Last week, a Republican minority forced the Oregon legislative session to close without passing any bills to fund vital services. These Republican legislators claim they are fighting for rural, working Oregonians. I am a rural, working Oregonian, and I call BS.
I live in unincorporated Lincoln County. I drive 45 minutes every morning and every evening to get to my job and back. I must drive the same distance to get groceries and go to medical appointments. Republican legislators say they are acting on behalf of people like me when they refuse to show up to vote on the climate bill, and the media plays along. This is absurd and insulting.
The current climate bill includes provisions to reduce the financial toll that it could have on rural folks who have no choice but to drive long distances for work, school and basic services. Meanwhile, because Republicans refused to do their jobs, they let many programs, including those for emergency preparedness, die. This leaves the same rural Oregonians they pretend to serve, including my Coast Range community, even more vulnerable to emergencies, like the Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake. When Oregon Republicans refuse to take part in the session, they hurt rural Oregonians, and they hurt my community.