Senate leader Courtney says he’s sticking around

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney says he has no plans to step aside, despite a bruising legislative session that saw two walkouts by Republicans and criticism from some of his fellow majority Democrats about the Legislature’s failure to pass a climate change bill and other measures.

Courtney told The Oregonian/OregonLive that “I’m not going anywhere.” The 76-year-old lawmaker says he’s already conferring with House Speaker Tina Kotek about how to pass a cap-and-tread measure to curb greenhouse gas emissions next year.

That bill sparked the GOP’s second Senate walkout of the 2019 Legislature. They returned after more than a week away from the Capitol after it became clear the environmental bill wouldn’t pass this session.