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Inside The State House: Hallways Empty, Offices Locked As Lawmakers Work From Home

BOSTON (CBS) - Twenty months since it was closed because of the pandemic, the Massachusetts State House is still closed to the public, but the building is open to lawmakers. More than 95% of whom are vaccinated, and they're welcome to return.

But are they actually going into the office?

WBZ-TV's David Wade decided to walk the hallways of the State House to see. What he saw was a ghost town without the interest of tumbleweeds blowing through.

The hallways were empty. Almost every office was locked. Social distancing signs dotted the empty hallways.

We did see the Governor, House Speaker and Senate President. House Speaker Ron Mariano said legislators are working just as hard from home. They're able to vote, talk to constituents and hold public hearings remotely. "We've adapted to a very difficult situation and continue to do our work," Mariano said.

We did find one State Senator in his office- Senator Bruce Tarr. "I personally enjoy being here. But I will say the majority of my staff is also working remotely," Tarr said.

Senate President Karen Spilka said the plan is to fully re-open once two different committees make some recommendations on how to do it safely.

If the public is not allowed in, and it's a closed environment, what exactly is the concern about safety? Is it okay for that many offices to be locked up?

President Spilka said it's still personal preference. "Members can come in at this point it's up to what they feel comfortable," Spilka said .

Governor Baker seemed like he might be itching a little more than others to get people back in the hallways. "It's certainly my hope this place bustles again because it's important that it bustles," Baker said.

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