A contentious exchange between Sens. Dan Sullivan and Stephanie Flowers ultimately led to a vote by the Senate to ban her from participating remotely in debate for the remainder of the day.
Flowers questioned Sullivan about his bill, narrowly adopted, to forgive some $30,000 in fines assessed on businesses for violations of health directives issued under the governor’s emergency powers. He contended small businesses were unfairly singled out.
Flowers objected in questioning, noting that the businesses were cited for violating the law and asked why he’d propose this. Their exchange grew heated. As Flowers objected while Sullivan spoke, Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin loudly gaveled her out of order. And he proceeded to lecture her. “Turn off her microphone!” he shouted. “Who’s in charge of this. Turn it off. She’s not recognized.”
Flowers objected that she’d been treated rudely by Griffin and said he gaveled her more loudly than others.
When the vote on Sullivan’s bill was completed, Senate President Pro Tem Jimmy Hickey made a motion that remote participation be halted for the remainder of the day, a motion that affected only Flowers who participates by Zoom. He said decorum was necessary. His motion passed on a voice vote with a number of objections. Sen. Joyce Elliott spoke against the motion, saying one person shouldn’t be singled out and that perhaps all the Senate should take off the rest of the day to cool off.
I haven’t adequately recounted the back and forth. The video is now available for viewing, with the bill discussion beginning at 1:51 p.m., but the fireworks starting about 2:10 or so.