Lawmakers consider new penalties for misbehavior in galleries

CREATED Jan 12, 2013

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MADISON, Wis. - The Wisconsin state senate is considering a measure that would toughen the penalties on visitors who misbehave in the public galleries.

The senate debate follows action taken by the Assembly a few days ago.

On Thursday, the Assembly approved a measure that says anyone caught violating the rules of the gallery can be removed and prevented from returning for the remainder of the two-year session.

The gallery is where the public can watch lawmakers debate.

Republican Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said in addition to considering these new penalties in the galleries, the senate is including behavior of the pubilc in committee meetings.

Fitzgerald says his primary concern is protecting senators.

The Senate is scheduled to take up the changes on Tuesday.