Senators return to finish 2020 session in a strange environment

The Nebraska Legislative Chamber, just like practically everything else in our lives, looked different when senators gathered Monday to finish the final 17 days of the long strange 2020 session.

Plexiglas shields were everywhere, just like your favorite grocery store or big box retailer. Most senators were wearing masks and access to the legislative chambers was severely restricted. Reporters were confined to an upper balcony. No lobbyists. No public spectators. Just Clerk of the Legislature staff (somebody’s got to keep track of stuff), pages, State Troopers and sergeants at arms (somebody’s got to keep order and decorum) and some legislative staff.

Among the group was Senator Tony Vargas of South Omaha who lost his father to COVID-19 in New York State in April. Senators Steve Erdman of Bayard and Steve Halloran of Hastings appeared without masks and a different idea to address this unusual global pandemic.

 

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