Senate passes rules for spectators - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Senate passes rules for spectators

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MADISON (WKOW) -- The Wisconsin Senate approved new rules Tuesday that bar spectators found to be disruptive from floor debates and committee hearings.

The vote in the Republican-controlled Senate passed 18-14, along party lines.

Under the rules, anyone found to be in violation of 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 or displaying any object or sign, and anyone who attends a Senate committee meeting must remain seated and silent.

Republicans say they're trying to avoid a repeat of last session, when protesters routinely disrupted Senate floor debates and committee meetings.

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