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OLYMPIA — Security fencing at the state Capitol was defended by National Guard members Monday as the Legislature convened amid concerns that armed groups might try to occupy the building, which is closed to the public because of the pandemic. Some lawmakers returned as authorities reassessed security at state capitols across the country after the violence that occurred last week at the U.
A right-wing militia initially encouraged its members to occupy the Capitol as the state Legislature started its day legislative session.
At least two people were arrested Monday. The State Patrol said one was a woman who used a recreational vehicle to block a roadway and refused to comply with orders to move. Later, about 20 people gathered outside security fencing near the Capitol, including a man who tried to walk past authorities as lawmakers were to begin their session.
Jay Inslee, a Democrat, activated National Guard members last week to help maintain order. Darren Wright told reporters that the potential for threatening behavior required the elevated security. Some of the protesters were armed. The Senate convened just after 11 a.
Patty Kuderer said. Tight Olympia for loads met in person largely to adopt rules that will allow them to meet virtually for the rest of the session. After that, regular Senate floor votes will be conducted in a hybrid format, with a mix of senators present in the chamber and others participating remotely. The House has decided to do the rest of its work remotely, with some leadership in the main chamber during votes.
All committee hearings in both chambers will be held remotely, with public participation. Jesse Young, R-Gig Harbor, said he worried that going online would restrict access to lawmakers for certain people and the Legislature should strive get input from as many as possible. She said she was tired and frustrated with the lockdown and wanted to get back to her job in the travel industry. Bauer said it was wrong to keep the public out as the Legislature met and that the proceedings streamed online brought her little comfort. I want to keep going in that building.
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