Earlier this week, the House of Representatives went into session to take up one of the top priorities of Speaker Matt Ritter, the controversial bill eliminating the religious exemption to vaccines. Before the 16-hour debate, newly elected Representative Tony Scott (R) of Monroe was sworn in. Truly a first day he will never forget! Both Appropriations and Finance Committees are trying to make some headway over the next few days as their deadlines are approaching Thursday (Finance) and Friday (Appropriations). Following the last few committee deadlines, it is expected that both the House and Senate will meet on Monday to progress through their legislative agendas.
House Votes on Vaccine Bill
After at least three years of controversy, hours of testimony and public protests, the House voted on the highly controversial bill that will remove the use of the religious exemption to childhood vaccinations for some children if they wish to enroll in public schools. After over 16 hours of vigorous debate, the bill passed 90- 53 where it will now move to the senate for action. If the bill passes the Senate it will go into effect in September 2022, but it was amended before passage so that it would not apply to any child that currently has a religious exemption for K-12.
Appropriations Committee Meets Regarding Budget
Today, the legislature's Appropriations Committee will recommend a $46 billion, two-year state budget that largely matches the spending level endorsed by Gov. Ned Lamont in February. However, the legislative spending package taps approximately $240 million from this year's projected surplus and moves another $350 million in sales tax receipts to an off-budget account. Both the Governor and Appropriations budget proposals will become the foundation for negotiations as they try to adopt a biennial budget before the end of session on June 9.
Executive Orders to Expire May 20th Amidst Reopenings
Governor Lamont signed Executive Order 11 earlier this week which extends previous Covid-19 emergency orders that will now expire on May 20th, 2021. This is big news for the state as it comes following Lamont's announcement Monday that Connecticut will end its COVID-19 restrictions in two steps next month, beginning May 1 for outdoor activities and May 19 for everything else. The remaining mandate will still require wearing masks in public indoor places.
As of March 19, 2021, Governor Lamont's Executive Order No.9S, Section 1 regarding travel is no longer in effect.
Connecticut residents and travelers to Connecticut should follow travel- related guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Connecticut Department of Public Health (CT DPH). Mandates and requirements are not currently in place in Connecticut.
Governor Lamont's Executive Orders
During a public health emergency, the Governor essentially can run the state via executive order. Please review the Governor's most recent Executive Orders: 11, 11A, 11B, 11C, 11D, 11E .
Please review the updated list of executive orders here.