Sen. Sampson: “Where are we dealing with health or public safety on this agenda?”

October 1, 2020

Exploiting a health crisis to avoid responsibility and proper process.


On March 11, 2020 Governor Lamont declared a state of emergency and civil preparedness and then in early September extended his emergency powers through February 2021.


“We have been under the Governor’s unfettered rule for the past six months. He has extended his executive authority well beyond policies that impact the public health and safety Connecticut residents,” said Senator Rob Sampson, R-16.


The 73 executive orders issued by Governor Lamont include but not limited to

  • creating a fluid set of arbitrary standards for essential vs non-essential businesses leading to the shuttering and irreparable harm to numerous private companies,
  • altering election administration, and
  • overturning tenant-landlord contracts.


“Although the legislature has already met recently in special session demonstrating that it can do so safely and is right now preparing to do so again in the next few days, the Governor was allowed to extend these executive emergency powers by an additional 5 months.  This extension happened despite pleading from minority party legislators, public outcry or any health metrics to demonstrate the necessity,” said Senator Sampson.


“There is no way to justify calling the legislature into special session while simultaneously arguing that that the Governor needs to continue his extension of emergency powers because it is, supposedly, unsafe for legislators to meet,” said Senator Sampson.


“Hartford Democrats are trying to have it both ways: that we have to come in and vote on these matters, but we must continue this emergency rule for everyone’s health and safety. Where are we dealing with health or public safety on this agenda?” asked Senator Sampson. “I am not discounting the merits of the policies of these matters discussed today, just the timing and manner in which the legislature is being asked to handle them when we are also being told that the Connecticut must remain in a state of civil preparedness and public health emergency.”


“Today, public officials and staff were brought in for an emergency session to be conducted just one month before the November 2020 election.  This session’s agenda is absent of any mention of the looming budget deficit, business closures, landlords forced into bankruptcy, nursing home management, or any other true emergencies that our state faces,” said Senator Sampson.


“The agenda for the special session is instead about maximizing wedge issues for election gain and to cater to special interest groups. It is a desperate move by the majority party to ram through policy without minority, public or press involvement. Democrats are exploiting a health crisis to avoid responsibility and proper process,” concluded Senator Sampson.