Assembly passes strict rules for observers - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Assembly passes strict rules for observers

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Visitors who come to the Wisconsin state Assembly to watch debate won't be allowed to use cellphones, eat or wear a hat.

Those are some of the restrictions the Republican-controlled state Assembly approved Thursday.

Democrats argue the restrictions are an unconstitutional restriction on the public's right to view their government in action, but Republicans say they're meant to bring more decorum to the galleries. Violators can be removed for the day or the entire two-year session if they violate the rules three times.

Another new rule requires male lawmakers to wear a coat and tie and female lawmakers to be appropriately attired. Those in violation would not be allowed to participate in debate that day.

The new rules were approved on a 59-37 vote. One Democrat voted for it.

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