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Connecticut Senate approves continuing COVID mandates, giving Lamont final approval

Connecticut state Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney
Jessica Hill
Associated Press
Connecticut state Senate President Martin Looney

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont has won legislative approval to continue some of his pandemic emergency orders. The measure passed in the Senate last night and was approved in the House last week.

The vote grants Lamont the authority to continue some of his pandemic orders until June 30. It also continues his declaration of a public health emergency which allows Connecticut to get federal assistance. Senate President Martin Looney said the Legislature is now involved.

“Some of the governor’s executive orders are now being carried forward by virtue of the special act, adopted by us, presumably signed by the governor and not as the governor’s emergency order,” Looney said.

Senate Minority leader Kevin Kelly led his Republican caucus in opposition to the move. They argued that COVID-19 is no longer an emergency.

“We are not in the emergency we were in in March of 2020. Everyone in our state knows that and is working hard to live in a world where we can manage COVID-19, protect our families and move forward,” Kelly said.

The legislative action also extends Lamont’s statewide school mask mandate until June. The governor said he wants to cede that power to local school districts by the end of the month. Republicans argued parents should be allowed to decide whether to mask their children.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.