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Rep. Kelly testifies on bills to allow virtual committees, require face coverings for House meetings

Says health and safety of Ohioans doesn't end at Statehouse steps
February 11, 2021
Democratic Newsroom

Rep. Brigid Kelly (D-Cincinnati) testified before the House Government Oversight Committee Thursday on two bills that would allow for more House business to be conducted virtually and to require face masks during House committee meetings and floor sessions. 

“The People’s House should be a safe and accessible space for every Ohioan to engage in the process of our democracy. No one should have to feel they’re taking their life into their hands when they interact with their elected representatives,” said Rep. Kelly. “Throughout our state, in virtually every other public place - and place of business - people are required to wear masks and work has gone virtual. Places of government business should be no different. The health and safety of you and your family doesn’t end at the Statehouse steps.”

Rep. Kelly testified on the following bills Thursday: 

·         House Bill (HB) 55, which would allow for committees to meet and witnesses to testify virtually amid the coronavirus pandemic;

·         HB 56, which would require mask wearing in a standing committee, subcommittee, select committee, or joint committee of the House of Representatives. 

Dozens of advocacy groups recently sent a letter calling on the legislature to allow for virtual testimony in all legislative hearings. The letter also asks that there be a mask mandate for everyone inside the Statehouse, including Members. 

No additional hearing dates on HB 55 and HB 56 have been announced.