Okla. legislators take look at decorum problems

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Associated Press

Posted on March 18, 2013 at 7:05 AM

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Flaring tempers, profanity on the floor and flippant remarks during debates highlighted recent breaches in decorum at the Oklahoma Legislature.

The incidents prompted the Senate to go into a rare closed-door session to discuss chamber rules, and one House member delivered a public apology.

Tempers ran high Tuesday night when the House worked until midnight. Rep. James Lockhart apologized on the floor the next day for a heated exchange he had with the presiding officer.

The executive session in the Senate came after grumblings that some members were becoming too flippant with their remarks.

Decorum breaches are nothing new in the Legislature, and the recent breaks in tradition don't compare to a 1947 incident when a senator was shot on the Senate floor in a confrontation with a House member.

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