Recreational marijuana, tolls put on hold amid budget discussion - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Recreational marijuana, tolls put on hold amid budget discussions

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(WFSB file photo) (WFSB file photo)

Lawmakers in Hartford debated tolls on Tuesday, but stopped short of voting.

They talked about other matters, like recreational marijuana, which may not go any further.

Tolls and marijuana are getting more attention, but it’s unlikely they will be voted on in the regular session. Lawmakers have also been talking about a third casino.

Lawmakers may want the money these could generate, but it could be a tough sell for those who elected them.

The House speaker said they are still 12 votes short.

"Marijuana is more difficult. It depends in what way I think if we put marijuana on the board, we are about a dozen or so,” House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz said.

East Haddam State Rep. Melissa Ziobron is one of the few republicans who supports recreational marijuana.

"I believe strongly people have the right to their personal freedoms but it’s the eventuality when you look at all the New England states now,” Ziobron said.

After a debate on tolls, that appears dead for now.

When it comes to casinos, Republican State Senator and State Senate President Len Fasano said, “this bill has always been viewed as to how we can keep our jobs in the state of Connecticut and now it’s turned into a Christmas tree that everyone is trying to hang an ornament on in their district."

While none of these bills may get voted on, House democrats are counting on money raised from marijuana, casinos, and along with $700 million in union concessions yet to be approved, as well as money for cities and towns

"Republicans and democrats have admitted we are not going to get a budget by the end of the session, mutually calling themselves in we need a budget, we need a budget by July 1,” Gov. Dannel Malloy said.

The plan is to come back in before July 1 and pass a budget. If not, the governor says he already has a plan in place to keep vital services operating.

The regular session ends Wednesday at midnight, and while tolls, marijuana, and another casino are stalled for now, they could be added into the budget, which will be voted on in a special session.

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