State Legislatures Scramble to Meet in the Age of Coronavirus

In Arkansas, lawmakers convened inside of a basketball arena, maintaining social distancing in the tiered rows of seating to cast in-person votes on emergency legislation. Ohio legislators voted from separate rooms, dressed in casual clothing after Senate leaders observed that business attire typically requires dry cleaning so is washed less frequently. In New York, senators passed a resolution permitting them to vote by “remote means, including but not limited to teleconference or video conference.”

Welcome to legislating in the age of coronavirus.

Across the country, state lawmakers have tweaked rules that require them to meet and vote in person, moves they say are necessary to protect themselves while passing emergency legislation required to help communities respond to the Covid-19 outbreak. (Read more…)