The Texas State Capitol building is poised to finally reopen, though details on specific protocols and rules are still forthcoming.
Since March, the building has been closed to members of the public due to concerns over the coronavirus.
But with the 87th Legislative Session slated to begin in just a few weeks, calls for the building to reopen have grown louder. Earlier this month, leaders in the Republican Party of Texas passed a resolution demanding the Capitol reopen without restriction for the upcoming legislative session. And just last week, Gov. Greg Abbott told Texas Scorecard, “I do think the Capitol should be reopened, and the Capitol will be reopened.”
In a joint statement on Monday, Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and outgoing Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen announced the Capitol would be reopened on January 4.
According to the release:
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, health and safety protocols have been put in place to allow for the Capitol’s reopening while maintaining a safe environment for all visitors, lawmakers, and staff. Preparations to safely conduct business in the Texas House and Senate are ongoing, and each chamber will vote upon their respective rules and protocols at the start of the legislative session.
Though specific protocols have yet to be announced, lawmakers have reportedly considered temperature checks, COVID testing, and limiting capacity in the galleries and committee rooms.
The Legislature will reconvene on January 12.