The Legislature made it a top priority to uphold the public process and access legislative proceedings from the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Significant efforts were implemented quickly to ensure individuals continue to have the opportunity to provide comments and attend meetings. During live committee meetings for the 2021 General Session, the public will be able to participate electronically and in-person to provide public comment on proposed legislation.
Public Access to Capitol Hill
General Principles - Individuals in indoor spaces at the Capitol Hill Complex are required to wear masks and, as much as possible, maintain a six-foot distance from other individuals.
- Addressing a legislative committee
- Addressing an entire legislative body on the floor of a chamber
- Alone in the individual's own office
Mask Ambassadors - Each chamber will designate a mask ambassador to remind individuals to wear a mask. A mask ambassador is not an enforcer but intended only to provide friendly reminders.
Reminders - Signs will be placed at each public entrance of a building on the Capitol Hill Complex to remind individuals of the mask requirement. An individual will be denied entry to a building for not wearing a mask.
Workspace - Designated areas will be provided on the first and second floors of the Capitol building to provide space where individuals can safely work, attend committee meetings remotely and meet informally.
Sanitization - Each workspace will feature a “clean/not clean” sign. When an individual or group finishes using the workspace, they are asked to flip the sign to “not clean” as a signal for cleaning crews.
Limited Capacity - Committee room capacity will be limited to ensure proper social distancing.
Social Distancing and Masks - Members of the public attending a committee meeting must ensure they remain at least six feet away from other individuals in the committee room. Seating will be spaced accordingly, and those attending a committee meeting must wear a mask at all times.
Electronic Participation Encouraged - Members of the public are encouraged to attend committee meetings virtually. All committee meetings may be streamed from the committee's web page on the legislative website (le.utah.gov). Members of the public will be able to participate and provide public comment in a public meeting electronically, in the same manner as they would in person.
For information on how to participate in a committee meeting virtually, view the Virtual Meeting Instructions
Cleaning Procedures - Committee rooms will be thoroughly disinfected after each meeting. After a committee meeting, participants will be asked to quickly vacate the committee room to allow time for proper cleaning.
Floor Access - Only legislators, essential staff, and certain invited guests will be allowed on the chamber floor.
Chamber Gallery Access - Space permitting, credentialed media and legislative interns will be allowed in designated areas of the Senate and House chamber galleries. The Senate will allow limited public attendance in its chamber gallery. All floor proceedings for both chambers can be viewed live on the Legislature’s website.
Communication - Instead of blue/green paper notes, legislators' electronic contact information will be posted outside of each chamber to reduce touchable surfaces circulating among individuals.
Organized Events, Delegations and Groups
Organized Events - Organized events will not be held during the general session, including conferences, unofficial/non-legislative meetings, sponsored lunches, sponsored breaks, rotunda events, tours, etc. Conference and committee rooms will not be made available for use by outside organizations or groups.
Groups - International delegations, school groups, or other groups coming to the Capitol for civic or educational purposes will not be permitted during the session. Special exceptions may be approved by the chief of staff of each respective chamber.
Security - The Utah Highway Patrol (UHP) will be stationed at each of the four public entrances that will be open during the general session to conduct simple bag checks. Bag checks will be non-invasive and are intended to identify items that may be used to disrupt or interfere with official proceedings. UHP will have an active presence and provide security for each committee meeting to help protect the safety of the public, staff and elected officials.