GENERAL ASSEMBLY TO SUSPEND LEGISLATIVE SESSION Montpelier, VT – Today the Vermont General Assembly will suspend the 2020 legislative session for one week, at which time the Joint Rules Committee, composed of bipartisan leadership of both chambers, will reassess based on public health information.
This suspension is out of an abundance of caution and in the interest of the statewide public health as well as concern for staff, legislators, press, and public given the prevalence of COVID-19. Statement from House Speaker Mitzi Johnson: “The health and safety of Vermonters is critically important. We must take appropriate measures to limit the spread of the coronavirus as much as we possibly can.
Vermont’s State House, while an example of democracy and accessibility across the county, has extremely close quarters which means viruses and illnesses have the potential to spread rapidly. To limit the possibility that a state house viral infection could accelerate the spread of the virus to every community in Vermont, the General Assembly will suspend business at the close of business today.
“I appreciate very much the partnership of Senator Ashe and the Governor as we move to continue to support the state’s response to COVID-19 and I look forward to continuing the people’s business when we return. In the meantime, we will continue monitoring the situation and are committed to working in partnership with all branches of government to ensure continuity and deliver the services Vermonters need.”
Statement from Senator Ashe: “The Speaker and I are committed to following the science and protecting public health. That includes protecting the health of Senators, Representatives, and all those who pass through the State House doors each day
“This action reflects that commitment. By closing down the State House, we are not stopping the Legislature’s work,. On the Senate side, committees will convene remotely to deliberate and, prioritize, and to develop appropriate measures to respond to this health crisis.
We will ensure that these remote sessions can be accessed by the public.” The House and Senate will reconvene and the State House will reopen to staff and the public on March 24th unless otherwise recommended by the Joint Rules Committee.