MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Republicans who control the state Senate have approved new rules barring disruptive spectators from watching floor debates and committee hearings.
The chamber voted 18-14 along party lines to approve the rules Tuesday.
Under the plan, anyone who violates decorum in the Senate chamber, parlor, offices or hearing rooms could be removed for 24 hours. Third-time offenders could be barred from any Senate space for the remainder of the two-year legislative session.
Observers in the Senate's overhead gallery would be barred from using any electronics as well as displaying any object or sign. Anyone who attends a Senate committee meeting must remain seated and silent.
Republicans are trying to avoid a repeat of last session, when protesters routinely disrupted Senate floor debates and committee meetings.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Republicans who control the state Senate have proposed stricter rules for spectators.
The GOP released a resolution Monday that calls for anyone who violates chamber rules or policies to be removed for 24 hours. Third-time violators would be banned from the chamber for the remainder of the two-year legislative session.
The resolution also would bar spectators from displaying any objects and using any electronic devices. Currently spectators are barred from displaying only signs and using cellphones and pagers. The rules would apply to Senate committee meetings.
The Senate is expected to vote on the rules during a Tuesday floor session.
Assembly Republicans adopted similar rules last week. The GOP wants to avoid a repeat of last session, when protesters routinely disrupted committees and floor sessions.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The Republican-controlled Wisconsin state Senate is looking at toughening requirements of those watching lawmakers debate from public galleries.
Republican Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said Friday that new rules are being considered that would institute penalties for people who are cited for misbehavior in the galleries and in committee meetings.
The Assembly on Thursday approved new rules that call for people violating rules of the gallery to be removed after the first infraction and barred from the Assembly for the remainder of the two-year session on the third offense.
Fitzgerald says the Senate is considering similar changes as well as listing behavior that is not permitted in the galleries. He says his primary concern is protecting senators.
The Senate is scheduled to take up the changes Tuesday.