Speaker closes viewing gallery during budget fight
In an interesting turn of events, House Speaker Bill O’Brien, who was elected to the Speakership in a wave of Tea Party support, shut down the House viewing gallery and refused to allow citizens to observe budget negotiations on Thursday, according to numerous sources on the scene.
The Concord Monitor’s Shira Schoenberg Tweeted “O’Brien says he has the right to close the gallery because people were disruptive. No secrecy because press and streaming video are here.”
The House overwhelmingly voted to uphold the Speaker’s ruling to keep the gallery closed.
O’Brien and other state Republican leaders promised a new era of openness and transparency in state government back in January.