Legislature to remain open

Posted on Dec 08 2021

The Legislature announced yesterday that it will remain open to carry out its duties and responsibilities. 

The presiding officers of the 22nd Legislature, House Speaker Edmund S. Villagomez and Senate President Jude U. Hofschneider, jointly agreed that, as a separate branch of government, the Legislative Branch is obligated to forge ahead with legislative matters of great importance to the Commonwealth.

Despite the Executive Branch’s declaration of a public health emergency, both houses of the Legislature continue to conduct legislative sessions, hearings, and meetings to deliberate on matters of health, education, commerce, infrastructure development, and public safety that are of significant importance to the well-being and safety of residents and visitors of the CNMI. 

On Nov. 9, 2021, the Legislature issued Legislative COVID Protocol Directive 2021-01 as a proactive measure to ensure the safety of the legislative members and staff, to include limiting public access into the building. 

On Nov. 30, 2021, the presiding officers of the Legislature extended Section 2 of Legislative COVID Protocol Directive 2021-01, until the end of December or until further notice.

In line with the Legislative COVID Protocol Directive 2021-01, as amended:

• No person who is not a legislative member, a members’ staff, or a Legislative Bureau employee shall enter the legislative building. As stated in the directive, an exemption is permitted to persons whose attendance is required and authorized at a legislative session, hearing, or meeting by the presiding officer of the respective chamber. An individual whose attendance is required may request to appear virtually through a written request provided 24 hours prior to the scheduled event to the presiding officers of the Legislature, chairpersons of the legislative standing committees, or chairpersons of the legislative delegation, respectively. 

• Delivery of items or correspondences to the legislative building are to be directed to the designated entrances of the House of Representatives or the Senate, respectively. 

The public is encouraged to be kept abreast of scheduled legislative sessions, hearings, and meetings made available to the viewing public on Channel 23 or broadcasted live on the Legislature’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cnmilegislature. 

To access the schedule of legislative events or proposed legislation of the 22nd NMCL, visit www.cnmileg.net. (PR)

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