Sen. Sampson Statement on Gov. Lamont’s Latest Covid-19 Emergency Extension

July 10, 2022

State Sen. Rob Sampson (R-16) released the following statement regarding Gov. Ned Lamont’s recent extension of the state’s public health emergency. The Governor first declared a public health and civil preparedness emergency nearly two and a half years ago.


“Here we go again. Now, we are back to the Governor extending the apparently never-ending public health ’emergency.’  Six months ago, we were told that it made more sense for the legislature to make such a determination – so we met and voted – and though it passed on a mostly party line vote (every Republican voting no), every Connecticut resident got to see who thinks the legislature should get back to being the policy making entity in the state, and that executive branch shortcuts should be a thing of the past versus those that prefer that the Governor’s appointees should have sweeping powers, even to mandate vaccines and masks in schools.


“This time around, the statewide emergency ‘hot potato’ has dropped back on Governor Lamont’s desk, presumptively tossed by squeamish Democrat leaders facing re-election in a few months. My belief is that they are aware that the general public’s appetite for such a declaration waned long ago. The truth is that while the COVID pandemic hasn’t completely vanished, any real emergency that would prevent the state government from functioning normally certainly has.


“We are told that the sole reason for this extension is to enable the state to collect millions of dollars in additional federal benefits – theoretical proof of the administration’s great concern for the people of our state. But this assertion runs counter to the Governor’s dismissal of Republican calls to return a windfall of taxes collected by the state as a direct result of inflation as relief to Connecticut families.


“For the Governor, and by extension Majority Democrats, to extend this emergency without legitimate cause and without calls for substantive relief for their constituents is a dereliction of duty. Republican leaders too, should be demanding answers, and a vote to separate those who wish to represent their constituents from those who prefer to be King Ned’s yes men and ladies.


“Although the Governor maintains that he does not ‘intend’ to issue further executive orders, how can we be certain of this?  All statewide elected officials are on the ballot in the fall. We must have assurances that there will be open and fair elections as written in our state constitution, and not another case of unilateral executive action,” he said.