LANSING, Mich. — State Senator Morris W. Hood III (D–Detroit) today introduced an amendment to the Michigan Senate Rules that would make it out of order for the majority to remove staff from the Senate chamber based on their political party.

Sen. Hood’s amendment follows unprecedented Republican action on the last day of session in 2015, during which the Republican-led majority made procedural moves — including the removal of Democratic staff from the floor — in an attempt to shut down discussion of Democrats’ amendments on controversial Senate Bill 571, which was later criticized by a wide range of libraries, local governments, editorial boards and citizens.

“I’m disappointed that the Majority brought party politics onto the Senate Floor to stifle discussion on some very controversial — and unpopular — pieces of legislation,” Sen. Hood said. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

The combination of these procedures allowed Republicans to bypass discussion, vote on amendments as a single block and prevent Democratic senators from conferring with — and receiving information from — their staffers.

“My hope is that, by clarifying the rules, we will ensure lawmakers can adequately perform the job voters sent them to Lansing to do, without regard to political party,” Sen. Hood said.