Breaking News
More () »

Lamont says he may need narrow extension of COVID powers

Lamont's civil preparedness and public health emergency declarations have been extended multiple times since March 2020 and are now set to expire Feb. 15.

HARTFORD, Conn — Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont and Senate President Pro Tempore Martin Looney are leaving open the possibility the governor may need to have his emergency powers extended under narrow circumstances as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

Lamont's civil preparedness and public health emergency declarations have been extended multiple times since March 2020 and are now set to expire Feb. 15.

The Democratic governor said Wednesday that his legal counsel is preparing a list of about 10 to 12 executive orders that state lawmakers should consider extending.

But Lamont says he may need to extend his emergency powers for a narrow group of things.

Connecticut Republicans are speaking out against the possibility of an emergency power extension.

Sen. John A. Kissel (R-Enfield) released a statement, saying,

“The Connecticut legislature has been relegated to sit at the ‘Baby Table’ for far too long.  We are the voice of the people. Our voice must be heard. We begin the legislative session on Feb. 9.  The people we represent expect us to be working to improve their lives. That’s my intention and my focus. Of course, we in the legislature always welcome the governor’s input. My door is always open for the governor, but any attempt at further extending his powers will again be met with a ‘no’ vote from me. I hope lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle will join me in rejecting any extension attempts. We owe that to the people we serve.”

Rep. Candelora (R-North Branford) told FOX61 in a statement,

“From the start of the pandemic I’ve said that we need to learn to live with this virus. Governor Lamont and legislative Democrats have not only ignored that reality, they’ve wasted the last couple of months by failing to develop a plan to return state government to a system that doesn’t have the legislature operating under the thumb of the executive branch. Now, as the expiration date of his authority draws closer, Democrats are scrambling to determine a path forward. Unfortunately, that approach will keep us on the path of responding to crisis rather than managing it.”  

Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly (R-Stratford) released a statement, saying,

"Our government was never designed to operate like this. Connecticut has been under emergency executive powers for nearly two years, and now a seventh extension is really being considered? It's outrageous. There is no reason why the legislature cannot act as an equal branch of government to manage the pandemic response and represent the voices of our constituents. It is past time to reinstate the oversight and transparency our three-branch system of government was designed to protect.

"Today, under executive powers, residents are still struggling to get PCR tests and timely results. The capacity and the testing infrastructure do not meet the demand. Teachers feel unsupported. Staffing challenges persist. COVID-19 positive patients are being introduced into nursing homes and the voices of nursing home residents and their loved ones are being ignored. Connecticut would benefit from legislative input and co-equal branches of government. It is the legislature’s responsibility to fight for the people’s right to be part of this process. It's the people's government and their voices must be heard."

RELATED: Jan. 6 panel requests interview from GOP leader Kevin McCarthy

RELATED: Lawsuit: Hartford HealthCare execs said they want to 'bury' Saint Francis Hospital

Sign up for the FOX61 newsletters: Morning Forecast, Morning Headlines, Evening Headlines


 Have a story idea or something on your mind you want to share? We want to hear from you! Email us at newstips@fox61.com



Download the FOX61 News APP

iTunes: Click here to download

Google Play: Click here to download

Stream Live on ROKU: Add the channel from the ROKU store or by searching FOX61.

Steam Live on FIRE TV: Search ‘FOX61’ and click ‘Get’ to download.