HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – Lawmakers drafted the state’s budget at the end of the legislative session on Wednesday evening.
It was the first bipartisan budget since 2018.
However, Democrats and Republicans continue to fight to legalize recreational marijuana.
In fact, the Speaker of the House has stated that there will be a special session to discuss the legalization of recreational marijuana.
He said Republicans who are against the legislation plan to have long debates, and since the session ends at midnight, there would not be enough time to pass a bill.
“I’ve heard from my counterparts across the way that they will talk until midnight, so what we’ll do is call each other back into session on a date and time of our choosing. will do the executor of the budget and the legalization of cannabis, ”Speaker of the House and Democratic State Representative Matt Ritter.
Many Republicans do not support him.
“Basically anyone can drive, smoke marijuana while driving, and if that’s the only violation an officer sees, there’s nothing they can do,” said Republican State Senator Dan Champagne.
The plan is to come back in seven to fourteen days as it will be a special session. Recreational marijuana will have to be voted on in both houses.
Recalling lawmakers and staff for a special session will cost additional money.
Lawmakers returned to Capitol Hill Wednesday morning to continue the debate.
Overnight, lawmakers said they passed the two-year budget.
The state Senate approved the state budget on Wednesday evening. He will now head to Governor Ned Lamont’s office.
Lamont issued a statement saying, “The bipartisan approval of the 2022-2023 biennial state budget sends a clear message to all residents of our great state – this is the most progressive, transformative, and life-changing budget. life our state has ever seen. . We agreed, regardless of the party, that now is the time to ensure that thousands of families have access to affordable child care, expanding access to free and affordable health care. household security, and investments in our future through workforce development will strengthen our state. Equity investments will elevate our state for generations to come. I would like to thank the co-chairs of the appropriations and finance committees and the bipartisan leaders of the General Assembly for working with my administration to move our state forward with this budget. “
This is a bit unusual, as normally the budget is the last piece of legislation legislators make during a session. This year there has been greater consensus on the budget in large part because of the billions of dollars in federal stimulus funds. Lawmakers were able to craft a two-year, $ 46 billion budget with no tax increases or spending cuts.
“This is a strong and aggressive bipartisan budget, which is on time and gives people a roadmap of where we are going to be in two and four years,” Governor Ned Lamont said on Wednesday.
Twenty-two House Republicans voted in favor. He is now heading for the Senate.
The House of Representatives also passed a truck mileage tax that requires heavy truck drivers to be charged a per mile fee.
It was something Lamont had pushed for.
“I commend the Connecticut General Assembly for making a concerted investment in our state’s infrastructure to improve our roads, our bridges and enable us to provide even more support for transit,” Lamont said. “These highway user charges are designed to be paid for by a single group of vehicles: the heaviest semi-trailers that damage our roads the most, especially those that use our state as a master key and never contribute. improving our infrastructure. Those responsible for the most wear and tear on our roads must compensate the state to ensure that our residents have safer roads and bridges on which to drive, and this proposal achieves that goal. I look forward to signing this law, because it is a crucial step for our state in terms of competitiveness, maintaining the growth of our economy and safe travel for our residents. ”
Bill to legalize recreational marijuana was narrowly passed in the state Senate and Lamont supports the idea, but House Republicans have threatened to try to filibuster the bill. if they can’t come to an agreement with the Democrats.
Early Tuesday morning, Connecticut took an important step toward legalizing recreational marijuana.
Both sides still have some influence as the governor has already said that if no deal is reached on marijuana before the session ends at midnight, he would have no qualms about calling a special session devoted to the issue.
The current legislative session ends at midnight.
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