AUGUSTA – Due to an impending nor’easter, Senate President Troy Jackson of Allagash and House Speaker Ryan Fecteau of Biddeford have announced the closure of all legislative offices for Tuesday, Feb. 2. This closure means all public hearings, work sessions and other legislative meetings subject to public access laws have been canceled for tomorrow.
Although the 130th Maine Legislature has switched to remote committee meetings amid the COVID-19 pandemic, committee clerks and essential personnel staff still require access to the State House to provide technical assistance and formally run meetings. With the National Weather Service predicting hazardous travel conditions in parts of the state tomorrow morning and 8-12 inches of snow over the next 36 hours, it is unlikely that essential staff would be able to safely travel to the State House. The National Weather Service is also predicting strong winds of between 35-45 mph in parts of the state, which raises concerns over power outages and the ability to hold remote public hearings in a way that ensures lawmaker participation and public access.
Legislative offices will reopen to lawmakers, staff and essential people on Wednesday, Feb. 3 at 8:00 a.m. Public hearings and work sessions originally scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 2 will be rescheduled in the coming weeks.