Oregon Republican Party’s boycott hinges on readability.

Oregon Republican Party’s boycott hinges on readability.

Oregon Republicans are blocking votes on bills related to abortion, gender-affirming healthcare, and gun control citing a 44-year-old state law that requires bill summaries to be written at the reading level of an 8th or 9th grader. The Republicans are relying on the 1979 law that demands bill summaries be written with an eighth- or ninth-grade reading level, as determined by the Flesch readability test, which measures the length of words and sentences in a text. Republican Senate employee Justin Brecht found the old statute and started enforcing it. Though GOP leadership says their walkout is about “every bill,” activists say that it’s about two bills that aim to expand protections for abortions and transgender health care and restrict gun ownership. The Democrats argue that the Republicans did not have problems with bipartisan bills they backed previously until contentious issues were debated. If the stalemate continues until May 12, Oregon legislators who have 10 unexcused absences face reelection bans under a new law passed by voters last year. 

Maxwell Thompson is a seasoned political correspondent who has covered elections, policies, and international relations for over a decade. With a degree in political science and a natural curiosity for global politics, Maxwell brings a unique perspective to his writing. In his downtime, he enjoys reading historical biographies and analyzing political trends.

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