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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – Using an alternating meeting plan that will reduce the number of days members will be in Tallahassee, the Florida House plans to hold its first round of committee meetings on Jan. 13 and Jan. 14.

Over the two days, 15 House committees and subcommittees are slated to meet in large committee rooms as part of efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19, according to a schedule posted on the House website.

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Three joint committees with the Senate also could meet Jan. 14. The House meetings will start at noon Jan. 13 with gatherings of the Appropriations and Ways & Means committees.

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Also, the House Pandemics & Public Emergencies Committee is scheduled to meet at 9 a.m. Jan. 14.

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Under the alternating meeting plan outlined this month by House Speaker Chris Sprowls, committees and subcommittees that do not meet on Jan. 13 or Jan. 14 will meet during the week of Jan. 25.

“The intensity of activity in and around committee weeks creates challenges for guarding against the spread of the novel coronavirus,” Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor, wrote in a Dec. 18 memo. “The House will mitigate that risk by splitting our committee blocks in two and implementing an alternating meeting schedule, which will result in a more condensed committee schedule by reducing the number of days members will need to be in Tallahassee.”

Lawmakers are scheduled to hold a series of committee weeks leading up to the March 2 start of the annual legislative session.

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