By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily
Although only legislators, staff members and media will be allowed in legislative chambers during the Legislature’s upcoming special session, members of the public will be able to watch the proceedings online, according to state officials.
Gov. Mark Gordon has called the Legislature to a special session beginning Friday, primarily to determine how to spend $1.25 billion provided to the state through the federal coronavirus relief program.
The Legislative Service Office, which handles administrative duties for the Legislature, announced that while legislators will take part in the session through an online video meeting app, members of the public can watch all the debate at the Legislature’s YouTube site
Members of the public can express their concerns or raise questions by using the Legislature’s online hotline or by contacting their legislators directly.
The session is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. Friday and resume at 8 a.m. Saturday if a second day of work is needed.
Four measures authorizing Gordon to spend the money and laying out specific guidelines for spending some of it have already been filed for legislative consideration. Legislative leaders have adopted special rules to allow those bills to be reviewed quickly in both chambers.
The Senate and House will begin with identical versions of the bills. After approval in one chamber, the bills will be sent to the other for a review of changes made. Any differences in the two versions of the bills will be resolved by a joint conference committee. The result will be one bill that will be submitted for final approval by both chambers.