Connecticut to Move Into Next Phase of COVID-19 Response

February 14, 2022

Well hello there, Monday. Like gravity, we just can’t seem to escape you. As a glass half full kind of guy, I welcome you as a reset of sorts, especially after the last week which was full of ups, downs, and the occasional side to side (more on that debate is below). The anticipation of the 2022 legislative session and the work that goes into that first bang of the gavel came to a head last Wednesday when friends and colleagues gathered to officially begin our work. I say “officially” because these dates are set per the constitution, but let’s be real - there’s really no start or end to the work we have the privilege of doing on behalf of you and our great state.

The following day, committees convened with agendas that gave members and the public a sense of the direction each would be taking over the weeks and months ahead. While many of these proposals have yet to be fully drafted and debated, keep in mind that these conversations remain fluid until the Governor puts pen to paper, signing legislation into law. We provided ways to watch this process unfold in our last e-blast, but as a reminder:

  • The non-partisan Office of Legislative Research recently published the 2022 Major Issues report, which summarizes key issues the legislature could take up during the upcoming session.
  • Visit the CGA website to view a daily schedule of events, access committee information, find your State Senator or State Representative, and more.
  • Read the Bulletin to find out when committees are meeting, how to provide public hearing testimony, and more.
  • Register for the CGA's Bill Tracking system, here, to follow any bill as it moves through the legislative process. You will receive notifications when the bill's status changes.
  • For information on how to testify on a bill that is up for a public hearing, follow this link.
  • Access the CGA's Citizen's Guide, here, for more on how you can become part of the process
  • Follow CTN for live coverage of committee meetings and House and Senate floor debates.
  • Want to know how your tax dollars are spent? The State Comptroller's OpenConnecticut web portal allows residents to track state government spending in real time

Also on Thursday, the House of Representatives convened to vote on the extension of the emergency declaration to June 30, 2022, and the bill that outlines which of the Governor’s prior executive orders will remain in place, and the dates in which they will expire prior to the June 30, 2022 end date. 
The order garnering the most attention addresses the mask requirement in schools and when the future of our students’ faces would be revealed. The Governor provided the public a teaser ahead of our vote as to the path we ultimately took, providing an expected expiration date for the mask requirement while also safeguarding students and staff.

Given residents’ consistent request for local control throughout the era of Ms. Rona and her virus, we voted to provide just that. Local and regional boards of education may now make their own decisions on masks once the state requirement is lifted, currently slated for February 28, 2022.
Emotions and the number of concerns residents and elected officials have shared have been at an all-time high. I want to take this opportunity to thank the residents of the 11th Assembly District for your respectful discourse ahead of last Thursday's vote and the Senate's actions today. I wish I could say that this was the norm for all my colleagues around the state, but unfortunately it was not.

The vitriol spewed and the threats against fellow humans are simply not the way in which we should conduct ourselves, especially when we know our children are watching, listening, and in some cases, now mimicking this behavior. We are a resilient group of residents here in this district and understand the importance of civil discourse and debate on any issue, especially those related to our collective health and wellbeing.

Unlike Monday's inability to defy gravity, your demeanor and dialogue never come as a shock or disappointment. The 11th Assembly District understands the importance of the “we before the me” and exemplifies it again and again. I thank you for that and look forward to the spirited debates we will have before the final gavel comes down on May 4, 2022.