Lawmakers to discuss extension of Governor’s executive orders Friday [WTNH News 8]

September 4, 2020

From WTNH News 8:

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — A bipartisan group of legislators meeting at the State Capitol Friday will make or break the decision to extend Governor Ned Lamont’s emergency powers, keeping current pandemic executive orders in place until February.

The governor announced the plans to extend the orders on Monday. He wants it to last until February, which means nearly executive orders he has issued since March will remain active, including a ban on evictions. Since Monday, tensions at the capitol have been building up.

Democrats at the Capitol fear chaos if they do stop the extension and they have concerns that the virus would spread if people stopped wearing masks and crowded in bars. But Republicans say enough is enough with the pandemic orders.

Protesters took to the State Capitol Thursday, saying their freedoms are being taken away, some of them being business owners, and others are families. Landlords were among the crowd, saying they are struggling to pay their bills.

Senator Dan Champagne (R-Vernon) said Thursday, “a lot of damage has been done around Connecticut. The legislature needs to step up.”

State Republicans say they are asking for involvement in deciding whether or not to keep the Governor’s executive powers in place. State Democrats have agreed to meet with Republicans to talk it out.

Senator Len Fasano (R-North Haven) says that “Republicans are not asking for the state to stop the precautions we have in place” now.

The Governor says he is making decisions based on science.

“95% of our economy is open. 86% of our economy has recovered. I didn’t close the state, COVID did,” Governor Lamont said.

The extension is set to take effect at 2 p.m. Friday if lawmakers do not come to a consensus and take action.

The state continues to have one of the lowest infection rates in the country just below 1%.