On March 2nd, the sixty-day legislative session commenced. Tuesday started with the leaders in both chambers addressing their members on their thoughts on the upcoming session. They broke and then the Governor came to the House chambers to deliver his state-of-the-state address. Traditionally, the Senators come to the House chambers to hear the Governor along with former members of the House and Senate and the Cabinet. This joint session was unique as the Senate remained in their chambers due to Covid concerns.
Still no member of the public is allowed in the Senate, although there have been a couple of meetings where the Senate Chair has invited public experts to come in and testify before their committee. The public has to testify via zoom from the Civic Center. The House is allowing the public to sign up in advance to be in the committee room to testify but they cap the amount of people admitted. Otherwise, you again have to testify from the Civic Center. You can set meetings with House members in their Capitol offices but it is discouraged. The House members and all staff are tested twice a week as are the Senators and their staff.
The issues this session are primarily Covid related. The House and Senate are fast-tracking the Covid liability protection bills for business and for health care providers.
Many scope expansion bills and Telehealth bills have been filed in both houses. It is too early to determine what will pass.
Dr. Miles is in the Capitol as doctor of the day, sponsored by Representative Elizabeth Fetterhoff, this opening week and I am looking forward to hearing his observations from the inside.
Please do not hesitate to contact me via email – email@example.com if you have any questions, thoughts, or concerns.