Lawmakers cut the 2020 legislative special session short in March as COVID-19 cases started to climb dramatically in Connecticut. Today, they're headed back to the State Capitol for a special session.
One of the big topics is the election in just five weeks and the overwhelming amount of absentee ballots they are expecting this year. Every voter in Connecticut can now use COVID-19 as a reason to vote absentee.
“They can start processing the abs earlier, the Friday before election day. Checking signatures, outside envelope, making sure they’re ready to go, ready to be counted when the time is right," Lamont said.
Another big topic legislators are tackling is utility rates. Lamont is proposing that instead of utility companies receiving automatic rate increases, those increases should be based on their performance.
Lamont also nominated an appellate court judge on the Supreme Court and three Supreme Court judges.
Legislators will also use this special session to consider authorizing school construction projects and making sure the bills match the budget.
Also, they are considering changes to the Transfer Act, in relation to Brownfield properties with contamination. Lamont said his changes will keep the state out of it and will allow a more expedited selling process to get the economy moving.
Republicans are criticizing Lamont and Democrats over this special session. They said they are going into this blind with no idea what any of the proposed bills even say because when they tried to give their input, they were ignored.
Republicans also said there is no need for a special session because Lamont can do all of this by executive order or can wait on it.
“There’s good intention with these bills there’s no question about it, but when you rush in a legislative session, it results in making mistakes,” said Minority Leader Sen. Len Fasano.
NBC Connecticut has reached out to Senate Democrats for a comment, but have not heard back.