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Lawmakers could return to State House under new CDC rules

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills announced that she would be rolling back indoor and outdoor capacity limits later this month
(WABI)
Updated: May. 14, 2021 at 11:05 AM EDT
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PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Legislative leaders say new COVID-19 guidelines for indoor gatherings could open the door to lawmakers to return to session in the State House.

In Washington, Republican Sen. Susan Collins waved her mask in the air on the Senate floor in celebration of the loosened restrictions.

Maine Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, and Maine House Speaker Ryan Fecteau, D-Biddeford, issued a joint statement Thursday saying they would explore plans to reopen the State House.

“Maine people have put in the work and they’re the reason we are on the edge of normalcy,” they said.

Because of the pandemic, lawmakers have conducted committee meetings remotely and have met a handful of times in person at the Augusta Civic Center since the session formally convened in December.

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills announced that she would be rolling back indoor and outdoor capacity limits later this month following new guidance announced by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC said vaccinated Americans can go now most places without masks.

In Washington, Collins took off her mask and waved it, calling the new mask guidance “overdue” but a sign of progress.

Collins has criticized the CDC for mask guidance that she said was not consistent with the best available evidence.

She said Americans will have more confidence in the CDC’s recommendations if it’s guidelines are up to date and reflect common sense.

“If people find they cannot do anything differently after a vaccine, they will not see the benefit in getting vaccinated,” she said.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.