Gov. Ned Lamont is asking state lawmakers to return for a special session next week so he can extend some of his executive powers.
“Right now there’s still federal money at risk if we don’t extend some of the governor’s emergency powers,” Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff said.
There’s federal money for housing and food stamps that the state could lose if it allows the emergency declaration to expire.
“We have to be very judicious about how that’s going to go but we certainly don’t want to leave any federal money on the table,” Duff said.
Lamont’s executive powers will expire on July 20. He wants lawmakers to extend 11 of those orders.
One of the orders he wants to extend includes rules around mask-wearing for children under the age of 12 who can’t be vaccinated. He also wants to make sure vaccines can continue to be distributed in commuter parking lots.
“Also it’s important to remember children 12 and below can’t get their vaccination shots, others above can get their vaccinations so we have to be very careful about that,” Duff said.
Republican lawmakers are not convinced.
“To just roll over and provide another power grab to this administration is not good for our democracy and there needs to be a conversation,” House Minority Leader Vincent Candelora said.
Candelora said he believes the science and with almost 80% of Connecticut residents with one dose of the vaccine there’s no reason to extend the governor’s powers.
“The perceived threat of an emergency is not an emergency,” Candelora said.
Lamont is concerned that 30% of Connecticut has not been vaccinated.
“These orders are still needed to protect the public and continue critical measures to provide healthcare access and economic relief and respond to evolving changes,” Lamont said in his letter to lawmakers.