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Conservative Caucus Objects to Exclusion of Legislature from Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group 

Posted on April 30, 2020 by jpheasant


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In a letter delivered last week to Governor Lamont, the Conservative Caucus again pushed for the State Legislature to have a day-to-day role in the Governor’s Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group.  They also requested a comprehensive plan be developed to reopen Connecticut that encompasses the financial, social, and emotional needs of the state’s residents prior to the Governor issuing further Executive Orders.

The Governor’s advisory group was created to develop metrics meant to ease restrictions on businesses statewide.  The group includes business and industry representatives and medical professionals but lacks any representation from the General Assembly.  “Since the Legislature is the direct conduit to the citizens of our state, it is critically important that the duly elected senators and representatives be included in any discussions that significantly impact the individual rights of private citizens, and fundamental ability of business owners and non-profit organizations to serve their customers and clients” the Caucus wrote.

The Caucus requested the governor transition from the rather arbitrary “essential/non-essential” classification regarding entire business categories, to using more targeted “safe/unsafe” guidelines for business operations and individual conduct across all categories, as well as incorporating a risk assessment by county or region that takes full advantage of the areas of our state least impacted by the virus.  These policies would allow all business owners and workers to get back to work while ensuring responsible and effective public health practices that protect employees, customers and the general public.

At a recent press briefing, the Governor indicated Connecticut may not reopen until “sometime in June.”  The Caucus believes that timeline is far too distant to provide economic stability for families and businesses.  It recommended instead that the Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group consider the President’s Opening Up America Again guidelines and tailor them to fit Connecticut, providing a plan by the end of April.  “A coherent plan will instill a sense of hope in our residents and provide objective criteria that will inform future decisions.” the Caucus wrote.

Additionally, the Caucus implored the Governor to reconsider his policy of separating family members from their COVID-positive loved ones who are either near end of life or suffer with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities, and asked that he restore this most basic human right to family members.

Again, the Conservative Caucus has requested the Governor’s Advisory Group work closely with legislative leaders to develop a viable plan to reopen our economy, and restore the financial, social, and economic needs of the state and its residents, while balancing the continuing need to ensure public health.

The members of the Connecticut General Assembly Conservative Caucus are:  Rep. Mike France, Chair (R-42); Rep. Craig Fishbein, Vice Chair (R-90); Rep. Anne Dauphinais, Secretary (R-44); Rep. David T. Wilson, Treasurer (R-66); Rep. Tim Ackert (R-8); Rep. Brian Lanoue (R-45); Rep. Doug Dubitsky (R-47); Rep. Rick Hayes (R‑51); Rep. Kurt Vail (R-52); Rep. John Piscopo (R-76); Rep. Gale Mastrofrancesco (R-80); Rep. John Fusco (R-81); and Rep. Vincent Candelora (R-86)