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.

Gov. Ned Lamont and Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz reacted to the ending of the legislative session. They participated in a news conference on June 10.

While there were some big wins for Democrats, there was still no action on recreational marijuana.

Lawmakers ran out of time.

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.

While there were some big wins for Democrats, there was still no action on recreational marijuana.

"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 will go into a special session to tackle a bill that would legalize recreational marijuana.

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.

Copyright 2021 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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(2) comments


Lawmakers "leave medical marijuana on the table", one day after the headline that they are going to "take up marijuana in special session". I'm loving this, I'm giggling every morning, and I admit I'm beginning to wonder if it's being worded that way on purpose or is just a really funny accident... twice in a row!

Brian C. Duffy

There's no adult in the house to help explain the article for you at the breakfast table?

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