New Jersey General Assembly to vote remotely for first time

New Jersey General Assembly to vote remotely for first time
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The New Jersey General Assembly will vote remotely for the first time ever Wednesday as state legislators work to balance their duties with the health risks posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

The chamber’s 80 members will call into a conference line to vote on several bills related to the outbreak. Kevin McArdle, a spokesperson for Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, confirmed to The Hill that each bill will be announced over the phone and that each member will be asked in alphabetical order to respond.

The legislative session will begin at 2 p.m. Voting is typically conducted in the state Capitol.

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It will mark the first time either chamber in the state legislature has voted remotely, McArdle said.

Among the legislation being considered are bills that would allow notaries to perform their duties via telecommunications technology and ensure temporary disability insurance and paid family leave cover people with communicable diseases.

Both chambers of the state legislature voted in person last week to pass a measure that allows public bodies across the state to vote remotely during emergencies.

The remote voting plans, first reported by Politico, come as lawmakers in Congress call for remote voting to prevent the possible spread of the coronavirus. However, leaders in both chambers and parties have resisted the pressure to allow members to vote from their districts or states.

New Jersey has more than 3,600 coronavirus cases and 44 deaths, according to figures compiled by The New York Times.