Gov. Lamont seeks extension of executive orders

Gov. Ned Lamont is looking to extend a number of executive orders that were put in place at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
When COVID-19 first hit Connecticut, Lamont declared a state of emergency, giving him sweeping powers to close schools and businesses. The governor also issued a lot of executive orders that covered everything from face mask requirements and bar closures to a freeze on evictions.

The executive orders are set to expire in a few weeks, leaving the question of what happens next.

"My instinct is that we probably ask the Legislature to continue those powers a little bit longer, with the necessary checks and balances, rather than put every single one of them up for a vote before the Legislature," says Gov. Lamont.

Lamont will need the General Assembly to agree. Sen. Bob Duff thinks it's a good idea.

"We need an executive to be able to act quickly," says Duff. "There may be some disagreement, but we are where we are right now because of the fact that we have worked closely with this governor to produce good results."

Republicans, however, say it's time for lawmakers to take over. Either way, a decision needs to be made soon.

"When Sept. 9 does arrive and if those emergency powers were not re-upped in some way, we go back to the world and how it was on March 1," says Paul Mounds, Gov. Lamont's chief of staff. "And let's be honest, it's going to be hard for us as a state to function."

The public health emergency ends Sept. 9. If it's not extended, state lawmakers would have to go back to Hartford and vote on each individual order.