State capitol

(WFSB file photo)

HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -- It's a new legislative session, with a lot of new lawmakers.

However, the state's budget problems remain the same.

Lawmakers are back at the State Capitol, and there are 40 new members in the House and Senate, along with a new governor.

"I keep hearing we need to do things differently, we keep doing the same things,” said Democratic State Rep. Joe Aresimowicz.

Connecticut may need to make bold changes.

The House speaker says this could be the year action is taken on sports betting, tolls, and recreational marijuana.

"If we legalize it, and it’s an if, it will be highly regulated,” Aresimowicz said.

"For those so opposed to it, we should fortify our borders, put patrol agents and drug agents, because short of that if it's legal in Massachusetts and New York, it's legal in CT,” said Democratic State Rep. Matt Ritter.

However, there are some new ideas floating around.

A proposal to tax groceries and medications, something Gov. Ned Lamont is exploring, and Senate Democrats are looking at regionalizing school districts, either by the size of the district or the town.

Both are already getting some push-back.

"The idea of having to put kids on buses, or travel further, or new facilities, it’s troubling,” said Republican State. Rep Leslee Hill.

The House speaker expects thousands of bills will be proposed this session, and the big thing will be the Gov. Lamont’s budget, which is expected in mid-February.

That could have some of the older ideas, or some new ones.

Copyright 2019 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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