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Delaware Senate Democrats

Schwartzkopf, Longhurst Respond to Republican Call for In-Person Session

April 7, 2021

DOVER – In response to the statement from House and Senate Republican leaders regarding legislative session, House Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf and House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst issued the following joint statement:

“On March 29, we met with House Republican leaders and discussed tentative plans for a phased-in return to in-person legislative session this year. We asked for their input and we had a productive conversation. Rep. Short and Rep. Dukes thanked us and agreed with the preliminary plans.

“So we’re deeply disappointed to see the Republican leadership ignore this collaborative process in their comments to the press. It’s especially frustrating because they know they can call us anytime and discuss concerns they have rather than sending statements to the media.

“Since the pandemic began, we have involved the minority caucus in decisions about House operations. In those meetings, they tell us they appreciate the effort. In public, they try to score political points and claim they’re being railroaded.

“Throughout this entire pandemic, we have been guided by one simple principle: Follow the science to protect the health and safety of the staff, lawmakers and public who take part in the legislative process. This is why we have taken precautions such as the virtual session, which has allowed for record public participation in our committee hearings. That is why we are encouraging everyone to get vaccinated, because the sooner everyone has been innoculated, the sooner we can begin to return to a recognizable legislative session. Currently, less than 20% of Delawareans have been fully vaccinated, so we have to continue those efforts.”

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