Moderate Democrat Betsy Johnson joined all 14 Republicans to block the measure on Thursday.
In Oregon, defendants who lose or settle a class-action lawsuit keep any unclaimed portion of the judgment. Democrats wanted that money to go instead to an endowment that would help fund legal aid lawyers who help poor people with non-criminal cases.
Proponents say it’s unfair for companies that break the law to keep the money they’re ordered to pay.
Critics objected that the bill applies to cases already in progress. GOP lawmakers said Democrats were trying to push an imperfect bill to help them in the upcoming election.
More Northwest Headlines
Wildfire along Lake Chelan grows overnight 1:11 p.m. Team rescues injured hiker on Olympic Peninsula Feds monitoring orca with fishing lure hanging from mouth 3:21 p.m. Skagit County 911 system struggles with understaffing 1:21 p.m. State auditor’s office won’t investigate Navy land deal 1:20 p.m. Seattle debuts new emergency-alert system 1:19 p.m. Animal control detains pit bulls suspected of Tacoma attack 1:18 p.m. Man who planted MLK Day bomb in Spokane denied appeal 1:16 p.m.
Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.