HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – Governor Lamont’s pandemic emergency powers will be extended through February.
Friday morning, lawmakers kicked off a debate over whether it should be allowed.
Those emergency powers are set to expire next week.
At the center of the debate was whether the extension gives the governor too much power.
The 10-person committee met on Friday morning about whether the governor’s emergency powers will continue through next year.
A motion made by Republicans that would reject the extension was voted down Friday morning, meaning Lamont's emergency powers will be extended through February.
"The executive orders we live under now are too broad for Connecticut in September. They should be limited to public health issues and public health concerns and this public health emergency we’re in," said Republican Minority Leader State Rep. Themis Klarides.
The governor enacted the emergency order back in March as the pandemic began, and has issued dozens of executive orders since then, including requiring people to wear a mask, and limit the size of gatherings.
Republican Senator Len Fasano says legislators should be looped in the process.
In a statement, Fasano wrote:
"We should return to the process set in the early days of the pandemic in which the Governor consulted with lawmakers before issuing executive orders. There needs to be a level of review and collaboration to bring checks and balances back to Government."
“The executive orders are not sacred that they’re untouchable. The legislature can override them anytime,” said Democrat State Rep. Matt Ritter.
Some Democrats said the public wants science and metrics to determine how to protect people. They said this will help the governor respond quickly if the spread of the virus changes.
"Let's be honest about what this is. He has too much power. We want some too," said Democrat State Rep. Joe Aresimowicz.
Critics have protested at the state capitol to demand an end to the pandemic emergency powers.
Channel 3 spoke with the governor's chief of staff after the vote was made. He says they plan on meeting with legislative leaders next week to review the executive orders in place.
Channel 3 will continue to follow this story throughout the day.