Rules for General Assembly conduct this session include no guns in Capitol
With Democrats promising to enact long-overdue commonsense gun safety measures, gun groups and supporters have become increasingly threatening in their language. It is expected that they will come to the Capitol from around the country for their usual lobby days as well as when gun bills are being voted on. To protect visitors to the Capitol, and the legislators and their staff, the House and Senate wrote rules banning weapons from the Capitol, the Pocahontas building, and all the committee meetings and legislative offices. That includes for legislators themselves.
For the first time in history–er, “herstory”–the rules of conduct for the General Assembly were written using only female pronouns. Thus, for example, “Rule 30. No member will absent herself from the service of the House unless she has leave granted by the Speaker or is sick or otherwise unable to attend.”
Added to the set of Rules the House operated by during the previous Republican-controlled session is that the House Rules Committee will establish a formal policy for training, reporting, investigating, and resolving issues of harassment by those engaged with or employed by the legislative branch.
Senate Judiciary Committee to hear gun bills Monday morning
The Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Senator John Edwards, is scheduled to meet Monday morning at 9AM in Senate Room A in the Pocahontas Building.
The docket includes universal background checks (SB12-Saslaw, SB70-Lucas), one handgun a month purchase restriction (SB22-Saslaw, SB69-Locke), Red Flag Law (SB240-Barker), as well as numerous bills allowing localities to enact restrictions on possessing firearms at public events and in government buildings.
A number of other important bills are on the docket, although it’s not clear whether the committee will be able to get through the entire docket Monday.
Senator McClellan’s bill SB3 to eliminate school disruptions from misdemeanor disorderly conduct is an important step to ending the school to prison pipeline.
SB19 from Senator Ebbin and SB62 from Senator Suetterlein to end the mandatory disclosure of race on marriage forms.
Bills to allow deferred disposition (probation without misdemeanor conviction) for first-time petit larceny arrests, SB286-Deeds, SB309-Stanley.
SB149 from Senator Howell increases fees convicted defendants pay that fund courtroom security. (It’s a small amount of money, but these fees make re-entry harder for those who’ve been incarcerated.)