House Minority Leader John Rusche, D-Lewiston, has returned to the House chamber today, after naming substitutes for the first three weeks while he helped care for his wife, Kay, while she underwent treatment for cancer. “She had brain surgery the first of last month,” Rusche told the House this morning, and “is doing well at the present time.” He said the two have “lots of friends at home that are helping to take care of her.” He added, “If I get a little owly down here, it’s because I feel like I’m torn. I’m here but I feel like I should be up there. Last week, I was up there but I felt like I should be down here.” He thanked all House members for their prayers and “kind words.”
And Rusche then unexpectedly asked to make a motion. House Speaker Scott Bedke told him he could go ahead, but looked a little surprised. Rusche then moved to waive House Rule 70 to the extent that beverages could be consumed in the House chamber. That rule, commonly waived late in the session, is entitled “Session Decorum” and states in part, “Smoking and the consumption of food and beverage will not be allowed in the representative chamber or gallery while the House is in Session.” That bans drinking even water on the floor, unless it’s waived.
Bedke said, “I think that’s a great idea, if we don’t spill them.” Rusche then asked for unanimous consent, and there was no objection. To laughter, Bedke announced, “For the remainder of the session, under House Rule 70, you make partake of beverages without spilling it.”