HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - Once the governor-elect takes office, he'll immediately face pressure on several fronts, including the state's finances.

Governor Ned Lamont and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have been pretty clear on the battles they plan to fight.

Republicans lost seats in the November election, but they have expressed that they will be fighting to protect residents from more taxes.

Tolls are also a hot topic.

Rep. Themis Klarides, the House of Representatives minority leader, said they could be bad at a time when people are leaving the state.

Lamont, however, said he supports tolls. His early proposals included enacting tolls only on tractor trailers.

With signs encouraging honking and drums in hand, the anti-toll crowd was the loudest and the biggest. 

"It's going to affect everybody," said Patrick Sasser. 

During the campaign, Lamont promised to keep tolls exclusively to tractor trailers, but his transition team has suggested he expand that plan. 

"People are going to pay for tolls twice. When you drive through a toll and when you go shopping in the stores, you're going to be paying for those extra costs from those trucks getting tolled," said Sasser. 

Republicans said if that's the case, the state can cut back on CT Fastrak buses, which the Department of Transportation said a record number of people are using.

"Cut some of the off peak buses that are clearly not being used to their capacity," Klarides suggested. "And get some of that money and out it into transportation."

Members of No Tolls CT began rallying on Wednesday across from the Hartford Armory at 10:30 a.m.

Also rallying was the Interfaith Clergy. It is calling on Lamont to enact his campaign healthcare commitments for equitable healthcare in the state.

Another group, Connecticut Norml- the national organization for marijuana laws, stood outside the capitol with a clear message.

“I’m here to keep Ned Lamont honest. He said he was going to do it this year and we are just here to put the pressure on," said Joe Toh, of Seymour.

The state has been hung up for a couple of years when it comes to legalizing recreational marijuana.

CT established medical marijuana laws in 2012.

“We’re hoping that with cannabis legalization moving forward to 2019 we can create new opportunity for the state," said Paul Kirchberg, of Connecticut Norml.

The group has six points they hope the new Lamont administration will consider if legalizing recreational use:

  • An individual right to grow pot
  • An expungement of cannabis related criminal records
  • Equitable licensing
  • Re-investment into communities
  • Environmental sustainability requirements
  • Special licenses for farmers to grow and sell

“We’re really working to make sure that there are equal opportunities for all people in this industry as Connecticut is looking to legalize,” said Kebra Smith Bolden, of Connecticut Norml.

Leaders from various churches met in front of the Armory rallying for statewide healthcare. 

"It's a right for each individual, every resident, here in the state of Connecticut," said Reverend Abraham Hernandez, National Hispanic Christian Leader. 

Stay with Channel 3 for continuing coverage of inauguration day.

More on the day's events can be found here.

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

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(1) comment

Logicandreason101

If we bring back tolls, we must cut the gas tax. As it stands, CT sees little in the way of out of state drivers filling up here, but, they definitely use our roads. Same thing with the trucks that transport goods to and from our state. Lower that gas tax and more people will save money for driving and probably increase gas sales overall. We should cut the tax enough to be less than the gas prices of RI, MA and NY.

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