Lawmakers will be returning to the Capitol this week for a special session, but the doors will still remain closed to the public.
“Legislators aren’t told in their personal lives to quarantine. They have exposure just as much as any other person in society,” Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly said.
Kelly says it’s time to reopen the state Capitol and Legislative Office Building
Key votes on cannabis legalization and the state budget will be happening this week but the public will still be shut out. Senate President Martin Looney said he sees no reason to change what they’ve been doing for a two-day special session.
“Any discussions about changing our pattern will have to come later for whenever the next time we might be in session,” Looney said.
That means the building will remain closed this week.
“The governor doesn’t even do his COVID daily reports anymore, our positivity rate is down to I think about less than a half a percent, I think Connecticut's moving in the right direction, but when you walk under that capitol dome you would think that it was June of 2020, not June of 2021,” Kelly said.
The Senate will gather Tuesday and the House will gavel in Wednesday to debate key parts of the state budget and a consequential vote to legalize cannabis.
The decision to keep the building closed has been frustrating for many.
“If we’re prudent and we’re reasonable I don’t think there’s any reason we can’t see more of the public's voice in and around the legislative process,” Kelly said.
For now, the building will remain closed.
“Speaker Ritter and I believe we made entirely the right choice at the beginning of the session,” Looney said.
The head of Legislative Management says they are formalizing a plan and will have something to announce after special session.