Democrats, Republicans Bicker Over Executive Power

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Gov. Ned Lamont’s executive powers expire on April 20 but Democratic lawmakers want to extend it another 30 days until the middle of May.

“We have been a leader in the country in how we have handled this pandemic from the very beginning,” Senate President Martin Looney said. 

But Republicans believe it’s time for the legislature to take back its ability to govern by either codifying Lamont’s executive orders or allowing them to expire. 

“Our system of government is not wired for one person rule. One person has been ruling Connecticut through executive order.”  

Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly said it’s time for the legislature to decide what laws move forward. 

Democrats like Senate President Martin Looney disagree.

“Frankly only the executive can react quickly in the wake of an emergency,” Looney said. 

He added: “The Republicans to my knowledge have not proposed one executive order that they would vehemently object to and seek to repeal or introduce a bill to repeal.” 

Lamont met Democratic lawmakers, but not Republicans. 

“We’re happy to have a conversation with the Republicans who only represent one-third of the state Senate and equivalent portion of the House,” Looney said. 

“For them to say and to diminish the voices of elected officials is breathtaking,” Kelly said.  

There are many executive orders lawmakers wants to keep in place, including one that allows pharmacists to administer the COVID-19 vaccine. 

“You can’t put in a massive immunization plan based upon the whims of the government over a 30 day period,” Nathan Tinker, CEO of the Connecticut Pharmacists Association, said. 

Tinker said pharmacists need certainty. 

“If this expires on April 20 it takes time for government to do its work. It takes time to get these authorizations in place,” Tinker said. 

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