After all the protesters were arrested, one remained – former state Sen. Nicole LeFavour, D-Boise, who stood alone in the doorway of the Senate. The reason: Senate rules grant floor privileges to former members. She remained there as the Senate began its session; senators filed into the chambers around her.
After the morning prayer, Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis rose to make a motion he said he’d never been made before: To suspend Senate Rule 46A, the one that grants floor privileges to former members, for the remainder of the day. He said traditionally, “We welcome … back to the body” former members. “Today appears to be different,” he said. Senate rules don’t permit any person to lobby for or against any bill in the Senate chamber when the Senate is in session, he said. “We want to preserve the right of debate. We want to have a Senate floor that recognizes the traditions of this body, and the historic dignity that we strive for on this floor. And as a result, I am compelled to make this motion.”
Senate Minority Leader Michelle Stennett, D-Ketchum, seconded the motion. “My caucus and I completely respect the public’s ability to speak to their issues and have a voice in this body, in this Statehouse - it is the people’s house,” she said. “And because we honor that, we are in complete support any time anyone uses this Statehouse to be here as a platform to make us understand what their issues are. On the other hand, we are here during the session and at this time, to be able to do the people’s work. … We are here about doing the business of the people, and for that I have supported this motion.
The motion passed unanimously, 34-0. Hill then announced, “The sergeant-at-arms will please remove the person blocking the door to the Senate.”