Gov. Lamont extends public health emergency until February 9, 2021

Gov. Ned Lamont announced Tuesday that he is extending the public health emergency declaration until February 9, which also allows his executive orders to remain in effect.

The governor’s emergency powers were set to expire on September 9, but the governor said the emergency declaration must continue so the state can respond quickly to new challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The governor’s emergency powers allow him to suspend regulations and legislation in order to protect the public health.

“Connecticut is not out of the woods yet, and the executive orders we’ve put in place remain critical in our daily fight to contain COVID-19,” Lamont said in a press release. “Bringing an abrupt end to this state of emergency at this time would cripple our ability to quickly respond to new challenges and risk the hard work and sacrifices everyone has made to protect our state from this disease.”

Lamont’s extension of the emergency declaration can only be overruled by a vote from legislative leaders and the chairs, vice-chairs and ranking members of the Public Health Committee.

Republican leadership has been wary of extending the emergency orders. 

House Republican Leader Themis Klarides, R-Derby, tweeted yesterday that “the exceptionally broad nature of the [executive orders] cannot continue. We have all been elected to make decisions for the state in a collaborative way, not by fiat, by one person.”

Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano released a press statement indicating that no legislative leaders indicated how they would vote on the extension, although they did discuss an appropriate timeline for the extension.

“Republican legislative leaders made it very clear that we have serious concerns about expanding any emergency powers without also implementing a plan to give the public a voice in the process which they have been entirely shut out of thus far,” Fasano wrote. “There is a process for the Governor to request an extension of his emergency powers and seek legislative approval. That process has not happened yet.”

Although Connecticut’s rate of infection and hospitalizations has been some of the lowest in the nation as of late, the governor hit the pause button on the state’s phased reopening plan because of infection increases in other states.

Furthermore, the start of the school year and the upcoming election in November could spell more government changes from the top down. The extension will also bring Lamont’s emergency powers into the next legislative session set to start in early January.

The extension does not require a vote by leadership. If there is not a vote within 72 hours the extension will pass, but a vote could set up a divide down party lines. 

Whereas in March, there was widespread bipartisan agreement on granting Lamont emergency powers, Republicans are clearly indicating they oppose an extension. 

Although, there hasn’t been any clear indication on a vote by Democrats, the Connecticut Senate Democrats tweeted yesterday – before Lamont had issued his extension – that “Legislative leaders have extended Governor Lamont’s COVID-19 emergency powers for the next 5 months.”

The tweet was later deleted. 

The governor has issued nearly 67 executive orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic, ranging from reducing regulations for hospitals and doctors to requiring face coverings in public places and limiting gatherings of people. 

“Over the next several months, our administration will continue working with our partners in the legislature, in our municipalities, in our nonprofits, in our long-term care facilities, and in our hospitals to collaboratively combat this virus,” Lamont said.

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(8) Comments

  1. Thad Stewart

    September 2, 2020 2:09 pm

    Nothing more than a good DNC lap dog. This guy has to go. He has overstepped his boundaries and no end in sight.

  2. Richard Lee

    September 2, 2020 10:37 am

    Once the legislature is re-convened (if that ever happens), the first order of business should be to declare the state animal of Connecticut to be the sheep. Baaaaa!!! We surrender our liberties. Baaaaa!!! We surrender our system of checks and balances. Baaaaa!!! We no longer desire freedom of assembly or freedom of religion; or even a representative voice in governing. Baaaaa!!! We don’t care about those nursing homes subjected to infected patients. We don’t want accountability from our imperial governor. We believe the finessed science; we believe the finessed science; we believe the finessed science! Baaaaa!!! Baaaaa!!! Baaaaa!!!

    • Randall Slack

      September 9, 2020 4:42 pm

      We need to stand up like the people just did in Palm Beach County in Florida!!
      A woman served notice to the tryants in power WE NEED TO DO THE SAME!!!

  3. dirtyjobsguy

    September 2, 2020 9:39 am

    There is no criteria for ending this (Lamont has already abandoned his existing criteria for reopening). This is part of the attraction of rule by decree for governors who were not very successful in normal times. The representatives would like to blame all the disruption on the virus, but eventually as local business close they will have to take the heat. Letting Lamont take the blame will not help then.

  4. Algi SantaLucia

    September 1, 2020 9:52 pm

    Will Ct schools still open in September?

    • R Turilli

      September 2, 2020 1:00 pm

      Not if the governor has his unbridled powers!

  5. Susan DeMelis Turotsy

    September 1, 2020 5:15 pm

    Sorry Ms. Klarides, but the ONLY reason CT has stayed off the lists for infection rates of COVID 19 is because of GOVERNOR Lamont’s good sense in listening to public health official not political officials. His executive orders should remain in effect as long as those officials deem necessary to keep us out of trouble. Sorry, but the public in other states who have a say are doing poorly and not containing or controlling infection at all. Let Lamont do his job, please and Thank you

    • Patrick Caulfield

      September 2, 2020 1:36 pm

      I respectfully disagree. While I give the Governor a certain amount of credit for his leadership during the Chinese virus pandemic, he has seriously harmed many small businesses, particularly restaurants, by slow walking the reopening process. That is both unnecessary and unfair. Additionally, the Governor must recognize that he is the Governor, not a dictator, and he cannot continue to bypass the Legislature by falsely claiming that there is still an “emergency” in Connecticut, despite the fact that the Chinese virus numbers in CT have been extremely low for several months, and continue to be so. The curve was flattened long ago. Enough is enough.

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