Editor's note: The Associated Press contributed to this article.
Gov. Ned Lamont said Monday he plans to ask Connecticut lawmakers to extend his public health emergency powers until April 20.
He noted how the state is beginning to see more cases of a highly infectious COVID-19 variant. As of the time of this writing, Connecticut has reported eight cases of the UK variant. Governor Lamont added during his press conference he believes Connecticut will have a good handle on things by April. His emergency powers are set to expire in February.
A joint statement released later Monday night from Senate President Martin Looney (D-New Haven) and Speaker of the House Matt Ritter (D-Hartford) approved the move, with both public officials saying they agree to extend the Governor's emergency declaration to April 20:
“We have agreed to extend the Governor's emergency declaration until April 20th.
Our sole focus continues to be safeguarding all Connecticut residents during this historic pandemic. Addressing the pandemic is larger than any one branch of government - Governor Lamont has worked with legislators to keep us all safe, respond to developments from Washington, and keep our economy going. A pandemic team with an unapparelled level of expertise has been assembled by the Governor’s office and prematurely revoking emergency authority would disrupt Connecticut's ability to respond to COVID and distribute the vaccine.
When we are talking about quick public health decisions – vaccines, masks, crowd restrictions – we believe executive action is the proper path. But any action that seeks to spend taxpayer dollars, must go through the legislature. We have had very fruitful conversations with the Governor and his staff and we believe that we are all looking to work together for Connecticut.”