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House Democrats Vote to Extend Lamont’s Executive Powers Until May 20

State Capitol. Courtesy of CTNewsJunkie.com (we-ha.com file photo)

The House also voted unanimously Thursday to codify the executive orders that relax zoning to allow expanded outdoor dining through March 31, 2022.

West Hartford’s outdoor dining corrals, like these along LaSalle Road, have been very popular throughout the warm weather months. Photo credit: Ronni Newton (we-ha.com file photo)

By Christine Stuart and Hugh McQuaid,CTNewsJunkie.com

Ronni Newton, We-Ha.com, contributed to this report

Democrats in the House voted to extend Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont’s executive powers until May 20 over the objections of Republicans, who feel the other party has dragged their feet over continued executive authority.

The bill passed 90 to 50. It still needs to be approved by the Senate, which could happen as early as next week.

House Minority Leader Vincent Candelora said there are roughly 93 executive orders that make about 300 modifications to state law and regulations. He said Democrats have refused to sit down and review those orders with them to decide which should be kept in place, codified or permitted to expire.

House Minority Leader Vincent Candelora Courtesy of CTNewsJunkie.com

Republicans were also seeking to change the underlying statutes that permit the governor’s emergency declarations.

“We are asking that the executive order statutes be amended to delineate between civil preparedness and public health,” Candelora said. “To limit the duration by which any sitting governor could have an executive order that would require that time limit be such that the legislature could vote on it every 30 days or when we are not in session it’s every 60 days.”

Republicans offered an amendment that would end the civil preparedness declaration and continue the public health emergency. The amendment, which was defeated, also said any future declaration would need to be extended by a two-thirds vote of the legislature.

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