The woman, who gave her name only as "Sage," was forcibly removed for violating the Senate rule that prohibits hats in the chamber.
As she was dragged by two Idaho State Police corporals just before noon Thursday, the woman went limp and yelled, "I didn't do anything" and "You're hurting me."
"I'm so sorry that had to happen," said Senate President Pro Tem Brent Hill, R-Rexburg, upon whose authority the woman was removed.
Corps. James Love and Brady Barnes removed the woman from the 4th-floor gallery after the Senate passed House Bill 693, which requires adoption of emergency rules governing conduct on the Capitol Mall within 30 days of enactment. The bill, which was prompted by the Occupy Boise encampment, now goes to Gov. Butch Otter, who supported the measure.
The woman was not handcuffed or arrested, but taken down two flights of stairs and outside to the south steps of the Capitol.
Senate Sergeant at Arms Sarah Jane McDonald said the Senate takes seriously its rule against wearing of hats. "It's the protocol of the Senate. We're very formal here. If she'd taken her hat off, there would have been no problem."
After getting the woman outside, Love told her, "You've been escorted out of the Senate, as requested. Please don't come back or you'll be charged with trespassing."
The gray-haired woman who looked to be in her late 50s or early 60s, said she was from Boise. She said she was wearing a knit cap in the gallery. She said she told one of the troopers, "But you're wearing a hat. So if I have a gun I can wear a hat?"
The uniform for ISP troopers includes a broad-brimmed dark hat, which they typically wear while patrolling all parts of the Capitol.
The woman said she had removed her hat about five minutes after first being asked. Then, she said, a companion put on the hat and officers asked her to leave. She refused to go, prompting her ejection, she said.
Several of the woman's companions videotaped the exchange and jeered at the officers, saying, "Would you treat your mother like that?"
The Senate went briefly at ease during the woman's ejection, after the woman's shouting interrupted debate on the bill that followed HB 693.
Senate Rule 5 gives the president pro tem control of the Senate chamber. Hill's written protocol prohibits the wearing of hats, use of cell phones, eating and drinking, flash photography and the display of banners, posters, buttons or clothing "that advocate or represent a position or distrct from the decorum of the Senate."