HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – The Connecticut House of Representatives has voted to extend a series of emergency powers for the governor in the event of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The results came in late Thursday evening.
One of the extensions included ordering masks from schools, which would have expired next week.
The plan remained to keep it until Feb. 28 and then let individual city and town districts decide, as Gov. Ned Lamont proposed earlier this week.
The extension simply allows the mandate to remain in place until then.
However, the state Department of Public Health ultimately has the final say on keeping students masked until the end of the school year.
“The time has come for children to return to the normal lives that many of us led for the past year,” said Rep. Vinny Candelora, the Republican Minority Leader. “Take the masks off them.”
House lawmakers were split on masks in schools.
Despite a major outcry from some lawmakers, they ultimately voted to extend the executive order until February 28.
If COVID-19 cases increase again, DPH may keep masks in place until June 30.
“Some public health measures should be left to parents,” agreed Rep. Matt Ritter, Democrat and Speaker of the House. “When what your decision impacts others, that’s the missing element here.”
Regarding the end of the school year, lawmakers also dropped language that would shorten the school year by the mandatory 180 days.
This came after pushback from Lamont and the state Board of Education.
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