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Oregon Democrat, Republican leaders resume talks over weeks-long Senate walkout

This undated photo shows the Oregon State Capitol building (Wright Gazaway/KATU file photo)
This undated photo shows the Oregon State Capitol building (Wright Gazaway/KATU file photo)
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With 17 days left before Oregon's 82nd Legislative Assembly adjourns, Democrats and Republicans have resumed formal negotiations over the longest stalemate in the state's political history.

Though talks between various members of both parties have been ongoing, formal negotiations stalled after an impasse centering around major sticking points in House Bill 2002.

The most controversial portion of the bill involves provisions protecting a minor's right to abortion at any age without parental consent or notification.

One of the co-sponsors of the measure, state Sen. Elizabeth Steiner, D-District 17, said on June 2 that her party is not willing to gut that portion of the bill.

On Friday, trusted sources suggested a compromise between parties may center around a change in the wording of the bill that would preserve the main aspects of the measure -- including the right to privacy for minors -- while modifying some broader terminology.

Republicans have said they feel the broadness of language in the bill suggests parents should not be involved in a minor's decision to have an abortion.

On Friday, the Senate Republican leader Tim Knopp confirmed his caucus was meeting with leaders of the Democratic Caucus that day.

Oregon Governor Tina Kotek's office noted she was traveling and would not be involved in the meeting.

State Sen. Daniel Bonham, R-District 26, appeared optimistic about the tone of talks this time around saying there appears to be goodwill from Democrats to engage earnestly in negotiations.

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