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Monday, January 14, 2013

 12:09 PM 

Proposed Senate rules include new punishments for those who interrupt proceedings

The Senate would ban people in the gallery from displaying signs or other objects and impose new punishments for those who fail to follow chamber requirements under proposed rules for the session.

The proposal, to be taken up by the full chamber tomorrow, includes new measures to address protesters who interrupted floor sessions and hearings last session.

That includes requiring those who attend Senate meetings such as a public hearing to remain seated and quiet while barring them from displaying signs or other objects.

Those who violate chamber rules or policies can be removed from a Senate “space” for 24 hours on the first offense. The second violation calls for someone to be removed and barred until the first roll call day of the next regularly scheduled floor period. A third violation would result in removal and being banned from Senate “spaces” for the remainder of the session.

The proposal defines Senate spaces as the chamber, Senate offices, hearing rooms and “any other space in the capitol that is traditionally reserved for the conduct of senate business.”

The proposed rules also include a change in case two parties have equal representation in the Senate. That occurred last session when the body was temporarily split 16-16. It calls for the former majority leader to chair the Committee on Senate Organization.


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