State Lawmakers Adopt New Rules Affecting Protesters

May 15, 2014

Credit Dave Crosby / Flickr Share-Alike

State legislators have redefined the rules laying out how people may gather in protest at the General Assembly.

They were approved by the Legislative Services Commission on Thursday. The measures are a rewrite of rules last changed in 1987. The updates prohibit activities that cause an "imminent disturbance," and they more clearly define what kinds of signs can be used.

Republican Tim Moore chairs the committee:

"These rules have actually gone further and made it clear there will be no content based censorship, folks will not be subject to one set of rules because they either happen to agree or disagree with whatever majority is in the General Assembly. it's designed to be fair across the board," said Moore.

The new rules remove a ban on public access to the second floor of the legislature.

Democrats say they're intended to deter Moral Monday protesters. And they're concerned that the changes were made without any public comment or deliberation in either chamber.