Coronavirus hits Capitol Complex
Remaining legislative session in doubt
Governor declares a State of Emergency
Important links to live by
Tell us how we can help
- The fast-spreading Coronavirus has now come to CT, and the state legislature is not immune to its impact.
- On Wednesday of this week, Legislative Leaders from both political parties, working with the Governor, agreed to pause the ongoing legislative session by closing down the Legislative Office building, the State Capitol and the Old State House for four days.
- However, yesterday Legislative Leaders decided to extend that closure through the end of March.
- Initially the closure was to have the Capitol Complex undergo a deep cleaning, but it now appears that the severity of the impact the coronavirus is having on the state, and the imperative for steps to limit its spread, has led legislative leadership and the Governor to decide it is in the best interest of the general public to extend the closure of the Capitol Complex at least until the end of the month.
Remaining Session in Doubt
- With the legislature in the middle of its “short session” which is scheduled to end in early May, the halting of session this week has put the remainder of the short session in serious doubt.
- Most committees, but not all, have finished their work at the Committee level. That means they have raised bills, held public hearings and voted on bills.
- But many others have not, including the three major committees – Judiciary, Appropriations, and Finance, Revenue and Bonding – which have yet to reach their deadlines.
- On Wednesday, the day before the Capitol Complex closed, the Legislature convened to adopt a bond package, which was a priority for them. Depending what occurs in the coming weeks, it may have been the last day of the regular session.
- In reality, outside of some minor budget adjustments that need to be made, the legislature does not have any major business that they must accomplish immediately, although there are a range of proposals on many different topics that are pending. Many members appear to be of the view that it makes no sense for them to continue in session while the coronavirus crisis continues.
- We will keep you posted on what we know from the State Capitol as we learn more, but for now we don’t expect the legislature will come back into session until at least early April. Then, if they decide to resume business, we expect that they will compress the legislative calendar and consider only the highest priorities issue.
Governor Declares State of Emergency
- By now you know that on Tuesday of this week Governor Lamont declared a Public Health Emergency to deal with the Coronavirus.
- The declaration gives the Governor broad power to take action to protect schools, inmates and empower local public health officials.
- The Governor has not shut down state government as of now, but is encouraging all business – public and private – to allow employees to work from home if at all possible.
- Each day the number of school districts deciding to close increases, and by some estimates has reached more than half the state’s school children. Some districts have opted to close for up to 2 weeks, others have closed indefinitely.
- In Connecticut, there have been 6 confirmed cases of coronavirus, but each day more cases are being reported as testing increases, and because of that decisions in response continue to be made by state and local officials.
Important Links to Live By
- This week we wanted to expand our links to live by to focus on not just legislative news but coronavirus news.
- The Ct Mirror has a good overview of the Governor’s Declaration. Go here to read: (https://ctmirror.org/2020/03/10/lamont-is-declaring-a-public-health-emergency/
- The Hartford Courant followed the Governor as he gave a briefing on the Coronavirus at Saint Francis Hospital. You can go here for that story: https://www.courant.com/coronavirus/hc-news-coronavirus-connecticut-update-0312-20200312-ul7q5nj2urgrbpiz6x4kvh6gym-story.html
- The CT News Junkie has more about Gov. Lamont’s response to coronavirus: https://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/20200312_lamont_cancels_large_events_waives_180-day_school_year/
- Yesterday, the Governor toured a CT business that is working on a vaccine for the virus. You can go here to read that story: https://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/20200312_lamont_tours_connecticut_company_working_on_covid-19_vaccine/
- The CT Mirror has a look at the number of school districts that have closed and what is next for those students. https://ctmirror.org/2020/03/13/school-has-been-closed-for-230k-children-in-connecticut-what-now/
How Can We Help?
- We close this week’s FF with an open invitation to any member who has any questions, or needs any information related to issues on the coronavirus, to call or email us.
- We know this is may be a difficult time for many retailers and we want to help in any way, big or small, that we can.
- We have a vast network of folks in government and business that we can call upon to try to help you, as needed.
- So, please feel free to contact Christine at Christine@crmaonline.com or Tim at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Above all else, be safe.