Ore. Republicans to shut down Senate over tax on businesses

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Senate Republicans in Oregon have fled Salem to avoid a Tuesday vote on a $1 billion per-year funding package for schools.

Senate Minority Leader Herman Baertschiger told reporters Monday that Republicans have been left out of the school funding conversation and that they are opposed to the proposed half a percent tax on businesses with sales over $1 million. The proposed tax would fund school programs trying to boost student performance and decrease class sizes.

The Senate was set to consider the proposal Tuesday but if Republicans don’t show there won’t be enough legislators to go through with a vote.

Baertschiger, from Grants Pass, says it’s one of the only tools in Republican toolbox to make conservative voices heard in a Democratic supermajority.

Only two Republicans appeared on the floor Monday, just barely giving the Senate a quorum.