Sen. Sampson Opposes Latest Extension of Executive Authority.

March 30, 2021

Sen. Rob Sampson (R-16) offers the following statement following the Senate Session where the Legislature voted to extend the Governor’s Emergency Authority and Ratify the Outdoor Dining policies that were enabled by executive order through March 30, 2022.


Walking into the senate chamber I found it hard to believe that an entire year has already passed yet the State of Connecticut’s government is still operating under this fair-weather cautionary set up.


Like any state emergency, there is an initial period of time where it is necessary to have the Governor enact temporary changes quickly, but we have been managing through this pandemic for too long, allowing the Governor to cut out the legislative branch and the voice of the people.


I am not saying that we should abandon all precautionary measures to keep the virus under control. Those controls are keeping Connecticut on a positive path to fully reopening. However, I am saying is that the state government should be included in the entities that are ‘reopening’ and should vote to ratify only the necessary orders which would then allow the Governor to end his emergency declarations.


This is about responsibility. This is about process. This is about a representative democracy.


And while my colleagues decided to kick the can further down the road, allowing the Governor to be on the hook for any decision making, controversial or otherwise, they did decide to cherry pick one measure – the executive order 7MM – which allows for outdoor dining to infringe upon local and state zoning. It’s ironic how Hartford Democrats would willingly sit on the sidelines, while the Governor completely allows Connecticut’s dining industry to languish for over a year, yet they will come into the Capitol to play the savior and pat each other on the back for doing the ‘right thing’ by Connecticut Restaurants.


The extension of Governor Lamont’s emergency powers is a conscious choice made by Hartford Democrats, despite Republican objections. While the pandemic was the start of this mess, the majority party is to blame for the incredible damage done to the economy and our residents by their refusal to handle their own responsibilities.


We, as a legislative body, are either ready to sit down and do the work, or we will continue on this empowered rollercoaster ride using the pandemic and lingering public fear to pick and choose when we will show up and do the jobs we were elected to do.


I have had enough of this ride, personally, and it’s time to start taking meaningful steps forward if we have any hope of achieving a full state recovery.