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Lawmakers still working amid pandemic

Politics

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Legislative business came to a screeching halt amid the pandemic.

But state leaders got creative for a chamber meeting on Thursday by cloaking themselves in protective gear.

Eight weeks ago, lawmakers voted on a bonding bill. The next day, COVID-19 hit.

Deep cleaning and closures forced lawmakers to take on a new role helping constituents virtually.

“If people are having problems with access to unemployment and DOL call my office, we have access to everything,” said Senator Kathy Osten.

“We may not have had the ability to pass legislation, but by no means does it mean we were not working,” Rep. Joe Arescimowicz said.

The old way of doing business will get a hard look.​

“Our rules need to be updated to reflect modern reality,” said Rep. Matt Ritter. “Maybe we got, to be honest, our traditions are critical, but they have to reflect modern technology.”​

That pivot could come in June.​

“They [legislative leaders] are talking about voting in groups, small groups, so they are not all in the legislative chamber at once,” Governor Ned Lamont said.

On Thursday, News 8 learned that three of the four general assembly leaders are not seeking re-election.​

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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