NEW LONDON, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A popular Connecticut state senator remains hospitalized after falling this summer, casting doubt on whether he’ll be able take the oath of office with his colleagues in January.

Sen. Andrew Maynard, a Democrat and assistant majority leader, suffered a serious brain injury in July following a fall at his Stonington home, WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau reported.

Gary Rose, a political professor at Sacred Heart University, noted that some state lawmakers want to extend retirement benefits to Maynard, even though he has not served long enough to qualify.

“The state Legislature should seriously rethink that because they would set a very unusual precedent here to give benefits to a public employee at this stage of his career,” Rose told Schneidau.

Maynard’s family members remain optimistic about his recovery. But if he’s unable to serve, a special election could be called.

Maynard was overwhelmingly re-elected to a fifth term earlier this month, defeating Republican Kevin Trejo 58.6 percent to 41.4 percent.

The senator’s family said in October he’s “increasingly cognizant, able to remember, walk on his own,” but that challenges remain for full recovery.

An Oct. 30 debate was canceled because of Maynard’s condition. The Day of New London reported that Maynard did not vote and did not request an absentee ballot.

Maynard also has not made any public comment himself.

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