Lawmakers in Connecticut have voted to extend Gov. Ned Lamont’s emergency powers through early next year.
The House voted 80 to 60 to extend Lamont's powers, while the Senate voted 18 to 15 on Tuesday, Sept. 28 with three absent to approve the measure.
Lamont’s powers, which were put in place at the peak of the pandemic last March, were set to expire on Thursday, Sept. 30 before the lawmakers approved the extension.
Connecticut statutes require the state legislature to approve renewing his executive powers, which will allow him to keep mask and COVID-19 vaccine mandates in place in certain situations across the state.
They will now extend through Feb. 15, 2022. This marks the sixth time that lawmakers have approved an extension for Lamont’s emergency powers during the pandemic.
House Chair of the Education Committee State Rep. Robert Sanchez issued a statement after the vote in approval of the extension, citing the ever-mutating virus.
“The State of Connecticut ranks amongst the most successful at combating the epidemic and we cannot let our guard down as we continue the work of keeping COVID-19 at bay,” he stated.
“It is prudent for us to gauge how far out of the woods we are and this extension provides us with the time needed to get us through what may be an increasingly active time period for the virus spread.”
If a new executive order on certain measures such as booster shots for the elderly or mask requirements in schools is needed, Lamont will now propose such an order that will go to state lawmakers who then will have 72 hours to vote on the matter.
“I think we can get the legislative leaders, Republican and Democrat, together via Zoom in less than 72 hours if I have an executive order about boosters or vaccines they can vote (yes) or (no) in a short period of time,” he said in Hartford earlier this month when he announced his intention to extend his powers.
“What I want is legislative input on the executive orders. I’d like to know where they stand. I’d like to have their fingerprints on some of the decisions.”
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