Alabama Senate makes pandemic-related changes ahead of 2021 session

Alabama Senate makes pandemic-related changes ahead of 2021 session
The Alabama Statehouse (Source: WSFA 12 News file photo)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Alabama Senate is making some changes ahead of the Feb. 2 start of the 2021 regular session. No details were immediately available regarding the House.

Secretary of the Senate Pat Harris and staff have made a number of procedural and technological changes on the Senate side of the Alabama Legislature in order to protect the public and legislators during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Harris said the public will be required to wear masks in all public places while visiting the Alabama State House and will have to pass through thermal temperature scanners at all public entrances.

For those looking to visit a senator’s office will have to have an appointment, and will required to pass through an additional thermal scanner located on the seventh floor.

Members will have their temperatures checked using handheld scanners as they enter from the parking deck, Harris added, and legislative staff members will have to complete a daily health check assessment survey before entering the building each day.

Meanwhile in-person meetings will be limited, and those attending will have to maintain six-feet of social distancing. Harris said video monitors will be provided to livestream sessions from the chamber and committee meetings in various rooms around the State House.

Harris said the legislative website, legislature.state.al.gov, has also been upgraded and will give the public the ability to watch and engage during the legislative process despite challenges created by the pandemic.

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