Wisconsin Lawmakers to Avoid Late-Night Debates | News
MADISON, Wis. (AP) - A bipartisan deal has been struck to avoid the Wisconsin state Assembly debating and taking votes in the middle of the night.
Party leaders announced the agreement Thursday that did not require a vote of the full Assembly.
The deal hinges on Republican and Democratic leaders agreeing before each day's debate how long they will take on each measure. That is not done currently and in recent years the Assembly has routinely gone deep into the night to vote and pass bills.
Republican Speaker Robin Vos says both sides agreed they wanted to eliminate all night sessions, saying that is not in the public interest.
As a test of the new procedure, both sides have agreed to limit debate Thursday on other contentious rule change proposals to five hours.
Republicans propose strict rules for observers
Republicans who control the Wisconsin state Assembly are proposing strict new requirements for visitors who want to watch them debate in public galleries.
Democrats argue the restrictions being debated Thursday are an unconstitutional restriction on the public's right to view their government in action.
The proposed rules disallows using cellphones or computers, reading newspapers or other printed material, eating, carrying bags or wearing hats. It also bars disrupting the Assembly in any way or expressing opinions.
Violators can be removed for the day or the entire two-year session if they violate the rules three times.
Democrats say it doesn't make sense that visitors are allowed to carry concealed weapons into the gallery but they can't look at their cellphone or read a newspaper.
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