Sen. Sampson calls upon Governor Lamont to reconsider mandatory business closures through May 20.

April 10, 2020


April 10, 2020


WOLCOTT – On Monday, April 6, State Senator Rob Sampson (R-16) sent a letter to Governor Lamont stressing the importance of prioritizing protecting Connecticut’s economy as ardently as he has issued policies with a more singular focus of protecting public health.


Sen. Sampson offered suggestions, his own thoughts combined with advice coming from 16th district residents and businesses, for Governor Lamont and the executive branch to consider as Connecticut’s taxpayers try to get back on their feet.


“Though difficult, strategic decisions must be made to restore faith in our state government and allow for an intelligent economic recovery,” said Sen. Sampson in his letter.


One item on Sampson’s list was eliminating any increase in unemployment insurance rates for businesses mandated to close or significantly alter their business operations as a result of government action.


“I am thankful that Governor Lamont has adopted this policy with Thursday’s executive order,” said Sen Sampson.   In this order, as described in his own summary, Gov. Lamont called for no increased experience rating based on COVID-19 unemployment claims.  This modifies state laws that require employers to be charged an “experience rating” so their unemployment premiums are not unduly increased because of the high number of claims caused by COVID-19.


“Unfortunately, I learned in the same breath that he also plans to extend mandatory business closures through May 20th. I ask him to reconsider such a drastic action.  The impact on our economy will be immeasurable. Why pinpoint a date seven weeks from now?  Couldn’t this be done on a week to week basis? People are social distancing voluntarily and many business owners I have spoken with have come up with creative ways to continue operating while maintaining precautions for the virus.  An additional seven weeks of mandatory and arbitrary shutdown is unacceptable,” said Sen. Sampson.


“Why hasn’t our state government also been subject to the same treatment?  When government leaders make decisions such as closing businesses and dictating the movements of free people, then they are also responsible for eliminating their ability to support themselves and pay taxes. It is wrong to prioritize fully funding an expansive state government or union obligations while the private sector is forced to operate at a minimal level.  Such a policy is unsustainable and will inevitably force an economic crisis, including the loss of both private and public sector jobs,” concluded Sen. Sampson.


Because of this public health emergency, the Governor is given extraordinary and far reaching power to set policy while individual legislators are relegated to more or less sharing official information with our constituents and serving their immediate concerns.