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Covid-19 on minds as session to begin; state lawmakers convening today


Session is going to 'look a little different,' House Speaker says


By Rachel Herzog
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

When the Arkansas General Assembly convenes today during a once-in-a-century pandemic, the first-day ceremonies will be the same, but they'll be taking place along with health screenings, one-way hall traffic and limited seating.

As new lawmakers are seated and sworn in, the House is limiting space in the gallery overlooking its chamber. New members will each be allowed to have one family member in the gallery. For the Senate, family members of new lawmakers will enter one by one as the oath of office is administered.

"As best as we can, we're trying to handle things as normal as possible, but undoubtedly, because of the virus, it is going to look a little different," House Speaker Matthew Shepherd, R-El Dorado, said. READ MORE.

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