If things start to look a little more casual in the Idaho House from this point on, here’s why: Today, Rep. Leon Smith, R-Twin Falls, asked for unanimous consent to “Suspend Rule 70 for the rest of the session.” That House rule is the one regarding “Session Decorum,” which states, “(1) Smoking and the consumption of food and beverage will not be allowed in the Representative Chamber or gallery while the House is in Session. (2) Persons in the Chamber shall wear proper attire to maintain decorum of the House.” Usually, when the rule is suspended as the session inches into the warmth of spring, it’s to allow overheated lawmakers to remove their jackets and perhaps sip a cold soda while they’re on the floor. Usually, though, the rule is suspended with the exception of smoking.
Rep. Dell Raybould, R-Rexburg, took quick action to modify Smith’s request, saying he’d modify it to add: “except smoking and spitting.” Amid laughter in the two-tiered House chamber, Raybould explained, “Those of us who might be a little bit liable from something from above, I would hope that would be suspended.” There was no objection, so the speaker announced that Rule 70 has been suspended “except for smoking and spitting” for the remainder of this year’s legislative session.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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