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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Republicans senators question ruling

Republican senators became angry Tuesday night at the presiding officer, who at the time was President Pro Tem Rodger Smitherman, questioning his rulings on when they could talk.

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

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Location: Montgomery, AL, United States

South Union Street is the blog of Montgomery Advertiser political reporters Markeshia Ricks and Sebastian Kitchen. Always check here for the latest on the Legislature, elections and other activities and players in Alabama.

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