Visiting New Mexico’s Capital? Bring Vaccine Proof, Not Guns

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico ’s state legislative complex will be open to the public during upcoming Legislative sessions, but only for those who provide proof of vaccination. New rules will also prohibit performances, advocacy booths and tours at the state capitol starting Dec. 6, when the Legislature meets for redistricting — setting new political boundaries based on 2020 census population counts. The rules will also be in place during the regular legislative session that starts in January, limiting festivities in the Roundhouse — the state capitol building that includes the Legislature and the governor’s office — but allowing the public to attend Legislative hearings for the first time since the start of the pandemic. “Given the high number of COVID-19 cases across the state and the strain this continues to put on state resources, it is incumbent on us to protect everyone in the Capitol complex while conducting the state’s business,” said Legislative Council Service service director Raúl Burciaga, who oversees safety and operations at the state capital. The Roundhouse has been open to the public for months, with a masking requirement but no vaccine requirement. It’s popular for visitors thanks to four floors of local art and its round shape, unique among U.S. state capitals. It was completely closed to the public during the last legislative session due to coronavirus concerns and fenced off with armed guards following the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Legislative debates were broadcast online and public comment was […]

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