Gov. Ned Lamont has managed the state and it’s response to the coronavirus pandemic by leveraging executive orders for months, and lawmakers are starting to question how he’s been making his decisions.
The state is starting to reopen and it’s unclear what advice the Boston Consulting Group, the firm hired by Lamont for $2 million, helped make about the state’s reopening strategy.
"I'd like to know what the advice was of the consulting group. Are we following it? If we are what's the science behind it?,” Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano said. “Not just PR. What the science is behind it and if we're not following it, why are we not following it?"
Now Fasano is pressing the governor for more transparency. Lamont said he would comply with the request for information.
“We talked with the leadership,” Lamont said. “We thought we needed some really strong expertise that was not just for Connecticut but involved in the greater region as well. We’re happy to share any information people want.”
Boston Consulting Group has also done work for Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New York. Fasano says he wants to see how their advice across state lines has stacked up.
“Massachusetts started cutting hair Tuesday. On the 1st, which is Monday, Rhode Island is opening up social clubs. They're opening up restaurants inside 50-percent capacity. We’re not doing any of that until June 20,” Fasano said.
The second phase of Connecticut’s reopening starts June 20 and includes indoor dining at restaurants.
“Why is there a difference? Same consulting group, same virus, same properties of virus, same infection rates and death rates,” Fasano said.
Fasano says things have changed since the start of the pandemic and it's time for the legislature to get back into session.
“By the leaders being involved, the public is going to know why we are doing what we’re doing. It’s not going to be done by a consultant behind closed doors without any fundamental reason given to the people of the state of Connecticut or the leaders,” Fasano said.
Lamont said he would like the legislature to get back to work on changing the absentee ballot laws for November and that the legislature is free to convene whenever they want.