(The following information was provided by provided by MASWM-MESA legislative consultant Lynne M. Schlosser.)
At the start of this week, there were several confirmed case of Missourians who tested positive for coronavirus, but still, concerns about the global pandemic have impacted state government — including shuttering some public areas.
On Tuesday evening, in a joint announcement from House and Senate, Leadership asked advocacy groups, the general public and school groups to refrain from Capitol visits. This was followed Wednesday evening with an announcement that the Missouri Senate would be canceling session a week before the legislative spring break, scheduled to begin March 19 upon adjournment, out of caution as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread across the country.
Majority Floor Leader Caleb Rowden later confirmed on social media the Senate will not be in session next week. He said the cancelation was “to ensure the safety of our members and Capitol guests from the ongoing [COVID-19] realities.”
Following the Senate’s suspension of session, the House announced Thursday they would be granting administrative leave, until the end of the month, to all staff who are not required to be in the building for legislative purposes. The House plans to work Sunday – Friday next week working to finalize their version of the State’s operating budget.
It is unclear at this time with the pandemic whether or not session will resume on March 30 as scheduled following legislative spring break. Missouri Lawmakers are working tirelessly to help keep the people of our great state as safe and healthy as possible in the wake of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and will continue to monitor the situation in Missouri very closely.