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NH News

N.H. House to move back to State House in March

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Allegra Boverman
/
NHPR

The New Hampshire House will resume sessions in Concord starting March 10.

It will be the first time House lawmakers have met in Representatives Hall for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

House Speaker Sherman Packard says with COVID case counts falling, immunity on the rise, and more relaxed state health guidance, it’s time for lawmakers to return to Reps Hall, where the seating is shoulder-to-shoulder.

N95 masks will be available for lawmakers and those who feel sick will be urged to stay home. There is no mandatory COVID-19 testing requirement.

In a statement, Packard also cited new air-filtration units and what he called Reps Hall’s “robust air handling system.”

“We’re now in a different phase of the pandemic, and without some return to normalcy, we risk long-lasting damage to this historic institution and its traditions,” Packard said.

“Without some return to normalcy we risk long-lasting damage,” to the House and its traditions, he said.

The House’s Democratic leader, Renny Cushing, called Packard’s decision “needlessly reckless” and “a disaster in the making.”

Cushing, who has late-stage cancer, is among a group of Democrats of frail health who sued Packard under the American with Disabilities Act in hopes of winning the right to participate in House sessions remotely.

That lawsuit remains before a federal appeals court.

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