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Rep. Carpino Says No Need to Extending Governor’s Emergency Powers

Posted on July 19, 2021


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HARTFORD – State Representative Christie Carpino voted no on a resolution extending Governor Lamont’s emergency powers for a sixth time since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rep. Carpino cited high vaccination rates and alternative methods for accessing federal relief funds that did not require an emergency declaration.

Ultimately, the resolution, HR 202, passed in the House 73-56 during a special session on July 14. The Senate passed an identical resolution, SR 52, which also passed by a vote of 19-15.

“The governor was tasked with responding to an unprecedented emergency, and I thank him for making difficult decisions to navigate the state through the pandemic. I am confident that our municipal leaders, school boards, and local public health districts can handle it from here at this stage,” said Rep. Carpino. “The state legislature should not be yielding additional powers and responsibilities when it is capable of making COVID-related policy decisions on its own. If the situation changes, we can revisit the need to grant additional powers to the governor.”

The emergency was first declared on March 10, 2020. Since then, it has been extended six times, including the most recent extension on July 14:

  • Five-month extension on September 1, 2020
  • Three-month extension on January 26, 2021
  • One-month extension on March 31, 2021
  • One-month extension on April 19, 2021
  • Two-month extension on May 18, 2021
  • Two-and-a-half month-extension on July 14, 2021

Under Special Act 21-5, which the legislature passed during the two-month extension in May, COVID-related executive orders must be limited to 60 days when the legislature is in session, and 180 days when it is not. It also required full legislative approval for any extension.

One of the main arguments used by majority legislators for extending the orders was continued access to federal relief funds, such as SNAP. Republicans noted that other states were successful in securing federal aid after allowing their emergency declarations to expire, negating the need for Connecticut to use the current emergency status to receive this assistance. Additionally, they made clear that if we end the current emergency orders, there is nothing preventing the governor from reinstating it should circumstances change and cases begin to surge again.

Connecticut continues to boast one of the highest vaccination rates in the nation.