HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - Connecticut lawmakers closed out what turned out to be an unusual legislative session due to the pandemic.
Gov. Ned Lamont held a news conference on Thursday afternoon to talk about the session.
"We had a budget that was passed on time, in balance, without tax increases with a strong bipartisan support," he said.
While there were some big wins for Democrats, there was still no action on recreational marijuana.
Lawmakers ran out of time.
Lawmakers hammered out the state budget with less than 24 hours remaining in the legislative session.
As a result, they will be back for a special session to debate legalizing recreational pot.
While the Democratic House speaker wanted pot to be debated on the last day of the session, Republicans promised to drag things out until the midnight deadline.
House lawmakers said they will be back in a week or two for the special session.
“We will be back here,” said Rep. Matt Ritter, House speaker. “They will delay the vote for seven to 14 days. I am not sure what kind of victory that is, but fine.”
He blamed Republicans for threatening a filibuster.
"Democrats believed there should be no deliberation on a 300-page bill that has certain questionable provision put in it and Republicans should shut up, sit down and vote," said Republican State Rep. and Minority Leader Vinnie Candelora.
Lawmakers did pass a new two-year $46.3 billion budget that had bipartisan support.
Supporters said it’ll help Connecticut in its continued recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new budget includes more than $2.2 billion in COVID relief funds from the American Rescue Plan. Lawmakers said it will help increase funding for local education, nursing homes, college scholarships and workforce development.
Lawmakers also passed a controversial highway use tax for commercial trucks. It’ll charge most heavy weight trucks a fee per mile.
Supporters said the tax is needed to rebuild the state’s crumbling infrastructure.
Opponents believe the plan will backfire.
“Ultimately, it will fail,” said Joe Sculley, Motor Transport Association of CT. “The state won’t collect the money that they think they will, which is what led 20 other states to repeal this tax.”
Also approved during the session, a bill getting rid of religious exemptions for childhood vaccines. The debate drew thousands of protesters to the capitol.
Lawmakers also passed sports betting legislation following a debate that had gone on for years.
There’s a possibility lawmaker could return to the Capitol Wednesday, and recreational pot will have to be voted on in both chambers.