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Lawmakers To Consider Extending Gov. Lamont’s COVID-19 Powers

Connecticut lawmakers will once again consider whether Gov. Ned Lamont’s emergency declarations, first issued in March of 2020 during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, should be extended.

The Democratic governor has asked the General Assembly to renew his declarations of public health and civil preparedness emergencies through Sept. 30, noting he is only seeking to extend 11 executive orders. That’s compared to a high of more than 300 at one point during the crisis.

“These orders are still needed to protect the public and continue critical measures to provide healthcare access and economic relief and respond to evolving changes,” Lamont wrote in a recent email to state lawmakers. He noted they are “narrowly targeted to achieve specific goals” that would be unachievable given current state laws and regulations that didn’t originally contemplate a pandemic.

Members of the House of Representatives were informed Monday that they will return for a special session on Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. The Senate is also scheduled to vote Wednesday. The two chambers, controlled by Democrats, are expected to approve the governor’s request.

Conservative Republicans, however, have been pushing back. They contend his request is unwarranted, given the progress Connecticut has made with the pandemic. An estimated 200 people turned out for a protest at the state Capitol on Monday afternoon.