2005 Connecticut Code - Sec. 19a-131a. Declaration of public health emergency by Governor.

      Sec. 19a-131a. Declaration of public health emergency by Governor. (a) In the event of a state-wide or regional public health emergency, the Governor shall make a good faith effort to inform the legislative leaders specified in subsection (b) of this section before declaring that the emergency exists and may do any of the following: (1) Order the commissioner to implement all or a portion of the public health emergency response plan developed pursuant to section 19a-131g; (2) authorize the commissioner to isolate or quarantine persons in accordance with section 19a-131b; (3) order the commissioner to vaccinate persons in accordance with section 19a-131e; or (4) apply for and receive federal assistance.

      (b) (1) Any declaration issued pursuant to this section shall become effective upon its filing with the Secretary of the State and with the clerks of the House of Representatives and Senate. The declaration shall state the nature of the public health emergency, the political subdivisions or geographic area subject to the declaration, the conditions that have brought about the public health emergency, the duration of the public health emergency and the public health authority responding to the emergency. Any such declaration issued by the Governor may be disapproved and nullified by majority vote of a committee consisting of the president pro tempore of the Senate, the speaker of the House of Representatives, the majority and minority leaders of both houses of the General Assembly and the cochairpersons and ranking members of the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to public health. Such disapproval shall not be effective unless filed with the Secretary of the State not later than seventy-two hours after the filing of the Governor's declaration with the Secretary of the State.

      (2) Any declaration issued pursuant to this section may be renewed by the Governor upon its filing with the Secretary of the State and with the clerks of the House of Representatives and Senate. The renewal declaration shall state the nature of the continuing public health emergency, the political subdivisions or geographic area subject to the renewal, the conditions that have brought about the renewal declaration, the duration of the renewal declaration and the public health authority responding to the public health emergency. Any such renewal declaration issued by the Governor may be disapproved and nullified by majority vote of a committee consisting of the legislative leaders specified in subsection (b) of this section. Such disapproval shall not be effective unless filed with the Secretary of the State not later than seventy-two hours after the filing of the Governor's renewal declaration with the Secretary of the State.

      (3) The Governor shall declare a public health emergency to be terminated before the duration stated in the declaration, upon a finding, after informing the legislative leaders specified in subsection (b) of this section, that the circumstances that caused such emergency to be declared no longer pose a substantial risk of a significant number of human fatalities or incidents of permanent or long-term disability.

      (c) The Governor shall ensure that any declaration or order issued pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be (1) published in full at least once in a newspaper having general circulation in each county, (2) provided to news media, and (3) posted on the state Internet web site. Failure to take the actions specified in subdivisions (1) to (3), inclusive, of this subsection shall not impair the validity of such declaration or order.

      (d) Any individual who, during the course of a public health emergency declared under this section, violates the provisions of any order issued pursuant to sections 19a-131 to 19a-131i, inclusive, or who intentionally obstructs, resists, hinders or endangers any person who is authorized to carry out, and who is engaged in an activity that carries out, any of the provisions of the order shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than one year, or both, for each offense.

      (e) The commissioner may request the Attorney General to apply to the Superior Court for an order enforcing the provisions of any order issued by the commissioner pursuant to sections 19a-131 to 19a-131i, inclusive, and such other equitable relief as the court deems appropriate.

      (f) The commissioner may delegate to an employee of the Department of Public Health or any local health director, as much of the authority of the commissioner described in this section as the commissioner determines appropriate. Such authorized employee or director shall act as an agent of the commissioner.

      (P.A. 03-236, S. 2.)

      History: P.A. 03-236 effective July 9, 2003.

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