On September 8, 2020, Governor Lamont issued Executive Order 9A, which extends to November 9, 2020 all executive orders, agency orders and municipal orders issued in connection with the current states of emergency related to COVID-19. This is Governor Lamont’s 69th executive order since the civil preparedness and public health emergencies were declared on March 10, 2020, and was enacted a week after the Governor extended those emergencies through February 9, 2021. While E.O. 9A was generally intended as an omnibus extension of existing unexpired executive orders, the prior executive orders were not uniform in their time frames or expiration dates. As a result, E.O. 9A goes to some length to clarify which deadlines are extended and which are not. When one looks at the language below, it is clear that clarification may have been needed:
“All such orders or individual sections of such orders that were: (a) declared effective for the duration and any renewal of the public health and civil preparedness emergency; (b) scheduled to expire on September 9, 2020, or (c) scheduled to expire within six months of when they were issued are hereby amended to provide that they shall expire on November 9, 2020, unless earlier modified or terminated by me. Any unexpired, reissued COVID-19 Order or individual section of any such order that is scheduled to expire on any other specific date shall remain in effect until such specific date.”
Many who are only casually following the Governor’s executive orders are likely to find this explanation confusing. However, there is another, less confusing way to consider the extension:
The following executive orders are extended to November 9 unless earlier modified or terminated by the Governor:
- Prior executive orders that were issued for the duration of the states of emergency (which were just renewed and extended by the Governor);
- Prior executive orders that were scheduled to expire on September 9, 2020; and
- Prior executive orders that were scheduled to expire within six (6) months of issuance
Some prior executive orders (or parts of executive orders) were scheduled to expire on some specific date other than September 9, 2020. If those executive orders had not yet expired as of the date of E.O. 9A, then they will remain in effect until the expiration date that was previously specified (i.e., and those executive orders will not be affected by E.O. 9A).
The Governor provided an example to help us understand this particular situation:
“By way of illustration, and for the sake of clarity, Executive Order No. 7OOO, which provides that it shall remain in place for six months, will now expire on November 9. The specific and contrary deadlines within such order, however, including the October 1, 2020 expiration of the eviction moratorium in Section 3 of that order and the November 12 expiration of the outdoor dining rules provided for in Section 1 of that order, shall remain unchanged and unaffected by this order.”
Therefore, the underlying executive order is extended, but where it contained parts that had specific deadlines (which were dates other than September 9, 2020), those specific deadlines will remain unchanged by E.O. 9A.
Finally, E.O. 9A extends “all unexpired orders, rules, regulations, directives, or guidance issued by any official, agency, department, municipality, or entity to continue through November 9, 2020, unless earlier modified or terminated.” This language is presented without qualification or clarification, and assumedly captures everything from DPH guidance to DECD safe workplace rules.
We assume that further guidance and/or clarification will be provided in coming weeks regarding E.O. 9A given the scope of its impact on existing executive orders.