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Connecticut GOP Leader Wary Of Extending Lamont’s Executive Authority

Conn. Gov. Ned Lamont
Jessica Hill
Conn. Gov. Ned Lamont

The leader of the GOP minority in the Connecticut House of Representatives wants lawmakers to reign in the powers they gave Democratic Governor Ned Lamont to run the state by executive orders during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Globally, I think we’ve reached a point where the Legislature can come in and make decisions,” Rep. Vincent Candelora said as lawmakers return to Hartford for this year’s legislative session.

Republicans believe Lamont’s authority to modify laws under the civil preparedness law should be reined in, Candelora said. And the Legislature should be able to see the scientific data behind restrictions imposed in the interest of public health.

Lamont was initially granted the power to run the state by executive order for six months at the beginning of the COVID pandemic in March. In September, lawmakers extended those powers for another six months. It's now set to expire on February 9.

Lamont has said that he may ask the Legislature to once again extend his executive authority during the pandemic, as Connecticut’s death toll during the pandemic is now close to 6,000.

“I’m going to be discussing that with the legislative leaders and I think a lot of that will depend on where we are in the COVID infection rate a month from now,” Lamont said.

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.