The House chamber on the last day of the legislative session. Yehyun Kim / ctmirror.org
The House chamber on the last day of the legislative session.

On the morning of Jan. 6, 2021, the Connecticut General Assembly convened outside the state Capitol, with many members wearing masks to protect against COVID and long coats to ward off the chill. The state was in the thick of the post-holiday pandemic spike, and nobody really knew how the session would go. Would senators and representatives be able to conduct their business properly over Zoom?

Later that day, supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., and the celebratory mood at the state Capitol was forgotten.

But in the weeks that followed, the legislature held its committee meetings and hearings as usual, even though nothing was normal about the 2021 legislative session. By Wednesday, the last day of the regular session, members of the General Assembly filled rooms that were largely vacant over the last few months — even if masks are still common — and the scene was closer to normal than anyone might have predicted on Jan. 6.

Connecticut state Capitol on the last day of the legislative session.
Sen. Gary Winfield, D-New Haven, center, listens to State Sen. Saud Anwar, D-South Windsor, in the Senate chamber.
Lt. Governor Bysiewicz listens to Sen. Marilyn Moore, D-Bridgeport.
The band “Feral Child” performs outside the Capitol as part of a protest hosted by Connecticut Residents Against Medical Mandate, a group opposed to mandates regarding masks and vaccinations.
House Minority Leader Rep. Vincent Candelora talks to a reporter at the Capitol.
Sen. Julie Kushner, D-Danbury, works in the hallway at the state Capitol.
Sen. Norm Needleman, D-Essex, left, and Senate President Pro Tem Martin M. Looney have a conversation in the Senate chamber.
Sen. John Fonfara, D-Hartford, left, talks to Senate Democrat staff members in the Senate chamber.
Business goes on over three floors of the state Capitol.
Senate President Pro Tem Martin M. Looney puts on a mask in the Senate chamber.
Sen. John Fonfara, D-Hartford, center, talks to Manny Merisotis, a Senate Democrat staff member, in the Senate chamber. Sen. Saud Anwar is at left.
Staff members in the Senate chamber.
Sen. Dan Champagne, R-Vernon, during a debate with Sen. Cathy Osten, D-Sprague, about the budget.
Sen. Norm Needleman, D-Essex, left, and Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff, D-Norwalk, in the Senate chamber.
Masks were common in legislative chambers.
Sen. Paul Formica, R-East Lyme, left, and Sen. Mae Flexer, D-Windham, have a discussion in the hallway of the state Capitol.
Security officers stand in the hallway at the State Capitol.
Connecticut state Capitol on the last day of the legislative session.

Yehyun joined CT Mirror in June 2020 as a photojournalist and a Report For America Corps Member. Her role at CT Mirror is to tell visual stories about the impact of public policy on individuals and communities in Connecticut. Prior to joining CT Mirror, Yehyun photographed community news in Victoria, Texas and was a photo and video intern at USA TODAY and at Acadia National Park in Maine. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Yehyun was born and raised in South Korea.