RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — For a second straight year, the coronavirus pandemic has upended the daily routines of the tradition-bound Virginia General Assembly.
Lawmakers have been working under extraordinary circumstances, legislating to a substantial degree by video conference. It’s a setup that has led to technical difficulties, an uncharacteristically profane hot mic situation and more serious complaints from lawmakers and advocates alike.
They say legislating by Zoom has limited transparency, stifled public participation and diluted the democratic process.
Legislative leaders say the adjustments are necessary for public health in a pandemic. And they contend that enabling people to participate virtually has actually made proceedings more transparent.