Legislatures meet remotely, limit public as virus spreads

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Concerns about the coronavirus are changing the way democracy works in the U.S. In state capitols across the country, lawmakers have ditched decorum and sidestepped traditional public meeting requirements to abide by “social distancing” directives. More states have begun allowing lawmakers to send in their votes from home instead of showing up in House or Senate chambers to pass legislation responding to the virus outbreak. The Arkansas House moved its session to a college basketball arena to put more space between members. In many cases, the public can only watch or listen remotely by live-streaming.