Lawmakers in the House of Representatives voted in favor of extending Gov. Ned Lamont’s emergency powers while protesters spent the day outside the state Capitol using megaphones, beating drums, and chanting against it.
“Gov. Lamont is on day 564 of his emergency powers which has totally interrupted the democratic process here in Connecticut,” Amy Bourdon of Cheshire said.
Bourdon said her kids have skin problems because of the mask mandate.
“The power needs to be returned to the people. We elected legislators to go and represent us,” Bourdon said.
“This is not about Democrats or Republicans. This is about having freedom of choice and not having Lamont have all the power,” Valerie Marcella of Griswold said.
Marcella said the legislature needs to do its job.
“To hear he even wants to have another extension really shows he is abusing his powers completely and not listening to his people and now allowing his people to have their voice,” Marcella said.
Republican lawmakers see the need for an extension of some mandates, but not continued emergency powers.
“We need temporary orders to administer vaccines. So that’s something I would look at but that’s not what this governor asked for,” House Minority Leader Vincent Candelora said.
Candelora said it’s not necessary to continue the emergency.
“Their standard right now is as long as COVID extension, an emergency exists and that’s not the way democracy is supposed to work,” Candelora said.
“Democracy is stronger than COVID, we need to demonstrate that today,” he added.
Lamont said he needs the continued power to accept federal funds, mandate vaccines and masks for school children.
“Look, we’re doing this to keep you safe. We’ve got boosters like we are talking about. Vaccines for kids. We’ve got to be able to act fast,” Lamont said.
He said leaders have the power to veto.
“You got the group of six, the leaders. They can veto in 72 hours,” Lamont said.
“I want everybody’s fingerprints on this. I think Connecticut's doing the right thing,” Lamont said.
Ten Democratic lawmakers joined Republicans in voting against an extension which passed with 80 votes in favor. The Senate is expected to debate the measure Tuesday.