during the walkout they should “send bachelors and come heavily armed.”
Boquist said the troopers had no authority to apprehend senators.
He has submitted several documents for the inquiry, including a U.S. Supreme Court ruling supporting a Georgia lawmaker’s First Amendment rights to free speech in the 1960s.