By Carol Platt LieBau, President of Yankee Institute.
(April 10, 2020) — We appreciate Gov. Ned Lamont’s efforts on behalf of Connecticut – along with all those on the front lines — during these difficult and unprecedented times. However, the declaration that businesses and schools will remain closed until May 20 means businesses and families will continue to suffer under the social, financial and family strains of the COVID-19 pandemic for at least five-and-a-half weeks more. We ask that the governor provide the facts that informed his decision to extend the shutdown until May 20. Without such information, the governor deprives Connecticut’s people of the rationale for these life-changing decisions. Yankee Institute takes no position on the governor’s decision in light of the pandemic, but respectfully urges the governor and his administration to trust our state’s people with the facts underlying it. This is a transparency issue, above all else.
In addition, Yankee Institute is calling on the governor to convene a task force to begin planning how the state should reopen. When that time comes, our state needs to have a roadmap in place for how retail businesses, restaurants and service jobs can reopen – and our businesses deserve to be able to plan. Connecticut cannot rely on the guidance of states like New York, which face a much different set of circumstances and challenges than Connecticut. The states of Ohio and Texas have created such task forces and Connecticut should do likewise. Connecticut’s task force should be comprised of public officials, representative constituents of the business community, and business associations who can convey the needs of their members. The governor spoke of hope during his press conference this morning; convening such a task force will offer the people of Connecticut hope by focusing on the future and ensuring that a plan is in place for reopening Connecticut’s businesses when the time is right.