Lamont: No Special Session without Consensus on Package

Connecticut State Capitol. Photo credit: Ronni Newton (we-ha.com file photo)

Gov. Ned Lamont told lawmakers he’ll call them into special session – when they have a deal on police accountability and the use of absentee ballots.

By Mark Pazniokas, CTMirror.org

Gov. Ned Lamont told legislative leaders Tuesday he intends to call them into a special session “very soon” to act on police accountability legislation in response to the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

But “very soon” may take a while. 

In a letter to the leadership, the governor said he and lawmakers first must agree on legislation addressing police accountability and a second issue: Allowing voters to use absentee ballots in November if they are uncomfortable going to the polls during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Once we have agreed upon a package that has sufficient support in both chambers, I will issue a call for a special session that is tailored to specifically address that legislation,” Lamont wrote. “I will not issue a call for a special session until or unless that happens, however.”

Lamont said “the recent events in Minneapolis and the public outcry over similar events throughout the country require us to seize this moment and work together now to enact measures that will ensure our communities of color feel safe and have confidence that law enforcement and our criminal justice system as a whole treat all of our citizens fairly and equally.”

The governor has issued an executive order broadening the rules for the use of absentee ballots in the August primary. But the state of emergency expires on Sept. 9.

“Because my emergency powers are currently set to expire on September 9, I am unable to resolve the absentee balloting issue for the November general election through an Executive Order at this time,” Lamont wrote.

Reprinted with permission of The Connecticut Mirror. The author can be reached at [email protected].

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