Republicans senators question ruling
Republican Sens. Larry Dixon of Montgomery and Scott Beason of Gardendale questioned what basis Smitherman was using to rule. Smitherman, D-Birmingham, originally told the men to look it up. The presiding officer, using Senate rules, can decide when it is appropriate for senators to talk or take certain action.
Dixon said he was elected to the Senate to represent his constituents and told Smitherman to tell him which portion of the rules he was using to make decisions.
Republicans have used various tactics to try to slow down the Senate. They have said they are angry because Democrats cut off debate on the $1.5 billion General Fund budget.
As of 9:40 p.m., a machine continued to read the budget at length at the request of Republican Sen. Ben Brooks.
-- posted by Sebastian Kitchen