One of the first things the State Senate did, after gaveling in the Legislative session in Olympia was to change the rules to allow for more remote testimony and work by lawmakers.

Several Republicans, such as 8th District's Sharon Brown, wanted to allow for in-person public comment, adhering to the COVID-19 safety guidelines.

"As you can see here, we're meeting safely today. We're adhering to social distancing guidelines. We're adhering to the mask-wearing requirements. There is a way to allow public participation safely. This denial of the access to Democracy is un-American."

Three GOP amendments were voted down, and the rule changes passed along party lines.

Senator Andy Billig of Spokane.

"I very much look forward to the time when we can all get back together and feel that energy of being together, but in the meantime, we're going to do the people's work. We're going to pass a responsible budget. We are going to make progress for the people of Washington State. We're going to do it in a transparent way."

The session is scheduled to last 105 days.

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