Legislative Session to Open in Person, Public Hearings Likely to Remain Remote

House Chamber. Photo credit: Hugh McQuaid, CTNewsJunkie.com (we-ha.com file photo)

COVID-19 metrics continue to improve, with the state reporting 2,684 positive cases and a positivity rate of 9.73% on Friday, the lowest numbers in weeks. West Hartford’s daily cases are about a third of what they were a month ago.

By Hugh McQuaid, CTNewsJunkie.com 

The Connecticut legislature looks likely to open its 2022 session next month with an in-person address by the governor before lawmakers begin a hybrid of traditional and remote work in a concession to the improved but lingering COVID-19 pandemic.

House Speaker Matt Ritter, D-Hartford, said he expected to hold a limited ceremony in the House chamber to hear remarks from Gov. Ned Lamont on Feb. 9. In some ways, the speech will represent a return to normalcy. Lawmakers were sworn in outdoors last January before watching a pre-recorded address by Lamont from their legislative offices. The subdued ceremony took place on Jan. 6 and was soon eclipsed by the attack on the U.S. Capitol later that afternoon.

This year, as the state continues to enjoy a decline in COVID metrics after a surge driven by the highly infectious omicron variant, Ritter expects to begin the session with a more traditional ceremony. Supreme Court justices and constitutional officers will be invited to attend the speech, he said Thursday.

“It’ll be a little different,” Ritter said. “It’s not going to be packed. In the past there’s photos of 300 people. You won’t see that in the chamber. But you’ll see any member who wants to be in there with their mask on is more than welcome to. My guess is, some legislators will choose not to attend and that’s fine.”

Click here to read the rest of the article at CTNewsJunkie.com.

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