No General Assembly hearings for second week after coronavirus cases

Politics - Government

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Island lawmakers will stay away from the State House for a second week after a handful of legislative staffers tested positive for coronavirus.

“Senate is taking two weeks off as a precaution because of COVID,” Senate spokesperson Greg Paré said. “This is week two.”

House leaders has made the same decision, spokesperson Larry Berman confirmed.

Most General Assembly employees have been working from home since last week, when it emerged that some staff members had tested positive for COVID-19. The R.I. Department of Health later said the number of cases was roughly five.

While the Assembly is usually inactive in the summer, the pandemic has upended the legislative calendar this year. Top lawmakers have punted on completion of a budget for the new 2020-21 fiscal year in the hopes that Congress provides additional aid in a new coronavirus relief bill.

In the meantime, the two chambers’ respective Finance Committees have been holding budget hearings to prepare, and other committees have met sporadically, as well.

Ted Nesi (tnesi@wpri.com) is WPRI 12’s politics and business editor and a Target 12 investigative reporter. He is a weekly panelist on Newsmakers and hosts Executive Suite. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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