JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Several Mississippi House members said they were outraged Monday when one lawmaker threw a bill at a colleague during a floor debate.
Rep. Steve Holland of Plantersville flung a bill in anger at a fellow Democrat, Rep. Omeria Scott of Laurel.
Holland later grudgingly apologized to the whole House.
Holland is chairman of the House Public Health Committee and Scott is vice chairwoman. She asked Holland to read aloud the changes to the final version of a medical examiner’s bill.
Democratic House Speaker Billy McCoy told Holland to give Scott a copy of the bill, and Holland walked to her desk at the side of the House chamber and threw it at her.
Witnesses say the papers did not hit Scott. Several lawmakers said regardless of whether anyone was hit, the action was still inappropriate. Several lawmakers demanded that Holland apologize.
“I don’t throw things at my dog,” said Rep. Adrienne Wooten, D-Jackson. “How dare you throw things at a human being?”
Rep. David Myers, D-McComb, said he has never seen one lawmaker throw anything at another.
“It is totally, totally unprofessional and unheard of,” Myers said.
Holland told the House: “I should not have done that and I do apologize for that. Profusely, I apologize for that.”
Holland then tried to say Scott was upset because she didn’t get what she wanted in the final version of a bill. McCoy cut him off.
“Let us not deal with your internal affairs,” McCoy said. “Please stop.”
“Well, I apologize,” Holland said.
Later, Holland told The Associated Press that Scott was not at the Capitol during the weekend for negotiations on bills.
“She was my vice chairman and instead of pouting and using her sinister tactics to get back at me, she should be here in the process,” Holland said. “She should respect me that much in the process, and the institution.”
Scott told AP in a separate interview that she took part in negotiations Friday and signed all the bills that were awaiting her signature then. She said she was at the Capitol “off and on this weekend.”
“To me, this doesn’t even deserve to be written about,” Scott said.
She said it was “inappropriate” for Holland to throw a bill at her.
“It gets heated up here,” Scott said. “We get in heated disagreements.”
Legislators often snap at each other when they’re under pressure at the end of their three-month sessions.
Speaking of throwing the bill, Holland said: “I hope I never do it again. And I won’t, unless I by God have to.”
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.
Emily Wagster Pettus/The Associated Press