Three months into the Mississippi legislative session, nerves are fraying and tempers are flaring at the state Capitol.
Two Democratic House members scuffled last week after voting opposite ways on a workers' compensation bill.
A Tea Party member angrily confronted a state representative on Tuesday after she voted to kill a charter-school bill. Other Tea Party members came to the Capitol on Wednesday to apologize to the longtime lawmaker, and she accepted.
Stress is normal at the end of every legislative session, and random exchanges result in fisticuffs a couple of times each decade.
Others say the tensions in Mississippi reflect increased polarization at state capitols over everything from President Barack Obama to the socially conservative agendas being pushed by Republicans who now control more legislatures.