Venice Commission - Observatory on emergency situations

Disclaimer: this information was gathered by the Secretariat of the Venice Commission on the basis of contributions by the members of the Venice Commission, and complemented with information available from various open sources (academic articles, legal blogs, official information web-sites etc.).

Every effort was made to provide accurate and up-to-date information. For further details please visit our page on COVID-19 and emergency measures taken by the member States:

11. Were the sessions of parliament suspended during the Covid-19 pandemic? If so, for how long? Were specific rules on the functioning of parliament during the emergency adopted? By parliament or by the executive?


From 9.03.2020 to 16.04.2020 the activity of the Assembly (the Parliament) was suspended, except for the online activity of the Parliamentary Committees. The Parliament approved the amendments no. 12/20120 of the Rules of Procedure of the Assembly in order to adapt the parliamentary activity to the situation created by Covid-19.


No, the sessions of parliament continue as planned.


The sessions of Parliament (National Council) were not suspended. Parliament held sessions with protective measures (face masks, plexiglas shields, distance rules). The prohibition of gathering of large crowds of people did not include, inter alia, meetings of general representative bodies such as National Council, Federal Council, and provincial parliaments.


Spring session of the parliament (Milli Majlis) which started its work in March was not suspended. In April Milli Majlis adopted specific rules on the functioning of the parliament during the quarantine regime, sanitary-epidemiological and other similar measures. They regulate possibility of holding the plenary and committee meetings of the parliament via videoconferencing. These rules have been applied with regard to committee meetings


Sessions of Parliament have not been suspended.
The Rules of the House of Representatives have been adapted to the situation in which a serious and exceptional situation which threatens public health prevents its members from being physically present in plenary session.
A specific procedure has been developed. It implies that the Conference of Presidents may, in the event of a serious and exceptional situation which threatens public health and which prevents members of the Chamber from being physically present, decide, for the urgent resolutions it designates, that members will be able to communicate their ballot electronically. Members unable to attend will be assimilated to members physically present for the calculation of the quorum.
These provisions have a similar application in committee.
With respect to discussion, the rules already allowed for a meeting to be held by teleconference or videoconference. (Parl. Doc., 2019-2020, 1100/001)
The parliaments of the federated entities have taken similar measures

  Bosnia and Herzegovina

From mid-March 2020 to the end of May 2020, there has been an interruption in the work of the legislative bodies. For example, as can be seen from web-site of the National Assembly, after the session of 28 March 2020 when the decision on declaring a state of emergency was passed, the first session was held on 23 May2020 - see here.

The first session of the House of Representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina after 11 March 2020 was held on 28 April 2020. It was an emergency session at which, among other things, an amendment to the Rules of Procedure of the House of Representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly of BiH was adopted, which prescribed the possibility of holding sessions online in exceptional circumstances - see here.

Regarding the Parliament of the Federation of BiH, at the extraordinary sessions held on 7 April 2020 (House of Representatives) and on 8 April 2020 (House of Peoples), amendments to the Rules of Procedure of the Houses were adopted to enable emergency sessions to be held online.


The National Assembly, referring to Art. 86, para. 1 of the Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria decided to hold regular plenary sittings only on Thursday and Friday (Decision concerning the work of the National Assembly during the state of emergency, SG, issue 22 of 2020). During the state of emergency, the National Assembly considers and votes as a priority bills and draft acts related to the state of emergency.
Later, on 3 April with a new Decision supplementing the previous one, the National Assembly decided that during the state of emergency, the following special rules apply:
- the President of the National Assembly distributes the received bills only to a leading committee, and the drafts of acts adopted at one vote - only to one committee;
- Article 45, para. 2 of the Rules of Procedure of the National Assembly shall not apply (regulating the leave of the National Assembly);
- the establishment of a quorum before the opening of a plenary sitting is carried out through computerized voting system, as the registration of the Members of Parliament starts 1 hour before the announced starting time of the sitting;
- during the debates on an item on the agenda, the speakers, the members of the leading committee and other MPs shall be present in the hall, and the presence of not more than 1/4 of all MPs at the same time is recommended;
- after closing the debate on the items on the agenda for the sitting, the President shall set a starting time for the vote on the bills discussed at the first vote and the draft acts adopted at one vote, which may not be earlier than 30 minutes after the end of the last debate; the voting is carried out through computerized voting system according to a schedule determined by the President, as the MPs are recommended to be divided into two groups, which vote consecutively in the hall; after the end of the voting the results shall be established and summarized by secretaries of the National Assembly and shall be handed over to the President, who shall announce them during the same sitting;
- the dead-line for written proposals by MPs on bills adopted at the first reading is 24 hours;
- when considering bills, a second reading shall be held after the submission of the reports of the leading committees and the discussions on them; the President sets a starting time for the vote on the bills under discussion, which could not be earlier than 30 minutes after the end of the last debate; the voting is carried out through computerized voting system according to a schedule determined by the President, as the MPs are recommended to be divided into two groups, which vote consecutively in the hall; the vote of each group shall be chapter by chapter, section by section or text by text until the contents of the relevant report for the second vote and of the proposals made during the debate have been exhausted; after the end of the voting, the results shall be established and summarized by secretaries of the National Assembly and shall be submitted to the President, who shall announce them during the same sitting.


No, the sessions of parliament were not suspended during the Covid-19 pandemic. More specifically on 30th March 2020 the Cyprus Parliament issued Law 33(I)/2020 on the enforcement of emergency measures by financial organisations and supervisory authorities due to COVID-19 (the “Law”), the primary purpose of which is the protection and sustainability of the Cyprus financial system.

  Czech Republic

On 11 March 2020, the Chamber of Deputies (the lower chamber) prematurely terminated its session. It declared its readiness to reconvene and approve of legislative changes in a speed way “in case the impact of the spread of the new type of coronavirus on the society was greater than expected” (press release 11 March 2020). During the state of emergency, the Chamber occasionally reconvened to adopt legal acts related to COVID-19.
By virtue of § 8 of the Constitutional Law on the Security of the Czech Republic, during the state of the threat to the State or the state of war, “the government may request that the Parliament deal with government bills in shortened debate” (par. 1). No similar regulation is foreseen for the state of emergency. By virtue of § 99 of the Rules of Procedure of the Chamber of Deputies (Act No. 90/1995 Coll.), the president of the Chamber shall, at the government’s request, declare a state of legislative emergency (stav legislativní nouze) for a definite period of time “under exceptional circumstances, when principal human rights and liberties or the state’s security are in jeopardy or the state may suffer considerable economic losses” (para 1). In the state of legislative emergency, the following rules apply:
• the President of the Chamber of Deputies may – at the government’s request – decide to conduct summary consideration of any bill presented by the government;
• any bill designated for summary consideration shall be referred by the President of the Chamber to one of the committees. The President shall specify a deadline for the presentation of the committee’s resolution that may not be broken. In its resolution the committee shall specify whether a general debate is necessary and what parts should become subject to detailed debate; it shall also propose the time limit within which the Chamber should complete its consideration.
• the Chamber shall review if the circumstances on which the state of legislative emergency is based still persist before discussing the programme of its meeting. If it comes to a conclusion that the conditions have already passed, it shall cancel the state of legislative emergency.
• the Chamber shall review whether the conditions of summary consideration persist before considering every governmental bill. Should it come to a conclusion that there is no reason for summary consideration, it shall not apply it.
• the provisions of the rules addressing the first reading of bills shall not be applied to summary consideration. The Chamber may decide to cancel the general debate that is to take place during the second reading of a bill and to reduce the speech limit of individual Deputies to as little as five minutes. The second reading of a bill may be followed by its third reading immediately. The third reading of a bill is modified as well.
The conditions under which the state of legislative emergency may be declared have been further specified in the decision of the Constitutional Court of 1 March 2011 (Pl. ÚS 55/10, 80/2011 Coll.). The Court stressed that the declaration of the state of legislative emergency is conditioned on “the existence of exceptional circumstances which have the potential to threaten in an essential way fundamental rights and freedoms or when there is a threat of significant economic hard to the State” (§ 84). The severity of such circumstances must to comparable to that foreseen by § 6 of the Constitutional Law on the Security of the Czech Republic.
The state of legislative emergency was declared by the President of the Chamber of Deputies, at the request of the Government, on 19 March 2020 for the period of the state of emergency (Decision No. 41). The state of legislative emergency ended with the end of the state of emergency (16 May 2020). On 26 May 2020, the President of the Chamber declared a new state of legislative emergency, effective till 30 May 2020 (Decision No. 56), to make a speedy adoption of certain emergency measures possible.


Sessions of Parliament were not as such suspended. But it was agreed to alter the priorities as to which bills should be promoted, in order to fast-forward Covid-19 related bills. Specific practical procedures for voting etc. were agreed in order to protect against MPs against Covid-19.


There has been no suspension of the parliamentary session.

Parliamentary proceedings were suspended at the end of February until 23 March due to municipal elections. The debates were then suspended for a few days in the National Assembly where there were quite a few cases of contamination.

The debates were able to resume a few days later, as soon as the governing body of each assembly, the only one responsible for the matter (the Conference of Presidents and/or the Office), put in place a health protocol.


The Bundestag kept functioning during the Covid-19 Pandemic with the exception of the usual three-week Easter break. Several safety measures were put in place to protect the health of the members of the Bundestag and the staff. Public events and visits were temporarily cancelled, business-trips of parliamentarians were limited to what was absolutely necessary, travel to risk regions were prohibited.

On March 25, 2020 the Rules of Procedure were changed to ensure functioning amid the pandemic. These rules will remain in effect until September 20, 2020, unless the Bundestag decides to repeal them earlier. For example, the quorum was reduced from a majority of half of the members’ of the Bundestag physical presence to adopt a law or make any other decision to a majority of one quarter of the members. Committees may decide when more than a quarter of their members are either physically present or participate remotely through electronic means. Committees may vote remotely by use of electronic means in derogation from the rule that voting takes place in person either by a show of hands or by standing up or remaining seated. Committee deliberations and hearing sessions that are open to the public may ensure public participation by providing access through electronic means only.


The Parliament remained in session during the state of danger, functioning pursuant to the normal, "peacetime” rules. That being said, according to its preamble, Act XII was adopted and special powers were given to the Government "bearing in mind especially that due to the human epidemic, the National Assembly might be unable to hold sittings" (see in English here).


The speaker of the Dail (Ceann Comhairle) and the Business Committee of that House made special rules to reduce the number of members present in the Dail Chamber at any one time. These rules are not mandatory but recommendations only. The upper House (Seanad) is not in session at this time as it has not been fully reconstituted since the general election of February.


The sessions of parliament were not formally suspended, although substantially limited in duration and, in the practice, parliament was convened just for the approval of the decree laws. On the other hand the pandemic forced both Chambers to adopt temporary rules aimed at limiting the number of MPs standing at the bench throughout a certain proceeding.

  Korea, Republic

Daily economic life continued without interruption in South Korea, and no disturbances have occurred. The National Assembly functioned normally during this period.


The work of Parliament was not officially suspended, but during the state of emergency the plenary sessions of Parliament, as provided for in the Rules of Parliament, were not held regularly, and most of the staff of Parliament were sent to work remotely. It should be noted, however, that when necessary, Parliament held plenary meetings following the santiary rules.


The sessions of the Landtag were not suspended. On 20 March 2020 a special session of the Landtag took place, while the meeting scheduled for 1 April 2020 was postponed and on 8 April 2020 an additional special session was held.


According to Article 64 of the Constitution, the Parliament (the Seimas) normally convenes for two regular sessions – in spring and autumn; the spring session commences on 10 March and ends on 30 June, but it could be extended.

Article 96 of the Statute of the Seimas, regulating the frequency of sittings of the Seimas, provides that, as a rule, four sittings in a week – two on Tuesday and two on Thursday (morning and afternoon sittings) – are held during a session of the Seimas, with a week-long adjournment of sittings of the Seimas every three weeks. On other days of a week and in a week when no sittings of the Seimas are held, meetings of the Board of the Seimas, the Conference of Chairs, political groups, committees and commissions and meetings of members of the Seimas with electors or representatives of local authorities are held. A schedule of sittings for a session of the Seimas is approved by the Board of the Seimas.

The sittings of the Seimas were not suspended, but some of them were postponed to May by the decision of the Board of the Seimas. In total, there were one and a half of week in March and a week after Easter when no sittings were held and there were two weeks with less sittings than usual. No other specific rules, except the changes to the timetable of sittings of the Seimas, were adopted regarding the functioning of the Seimas but, during the sittings of the Seimas, the members of the Seimas have been bound by the same rules of keeping personal distance, wearing masks, etc.

Amendments to the Statute of the Seimas in relation to the possibility of remote sittings of the Seimas were prepared and presented but were not adopted by the Seimas.


As from 20 March 2020 all legislative activities are suspended at the federal level (Chamber of Deputies and the Senate). Plenary sessions were suspened except for one occasion, when Parliament voted an amnesty act. Some of the parliamentary committees continued their activities by teleworking and video-conferences. Some regional parliaments also continued their activities by videoconferencing.


Not only was the functioning of parliament not interrupted, but the Sovereign Ordinance No. 8.018 of 26 March 2020 created a joint COVID monitoring committee, composed of representatives of the government and of the National Council. Committee members are not only recipients of government information but also have the power of proposal.


Parliament continued to meet but with representation limited to 3 elected members per parliamentary group (21 elected) on the basis of an inter-party agreement.


The was no suspension, but sanitary measures were introduced which required changes to working methods and voting procedures.


On January 26th, Peru had extraordinary parliamentary elections, after President of the Republic Martin Vizcarra disolved Congress on September 30th, 2019. The new Congress —
which will complete the five-years term of Peru’s elected powers on July 28th, 2021— was installed on March 16th. After having a few meetings in presence of the MPs, it started to function virtually, both in its Plenary sessions and its committees. On May 28th, the new Congress debated and approved a vote of confidence asked by the cabinet of ministers. Certainly, this request was made late, outside the 30-day period established by the Constitution.


During the state of emergency, the Assembly of the Republic functions normally, exercising its usual powers.


The sessions of the Parliament were suspended from 15 March until 27 April 2020. According to Article 244 of the Rules of procedure of the National Assembly in the case of a state of war or a state of emergency the Speaker of the National Assembly notifies the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister that the National Assembly is not able to convene.

In addition, on 15 March 2020 the Minister of Health enacted the Order banning assembly in the Republic of Serbia in public places and indoors with the aim to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 which prohibited the gatherings of over 50 people (while the National Assembly consists of 250 deputies).


The sessions of the parliament were not suspended. The parliament adopted certain sanitary safety measures such as the obligation for the MPs to wear facemasks and apply disinfectant gel upon entering the premises. The measures were adopted in March and are still in force.


A few days before the declaration of the state of alarm, the Congress of Deputies decided to postpone its activity, knowing that some of its members had been infected and the rest of the members of the parliamentary group to which they belonged were not going to attend the sessions - see here the press release of 10 March. Shortly thereafter, the Board (the governing body of the House) agreed to suspend most of the activity of the Congress for two weeks, notwithstanding addressing urgent issues (such as the validation of the outstanding decree-laws), by making distance voting generally available in such cases, so that only those members of the House who were to take the floor in the session would have to attend - see the press release of March 12.

After the declaration of the state of alarm, the Chamber met in all the cases provided for in the Constitution and regulations (extension of the state of alarm, validation of decree-laws) and it gradually returned to its ordinary functionning as well.

For the Houses of National Parliament there is no provision on virtual sessions in the Regulations of the Congress and Senate, only distance voting in some particular circumstances.

It has been particularly important to maintain the parliamentary scrutiny of Government by means of oral questions and interpellations during parliamentary sessions in which all the members of the Executive have appeared and intervened. Also noteworthy is the weekly appearance of the Health Minister in committee session. During the state of alarm, all the members of the Government have appeared, at their own request, in the corresponding Commissions of the Congress and the Senate to present and debate their actions with the parliamentary groups during this period.

Since the declaration of the state of alarm, the Congress has held 12 plenary sessions and numerous committee meetings, including those of the Health and Consumer Affairs Commission (11), inasmuch as the head of the Health Ministry, as indicated above, has been given a greater role among the competent authorities. The Congress has also agreed on the creation of a special commission "for Social and Economic Reconstruction", which has held daily sessions since its establishment and has been organized into four working groups: economic recovery, social protection and care, public health and European Union.


The sessions were not suspended. However, the functioning of Parliament has been changed in practice through an informal agreement among the group-leaders of all political parties represented in Parliament. According to the agreement only 55 members of Parliament (representing their parties in proportion) will take part in plenary sessions. This solution has a certain similarity with the War Delegation. Some special arrangements have also been agreed upon for the meetings of the standing committees. The standing Constitutional Committe of Parliament has in May initiated changes in the Riksdag Act to formalize certain arrangements of the standing committees (permitting distance participation) with a proposed entry into force by 17th June.


On Sunday 15 March 2020, the Offices of both chambers of the Swiss Federal Assembly decided that the third week of the parliament’s spring session would not be taking place. This decision also included the suspension of all commission meetings as well as the final votes. Four days later the Offices of both chambers decided that commissions having to discuss urgent affairs were still allowed to meet. As from 6 April 2020, all parliamentary commissions were allowed to resume their work, however only via videoconference. From 4 May to 6 May 2020, the Federal Parliament held an extraordinary session (“Corona-session”). In order to comply with the rules on hygiene and personal distancing, the session was not held in the Federal Palace, but at an exposition hall in the Swiss capital, where also the summer session (2-19 June 2020) is about to be held.
Both chambers had to temporarily modify their rules of procedure, in order to adapt them to meetings outside the Federal Palace. Apart from that, no specific rules on the functioning of parliament were adopted.

  North Macedonia

The Parliament was dissolved on 16.02.2020 and a pre-term election was called. In North Macedonia after its dissolution, the Parliament is not in session.


The work of the assembly has not been suspended. But the assembly's bureau introduced remote voting and limited the number of deputies present during the plenary and committee proceedings. The bureau itself met repeatedly remotely.


Parliamentary work has not been suspended from the date of the first Covid-19 case seen in Turkey (March 11, 2020). After completing the discussions of issues on its on the agenda, the Grand National Assembly decided not to meet on 21, 22, 28, 29, 30 April 2020 and decided to take a break for ten days, starting from 5 May 2020. No specific rules regarding the functioning of Parliament during the Covid-19 pandemic were adopted at the General Assembly of the Turkish Grand National Assembly. In the offices of the General Assembly normal activities continued, accompagnied by taking sanitary measures (such as social distancing, wearing of masks etc.), in accordingace with the Scientific Board's suggestions.


The sessions of parliament were not suspended.

  United Kingdom

Parliament was not suspended during the pandemic, save for as a result of its ordinary adjournments. There were however significant changes to the way it operates. These rules on Parliament’s functioning were determined by Parliament, but with significant de facto influence from the executive in the House of Commons. (This section does not consider measures adopted in the devolved legislatures: the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Assembly, and the Northern Ireland Assembl)y.

(a) The House of Commons
The House of Commons adjourned as usual for its Easter break on 25 March 2020. In the final days leading up to the Easter break, there had been “exceptional” cross-party cooperation to minimise the disruption caused by the virus and pass the CA. The Commons returned on 21 April (meaning that the Easter recess had been four days longer than it otherwise would have been ), and on the same day it passed a motion proposed by the government committing itself to balancing parliamentary responsibilities with the need to protect public health and the health of members, and it passed a motion proposed by the government as to how certain business (labelled “scrutiny proceedings”) was to be conducted in “hybrid proceedings”. The Commons was to meet Monday – Wednesday to conduct two-hour scrutiny proceedings on each day, meaning questions to ministers, urgent questions, and ministerial statements. Members were able to participate either virtually or by attending the Chamber. The Speaker was empowered to limit the number of MPs in the Chamber at any one time.

The next day, during the first ever hybrid sitting of the Commons, two temporary motions were adopted. The first authorised remote divisions (votes), subject to the caveat that remote divisions would not take place until the system was ready for deployment and the cross-party Procedure Committee had a chance to comment. The system for remote divisions was authorised by the Speaker on 6 May 2020, and is described by the Procedure Committee in its Second Report of Session 2019-2021 at §§20-22. The second introduced hybrid proceedings for substantive proceedings as well as scrutiny proceedings. These measures were renewed on 12 May 2020 until 20 May 2020, with the Procedure Committee’s support. The Leader of the House announced that he did not anticipate extending the measures beyond 20 May 2020. Accordingly, on that date, the remote proceedings provisions were allowed to lapse. Parliament was then in its Whitsun recess from 20 May 2020 to 2 June 2020.

During the Whitsun recess, the Procedure Committee produced a third report. That report expressed concern about the return to ordinary, socially distanced parliamentary proceedings while many of the challenges of the pandemic still pertained. The government, by contrast, was keen to encourage Parliament back to as close to normal working as possible.

On 2 June 2020, a motion was introduced removing parity of participation between members attending virtually and members there in person. Thereafter, voting was done by a process of socially distanced division, despite the concerns of the Procedure Committee. By virtue of a motion on 4 June 2020, it remained possible for MPs who self-certified as being unable to attend in person to take part in scrutiny proceedings remotely. From 10 June 2020, those members were able to vote by proxy. Those arrangements will continue until at least 3 November 2020.

(b) The House of Lords

On 25 March 2020, the House of Lords agreed to restrict its proceedings significantly to only certain scrutiny questions and public bills sponsored by the government. On 21 April 2020 the House of Lords agreed to adopt virtual proceedings, with the following motion:

1. The following proceedings of the House may take place as Virtual Proceedings: Oral Questions, Private Notice Questions, Ministerial Statements, debates (but not decisions) on Statutory Instruments, Questions for Short Debate and motions for debate;
2. The procedure in Virtual Proceedings shall follow, so far as practical, procedure in the House save that
(a) no member may participate unless admitted to the Virtual Proceedings;
(b) the order of speaking in Virtual Proceedings shall be facilitated by the Chair;
(c) the time allotted for Oral Questions shall be extended to 40 minutes to allow up to 10 minutes for each Oral Question;
(d) the time allotted to business in Virtual Proceedings may be varied by unanimous agreement of members taking part in the Virtual Proceedings; and
(e) Virtual Proceedings may be adjourned between items or classes of business at the discretion of the Chair;
3. A Virtual Proceeding may take place irrespective of whether the House is sitting that day;
4. A member may table one Topical Question for Written Answer in each week during which the House sits, and it is expected that it will be answered within five working days;
5. The provisions of this Order shall be applied in accordance with guidance issued under the authority of the Procedure Committee from time to time, which may vary the provisions of the Companion to the Standing Orders insofar as they apply to Virtual Proceedings.

On 4 June 2020, the House agreed to implement a “hybrid House” by which members could participate in business both remotely and physically. On 12 June 2020, revised guidance was published by the Procedure and Privilege Committee on proceedings in the hybrid House, and then further guidance on 24 July 2020. On 2 September 2020, hybrid Grand Committee meetings began. Accordingly, the House of Lords has worked remotely far more than the House of Commons has, but has still been able to perform its essential functions and continue to operate despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

(c) Authorship of these Rules
Each House is in control of its own procedure. It is a matter of the highest constitutional principle that proceedings in Parliament may not be questioned in any court or place outside Parliament (art. 9, Bill of Rights 1688). This protects MPs from libel or prosecution for the things they say on the floor of the House, but also insulates the proceedings of Parliament from judicial scrutiny or executive fiat. However, the House of Commons is generally controlled by the executive. This is so because the Queen must, by convention, appoint as prime minister the person commanding the confidence of the House of Commons, which will almost invariably be the leader of the political party or coalition with the most MPs. It therefore generally lies within the de facto power of the executive to cause the House of Commons to amend its procedures.

For this reason, allocating the authorship of rules between executive and the Commons is difficult: the choice to bring the hybrid arrangements to an end was the choice of the Commons, but one for which government MPs, forming the majority, pressed. The House of Lords, by contrast, is entirely responsible for its own procedure and, as can be seen, has responded to the exigencies of the pandemic differently.

  United States of America

At Federal Level: Congress has remained open during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is true, however, that those representatives that might have been exposed to COVID-19, either directly or by coming into contact with staffers or other individuals who tested positive for the virus, have chosen to “self-quarantine” during the ongoing session. Furthermore, in response to concerns about current regulations regarding quorums in Congress, the House of Representatives passed a resolution allowing for remote voting by proxy for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. The same resolution has not passed the Senate.

At State Level:

In response to COVID-19, a significant number of states adopted resolutions or bills that authorized remote voting, remote meetings, etc.

GA: The Georgia General Assembly, which had been scheduled to convene on January 13 and adjourn on April 3, suspended its legislative session indefinitely from March 14, 2020. On June 3, the Lieutenant Governor and the Speaker of the House agreed that the General Assembly would reconvene on June 15. It was therefore suspended for three months. Specific rules were passed for the special session of the General Assembly that was convened on March 16 to support the state of emergency declared by Governor Brian Kemp.

NE: The Nebraska Legislature, which had been scheduled to convene on January 8 and adjourn on April 23, suspended its session indefinitely on March 16. On May 18, the Speaker said that he would call the senators of Nebraska’s unicameral legislature back into session on July 20. If this schedule is followed, the state legislature will have been suspended for just over 4 months.

NY: The New York State Legislature suspended its session on April 2, 2020, but the suspension ended on May 26, 2020.

WA: The Washington State Legislature convened on January 13 and adjourned sine die on March 12, the last day of its planned 2020 legislative session. Accordingly, Washington’s legislative sessions were not suspended. The legislature now plans to reconvene on January 11, 2021, for its 2021 Regular Session.

WI: On April 3, 2020, Governor Tony Evers announced he was signing an executive order calling the legislature to meet in a special session beginning at 4:00pm on April 4, 2020, to discuss changes to the spring election. The legislature adjourned without taking action on Evers' proposal. Evers issued another executive order on April 6, 2020, calling on the state legislature to convene a special session on April 7, 2020, again to consider changes to the state's spring election. The legislature again adjourned without taking action on Evers’ proposal. The legislature convened for another special session on April 14, 2020. The legislature adjourned on May 13, 2020.