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Missouri Legislature takes Covid precautions for 2021 session

The 2021 Missouri legislative session resumes this week, several protocols are in place to address the ongoing pandemic, said Senate President Dave Schatz,

“We have people checking temperatures, asking COVID-related questions as they enter the Capitol here, monitoring it from that perspective,” Sullivan, a Republican from Sullivan told Missourinet. “We’re taking some precautions on setting up our committee hearing rooms with some social distance areas, just trying to make sure that we have as much a safe environment as we can to try to conduct business.”

Citizens also have several new procedures for providing testimony.

“We would anticipate continuing to have public testimony in the form of individuals coming to the capitol,” Schatz said. “If they feel uncomfortable, I mean they’ve always been able to submit written testimony to the committees as well.”

The public will be able to testify virtually during House committee hearings. Both the House and Senate already provide audio of floor debate. The House also posts video of debate on its website.

Schatz said senators are not required to wear a mask, but he suggests that they wear one. At this time, spring break is the only major break planned in the Senate. “Until something that would dramatically change, we’re going to plow forward I believe like we should,” he said..

The state reports that 405,589 people have tested positive for COVID-19 since March and 5,825 have died from the virus. More than 2,600 people are in a Missouri hospital being treated for COVID-19.

Lawmakers gavel in at noon for the 2021 session. Eleven newly elected Senators and six returning senators will be sworn into office. In the House, 161 representatives also will take the oath of office.

The 2021 Missouri session ends May 30.

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice