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Oregon GOP Lawmakers Barred from Re-election After Walkout

Oregon Republicans who took part in a six-week walkout from legislative sessions will be barred from running for re-election in 2024, according to Oregon Secretary of State LaVonne Griffin-Valade.

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This decision is a result of Measure 113, a 2022 law that prevents lawmakers with over 10 unexcused absences from seeking re-election.

Democrat Secretary of State Enforces Measure 113

Credit: Unlimphotos

Democratic Secretary of State LaVonne Griffin-Valade has confirmed that her decision aligns with the voters’ intent when they passed Measure 113, applying it as it was commonly understood when it was added to the state constitution. 

Measure 113 states that leaders who skip legislative sessions will be disqualified from running for re-election for the term following the election after their current term is completed.

Republicans Challenge Measure 113 Interpretation

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Republicans argue that Measure 113 still allows for re-election in their situation, as their current terms end in January 2025, making them eligible for the 2024 elections. 

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They claim that the intention of the measure was not to disqualify lawmakers from serving an additional term after accumulating absences.

Record-Breaking Walkout in Oregon’s History

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The walkout, led by nine Republican lawmakers and one independent, became the longest in Oregon’s history. 

It was staged to protest various issues, including abortion, transgender health, and gun control included in the state’s budget plan.

Republican Walkouts Linked to Climate Change and Taxes

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Republican leaders have previously boycotted the Democratic-led legislature in Oregon over concerns such as climate change and tax proposals.

This recent walkout was just one example of their ongoing resistance.

Measure 113: Absences Result in Re-Election Bar

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Measure 113, passed in 2022, specifically states that lawmakers with more than 10 unexcused absences from legislative sessions cannot seek re-election. 

This rule applies to Republican lawmakers who participated in the walkout.

Democratic Secretary of State Upholds Voters’ Intent

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Oregon’s Democratic Secretary of State, LaVonne Griffin-Valade, is enforcing Measure 113 based on the intention of the voters when they passed the law. 

She believes that disqualifying lawmakers who fail to attend legislative sessions aligns with the spirit of the measure.

Republicans Claim Measure 113 Doesn’t Apply to Them

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Some Republican lawmakers argue that the language in Measure 113 allows them to still run for re-election, as their current terms would only conclude in January 2025. They believe that the measure was not meant to prevent them from seeking an additional term after accumulating absences.

Longest Walkout in Oregon’s History Ends

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

After six weeks, the record-breaking walkout staged by Republican lawmakers and one independent in Oregon came to an end. 

They had boycotted legislative sessions to protest various issues in the state’s budget plan.

Republican Walkouts: An Ongoing Trend

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The recent walkout by Oregon’s Republican lawmakers is part of a pattern, as they have previously boycotted the Democratic-led legislature over concerns like climate change and tax proposals. 

This ongoing resistance has resulted in political conflicts in the state.

Measure 113: Clear Rules on Absences

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Measure 113, a 2022 law in Oregon, clearly states that lawmakers with more than 10 unexcused absences from legislative sessions cannot seek re-election. 

This rule applies to the Republican legislators who participated in the walkout.

Democrats Maintain Power After Walkout

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The walkout by Republican lawmakers in Oregon ultimately did not change the balance of power. 

The Democratic-led legislature continued its work, while Republican legislators faced consequences for their protest.

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