The Senate has voted 28-6, achieving the required two-thirds margin, to suspend the rule that allows former senators floor privileges with respect to one former senator - Nicole LeFavour - in response to LeFavour’s “Add the Words” protest yesterday in which she hid in a closet behind the Senate chamber.
“According to her, she had been hiding there for five to six hours,” Senate President Pro-Tem Brent Hill, R-Rexburg, told the Senate. “I’ll not speculate as to her motives, but from where she was hiding, she was able to eavesdrop on private discussions and telephone conversations in this room behind the chamber. She has demonstrated disregard for the law, resulting in multiple arrests this session. We cannot have anyone abusing their privileges in the Senate.”
Hill said, “Senators, we all come from varied backgrounds with different ideas, different points of view, different priorities, we don’t always agree on all the issues. But we come together to accomplish the people’s business. On that we are united. And we all agree that we must protect the ability to do that. I’ve asked Sen. LeFavour not to return to the whole area of the Senate here, but it’s difficult to enforce that request unless we suspend this rule that is designed to honor those who have previously served in this body. I ask for your support.”
Sen. Dan Schmidt, D-Moscow, said, “I reluctantly will oppose this motion. I feel I can understand the behaviors that we have seen, which I don’t condone and am not going to support. But I believe this is the wrong response. I believe there could have been and should be a different response, and I believe this response is incorrect, so I will be opposing this motion.”
LeFavour's privileges are now suspended for the remainder of this year’s session, which is expected to wrap up this week.