SANTA FE – The New Mexico state Capitol building has reopened to the public as the COVID-19 pandemic eases. It was closed to the general public for four consecutive legislative sessions.
About 50 visitors wandered the corridors of the circular Statehouse on Wednesday as the doors were unlocked to all visitors for the first time in about a year. They were asked to wear masks and most if not all abided.
Legislators shifted last spring to mostly virtual committee hearings as the pandemic took hold. Voting even took place remotely from outside the Capitol among members of the House of Representatives.
The Capitol also was ringed by fencing and barricades, with troops on hand, between January and March as a consequence of security concerns linked to the storming of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
A 60-day legislative session ending March 20 focused on economic relief and progressive initiatives such authorization for medical aid in dying. Recreational marijuana was legalized during a separate special session this year.