In the current legislative session, state Sen. Dallas Heard has voted “no” on every bill that’s come up for a vote. It’s his protest against the closure of the state Capitol to the public during the COVID-19 pandemic.
But on Monday, for the first time, he voted “yes” on something.
So what was the lucky bill that finally won the senator’s first nod of approval?
It was Senate Bill 867, which sought to require public schools return to full-time, in-person classroom instruction next fall.
The bill remains stuck in the Senate Rules Committee after an unsuccessful bid by Republicans Monday to withdraw the bill from committee and allow a debate and a decision on the bill by the full Senate.
The move failed on a 10 to 18 vote along party lines, and Heard was one of the 10 voting “yes” along with the rest of the Republicans.
“Only bills intended to restore the freedoms stolen from our citizens during the past 14 months should be passing the Senate floor until the people of Oregon have been restored to their rightful place in the State Capitol building,” Heard said in a statement.
Heard said Oregon children’s education has suffered a great and lasting impact due to what he called “the reckless decisions made by Kate Brown and her supporters.”
Heard also said he supports Senate Resolution 2, which proposes to end the state of emergency and prohibit the governor from declaring states of emergency related to COVID-19 unless it’s authorized by a joint resolution of the Legislature.
SR 2 would also mandate reopening the Capitol building within five days of its adoption. SR 2 was referred to the Senate Rules Committee on May 17.