Noting record increases in Covid-19 case numbers as cause for caution, Assembly Speaker Craig J. Coughlin (D-Middlesex) has updated the Covid-19 health and safety policy governing Assembly proceedings.
“In an effort to make next week as safe as possible, I will be instituting a requirement for testing to enter the Assembly Chamber and to attend the Reorganization Ceremony next week,” said Speaker Coughlin. “The pandemic has challenged us all. But I will not compromise when it comes to the health and safety of members of the legislature and the public while conducting the people’s business.”
A negative Covid-19 rapid test taken after 12:00 noon on January 8 will be required of all who intend to access the Assembly Chambers on January 10, 2022 or the Reorganization Ceremony on January 11, 2022. Members and staff will need to certify to their respective house leadership that they have a negative COVID-19 test.
A phone line will be available in order for those who cannot make the session or who test positive to participate and attend. Ensuring in person attendance, with necessary health and safety measures, is essential given the delays associated with remote attendance.
A rapid testing site will be available at the State House on January 10 for Assembly members and staff who could not get tested beforehand. There will also be testing available at the State House on January 11 for all members and new members’ guests for the Reorganization Ceremony.
Members of the press intending to access the Assembly floor during Monday’s session and the War Memorial on Tuesday will be able to utilize free onsite testing if they have confirmed their plans of in-person attendance to Assembly Majority Communications Director Kevin McArdle, via email firstname.lastname@example.org, by 7p.m. on Sunday, January 9, 2022.
The Assembly gallery will be closed to the public, but the livestream of the voting session will remain available for viewing via the Legislature’s website: https://www.njleg.state.nj.us/.