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Legislative leaders extend session suspension until mid-May

DES MOINES (AP) — Iowa legislative leaders said Monday they would not resume this year’s legislative session until after May 15.

The Iowa Legislative Council will meet by telephone this week to vote on the continued suspension of the session. The date and time for the meeting wasn’t immediately set.

The council, which makes rules when the legislative body isn’t in session, voted on April 9 to continue the suspension until the end of April as concerns remained over the increasing number of coronavirus cases. Legislators initially suspended the session in March through mid-April.

House Speaker Pat Grassley and Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver said they support Gov. Kim Reynolds in her plan to loosen social distancing restrictions for restaurants, fitness centers, malls, libraries, race tracks, and certain other retail establishments in 77 counties on May 1. She’s also allowing religious and spiritual gatherings statewide to resume as long as hosts implement reasonable public health measures.

Senate Democratic leader Janet Petersen said with positive cases still increasing it’s not the time to reopen segments of the economy.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press.