MESKERS: Lamont’s request to continue emergency declaration is a sensible course of action

Submitted by State Rep Steve Meskers (D-150)

I have had a number of constituents reach out to me regarding the expiration of several COVID protections on September 30, and the Governor’s request that the legislature extend those protections.

Over the past year and a half, one thing we have learned here in Greenwich is how fast this virus moves and how serious it can be. With this experience in mind, it’s clear to me that the way to continue keeping our residents safe is by continuing the strategies that have worked: listening to the advice of public health officials and keeping policies in place that allow the state to quickly respond to changing conditions.

The emergency declaration is not unilateral authority. There is no threat to democracy. The legislature continues to play a pivotal role in working with the Governor and state agencies to analyze public health data and craft policies that will allow our schools to stay open and our economy to keep growing.

In addition, this legislative session, we passed special legislation to provide legislative leadership the ability to reject any executive order. As a part-time, citizen-legislature, convening a special legislative session requires significant time and notice. In contrast, this declaration allows our state to be nimble in its response to COVID, while still preserving the public’s role and input. Should there be an issue that we cannot address through administrative action, I am always ready to be at the Capitol to take legislative action.

Having worked on Wall Street, I know the skill it takes to be a leader during uncertain times. Governor Lamont has shown that he is leading our state with compassion, rationality, and reasonableness.

With the appropriate checks that we have put in place and the continued uncertainty of the still ongoing pandemic, this request to continue the declaration is the most sensible course of action.

Below is a list of the current Executive Orders issued by Governor Lamont in response to the COVID-19 pandemic are still in effect and all, pending further modification, expire on Sept. 30, 2021:

  • Executive Order 7P, sec. 1: Authorization to Provide for Non-Congregant Housing for Persons at Risk
  • Executive Order 7EEE, sec. 1: Authorization for OPM to Direct DSS to Provide Coronavirus Relief Funding to Additional Providers
  • Executive Order 9, sec. 1: Commissioners of Early Childhood and Education May Issue Operational Rules
  • Executive Order 9Q, sec. 3: Out-of-Network COVID-19 Immunization
  • Executive Order 10, sec. 4: Use of Commuter Parking Facilities for COVID-19 Testing and Vaccination
  • Executive Order 11D, secs. 2 & 3:
    • Modification of State Contracting Statutes to Facilitate Emergency Procurement of Essential Goods
    • Modification of State Contracting Statutes to Facilitate the Emergency Procurement of Essential Services
  • Executive Order 12D: Application to UniteCT Required Before Delivering Notice to Quit for Nonpayment of Rent (tenant protections)
  • Executive Order 13A: Authorization for municipal leaders to implement universal mask requirements & modification of effective date on legislation that requires testing of nursing home staff
  • Executive Order 13C: COVID-19 Immunization Information Access
  • Executive Order 13D (Repealed by EO 13G): COVID-19 vaccination requirements for state employees, school employees, and childcare facility staff
  • Executive Order 13E: Establishment of temporary nurse aide program
  • Executive Order 13F: Modification of deadline for long term care