Capitol Report: Lamont gets 6th extension to his pandemic powers; deadline near for state employees to get COVID vaccine or risk losing their job

Capitol Report

(WTNH) –Governor Lamont gets a sixth extension to his COVID-19 pandemic emergency powers. Republicans were not pleased.

The Special Session debate was passionate with the battle lines drawn over mask mandates in schools.

Republican State Rep. Gale Mastrofrancesco of Wolcott caught a lot of heat from Democrats when she said this:

“I remember back in the beginning when the governor issued a statement about the tragic death of George Floyd and in that, he was on a video, he spoke and after the video ended, it scrolled and he had a shirt on that says ‘I can’t breathe’. Madame Speaker, our children can’t breathe. They cannot breathe in school with these masks on.”

The chair of the Black and Puerto Rican caucus immediately demanded an apology, calling the comments insensitive and disgusting.

But Mastrofrancesco wasn’t the only lawmaker to make a comment that raised eyebrows. A day later, State Sen. Rob Sampson compared vaccination requirements to slavery.

And again, a day after that, Gov. Lamont took some heat from Sen. Minority Leader Kevin Kelly for saying this when talking about COVID vaccinations:

“I think, first of all, it will be the numbers. Is this something that is being exploited, or are these a very small group of Mother Teresa’s who come forward and feel deeply? But I really want people to get vaccinated.”

The deadline is near for state employees to get vaccinated or risk losing their jobs.

Starting Monday, state employees need to prove they have been vaccinated against COVID, show they are exempt, or be willing to submit to weekly COVID testing.

The number of employees losing their jobs could potentially be in the thousands. The Lamont Administration says they gave fair warking and they aren’t messing around with this.

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