Connecticut: Bills On Tolls, Sports & "Pot" Filed Friday

Bills on tolls, recreational marijuana, sports betting filed on Friday

This story used with permission by our News Partner WFSB Channel 3

HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - Lawmakers returned to the state capitol last week and Friday was the day to file bills that would be taken up this session.

The big three are tolls, recreational marijuana and sports betting.

All have been proposed before.

Things could be different because of budget problems, Connecticut needs revenue.

The other reason might be the state's new governor supports them.

Pressure is mounting on state lawmakers and a new governor to fix Connecticut’s budget problems.

The state faces huge deficits and at the same time roads and bridges need a major overhaul.

Residents are also looking for relief on taxes.

Recreational marijuana could bring in lots of money.

“We are not talking about a free for all like tobacco and alcohol. We are talking about a strict regulated environment,” said Representative Mike D’Agostino.

Representative Mike D’Agastino feels CT should follow Massachusetts and New York, and with regulation, he says it can be done responsibly.

Several marijuana bills have been proposed.

D’Agastino says one cohesive bill would have a better chance of passing.

Opponents say we don't know enough about long-term effects and money shouldn't be the driver.

“The four states that legalized marijuana first have seen an uptick in violent crimes, above the national average. So those things need to be looked at,” said Representative Vinnie Candelora.

Governor Lamont supports tolls in some form.

A recent study said it could generate about one billion a year, but newly elected Will Haskell, the youngest state senator, says tolls are the way to go but there must be discounts for commuters and others.

“I don't think a person living within 10 miles from a gantry should pay a toll. There are people where I live in Fairfield county who take 91 to Stop and Shop. They shouldn't be asked to pay a toll like an out of state driver going from Maine to Florida,” Haskell said.

Sports betting may have the best chance of passing.

It has bi-partisan support, one bill gives the state's Indian tribes a big seat at the table.

The challenge will be to figure out who the players will be, and the most difficult part may be how to control and regulate online gaming.

There are plenty of other bills, one that tries to make prescription drugs more affordable and accessible and a bill that would help forgive some student loans.

Tolls, marijuana and sports betting will be the big talkers.

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

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content