By Guy Page
6:07 pm, March 11, 2020 – Beginning Friday, all non-essential meetings at the Vermont State House will be cancelled due to the coronavirus, Senate Pro Tem Tim Ashe told the Vermont Daily Chronicle minutes ago.
The decision was made at a Joint Rules Committee meeting this afternoon. Both House and Senate will continue to meet as a body and in committee.
Gatherings affected by the decision include school visits, receptions, Wednesday night Farmers Night concerts, advocacy days in the Card Room and cafeteria, etc.. No one will be prohibited from entering the building, but scheduled events will be cancelled and no further events will be scheduled, through at least March 31.
The Vermont Constitution requires the State House to be open to the public and the Legislature to conduct business while in session, with one important exception:
8. [DOORS OF GENERAL ASSEMBLY TO BE OPEN]
The doors of the House in which the General Assembly of this Commonwealth shall sit, shall be open for the admission of all persons who behave decently, except only when the welfare of the State may require them to be shut.