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Montana Senate Goes Wild, Puts New Policies in Place to Correct Itself

Today, April 10, Montana Senate President Jeff Essman read a letter in front of the Senate detailing changes in procedure designed to prevent another chamber uproar like the one that happened on Friday, April 5 (see video above).

Below are the five main points covered in the letter written by Essman and Senate Minority leader Jon Sesso. The points are transcribed verbatim from Essman’s reading of the letter.

1. The minority acknowledges its role in the disruption of the decorum of the Senate on April 5th, and I have been assured by Senator Sesso that this will not happen again.

2. It is hereby agreed by the president of the Senate and the minority leader that the practice of pounding on desks has been prohibited.

3. The proper procedure for gaining recognition of the presiding officer is to stand with microphone in hand. The clerk shall activate the microphone. The member shall speak up audibly with, or without amplification. The member shall remain standing until recognition is gained from the presiding officer.

4. Chairs on second reading are instructed to gavel down the disruptive conversation of members that are talking in the chamber which continues to make it difficult for all to hear the senator who is speaking.

5. If a member on the floor is having difficulty hearing the debate or a motion on the floor due to side conversation or other noise the proper procedure is to audibly call on the chair to restore order.

Letter from Jeff Essman and Jon Sesso:

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