Salem, Oregon — Republican state senators in Oregonsince last Thursday when they went into hiding to block Democrats from voting on a climate bill. State Democrats even made a wanted poster, evoking the days of the wild west.
One outlaw senator, Brian Boquist, took it to the extreme, telling Portland station KGW-TV, "come heavily armed."
"I'm not going to be a political prisoner in the state of Oregon," he said.
At the heart of the political standoff is a bill that would drastically reduce carbon emissions. The Democrat supported law would raise a variety of taxes. Democrats hold 18 Senate seats but need 20 senators in order to conduct business.
"This is no longer about climate change. This is about democracy and ensuring that the legislative branch can operate," said Gov. Kate Brown. "Oregonians should be furious. This is unacceptable. In Oregon, this is not how we solve problems."
She said she had no choice but to send the state police to find the state senators who are in hiding. CBS News had a FaceTime call with one of them, state Sen. Tim Knopp. He said he's currently in Idaho.
With just five days left in the legislative session, the Senate president said there won't be enough votes to pass the climate bill and urged Republicans to return. But they still seem skeptical and don't plan on coming out of hiding just yet.