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Connecticut Legislature Extends Lamont Emergency Powers Through September

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

Connecticut lawmakers have extended Governor Ned Lamont’s emergency powers to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic until the end of September. The vote was along party lines.

Republicans had opposed Lamont's request for the extension. Senate Minority Leader Kevin Kelley argued that Connecticut would be out of sync with its neighbors who have ended pandemic emergency authority for their governors.

“We are the only ones that want to stay under emergency authority. Not New York, not New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine. You’ve got to drive seven or more hours to get to a state that has this,” Kelley said.

Democratic Senate President Martin Looney argued that the extension is needed. He said there’s still a pandemic emergency.

“Especially in the context where in the last two weeks we’ve moved from under .5% positive testing to now 1.28 today. That is a sign of alarm,” Looney said.

The extension would maintain 11 COVID-19 executive orders until the end of September. That includes one that would require children to wear masks in school.

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.