McKee to partially reopen RI State House on June 1

Providence

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ Roughly a year after it was closed to the public, the Rhode Island State House will partially reopen come June 1.

Alana O’Hare, spokesperson for Gov. Dan McKee, said his office convened a meeting with representatives from the offices of the lieutenant governor, secretary of state, general treasurer, House speaker, Senate president and Joint Committee on Legislative Services (JCLS) to determine a re-opening plan.

“During that meeting, the group agreed on June 1,” O’Hare told 12 News in an email. “Before an announcement was made, there were operational details that needed to be finalized.”

O’Hare’s email came in response to a 12 News inquiry about a letter sent to McKee Friday by Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea, in which she urged the governor for more guidance on reopening the state and said she would reopen offices under her own control.

“I am writing to advise that absent any guidance from your office regarding the opening of state government offices, I have made the decision to open the Department of State’s offices to the public beginning June 1,” Gorbea wrote.

The letter is dated May 21, the same day Rhode Island lifted the vast majority of capacity limits on businesses.

“Our state is reopening so Rhode Islanders and businesses can begin returning to normal after more than a year of various restrictions in their daily lives,” Gorbea wrote. “If we are wiling to say businesses and their employees should return to their operations, how is state government not prepared to do so as well?”

O’Hare said the June 1 reopening will be “limited” based on the consensus from top state officials. She said additional details will be communicated soon.

“It is the highest priority of the governor’s office that every tenant of the State House participates in an inclusive effort to reopen the people’s house in a way that ensures public health and safety,” she said.

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