State House will remain partially closed after October 1 – Lowell Sun


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Anyone sitting on pins and needles for a return to normalcy and public access to the State House will have to wait.

Weeks after Gov. Charlie Baker gave the green light to reopen the businesses without any restrictions, House Speaker Ronald Mariano this week signaled that the virtually bustling Beacon Hill seat of government should not be completely open by October 1.

While presenting a set of House rules for debate on Wednesday, Interim House Speaker Kate Hogan – the third House Democrat – said the October 1 effective date “coincided with the calendar of the reopening of the State House “.

When asked if Hogan’s description was accurate, Mariano replied, “No, not a full reopening.”

“The hope would be that we have people in the building before then, and by October 1 we should be able to give a pretty accurate prediction of when we will reopen the building,” he said. declared. “It will be done in stages, I think, is the smartest way to do it.”

The state capital has largely been closed for more than 15 months due to the pandemic, during which the majority of elected officials remotely participated in hearings, sessions and votes.

Baker lifted the COVID-19 state of emergency on June 15, and more than three weeks later plans to reopen the State House are still unclear.

“It’s a pretty big task, a little bigger than people think,” Mariano told reporters, referring to the 40 senators and 160 representatives who will each have at least one staff member back to work. “If you bring in 40 people with an assistant, it’s a little easier than 320. I want to make sure there aren’t any big mistakes.”

The rules package passed in the House included modest updates, including a mandate that all House sessions be live streamed and require the release of the names of representatives who vote against moving a project forward. from law to committee.

Lawmakers rejected limiting a speaker’s term to eight years.

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