Del. Legislative Committee Hearings Will Take Place Virtually At Least Through Jan.
When Delaware lawmakers resume the General Assembly session Tuesday, House and Senate committees will meet virtually in January utilizing Zoom.
The actions are being taken by House Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf, D-Rehoboth Beach and Senate President Pro Tempore David Sokola, D-Newark in response to increasing COVID-19 cases and the spread of the omicron variant.
“While I miss the normal activity of Legislative Hall, ensuring the health and safety of legislators, staff and the public is a top priority,” Schwartzkopf said. “Additionally, the work of the General Assembly is critical, and we want to reduce the chances of an outbreak, which could potentially cripple the operations of this branch of government. There are reasonable steps we can take in the short-term to protect everyone and continue our work. I am hopeful that this latest spike is temporary, and we will re-evaluate our plan for session before we return in March.”
Citizens will be able to virtually attend all virtual committee meetings and submit comments on pending legislation.
Links to register for each meeting will be posted at legis.delaware.gov, the General Assembly’s website.
A limited number of seats will be available to the public on days that the House and Senate are in session, and legislators and guests will be required to wear a face covering.
“I think every one of us had hoped the pandemic outlook and the format of our legislative session would be different this January, but the sudden spike in COVID cases combined with the highly contagious nature of the Omicron pandemic demands that we take steps to protect our continuity of governance,” Sokola said. “Fortunately, staff and legislators have worked hard over the last two years to make sure we can continue to consider legislation, allow public comment and work to improve the lives of Delaware’s working families while meeting virtually. My sincere hope is we can revisit these policies later in the year, but for now we all need to make decision that protect the health and welfare of our guests and employees.”