State legislature to adjourn until March 31

Published 2:01 pm Monday, March 16, 2020

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After meeting with medical professionals, fellow legislators, and other state officials, Senate President Page Cortez and Speaker of the House of Representatives Clay Schexnayder have decided to temporarily adjourn the 2020 Regular Legislative Session until March 31.

Medical professionals anticipate that rapid growth may put a strain on health care access and facilities. That rapid growth is best curbed by social distancing. With that in mind, the decision to temporarily adjourn was made.

“The public health crisis at hand has placed the legislature in unchartered waters,” Cortez said. “With every decision we make, we are balancing the health and welfare of our citizens, staff, and legislators with our constitutional responsibilities. At this time, we believe it is in the best interest of our state to temporarily adjourn the session.”

Legislators have been directed by Senate and House leadership to contact those stakeholders and citizens who have requested bills to update them on the status of the session. All involved are encouraged to work together via telephone and e-mail to finalize potential issues with legislation so that those issues can be addressed when the legislature convenes again.

“While the matters being considered at the legislative session are important, nothing is more important than the safety and welfare of each and every Louisiana citizen,” Schexnayder said. “The President and I have been in constant communication about what is best for the state and at this point, the best course of action is to adjourn temporarily and come back ready to work when the risk has diminished.”

The President and the Speaker continue to encourage everyone to take the proactive steps recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to protect the health of themselves and those around them and remind constituents that social distancing and immediate testing for symptomatic individuals are the best tools to slow down the spread of the virus.

Legislative leadership will continue to diligently monitor the spread of COVID-19 and its impact on the state. The President and the Speaker will be in constant communication regarding future decisions concerning the legislative session.