The Connecticut House is to take action on the state’s next two-year budget on Tuesday — just 24 hours before the legislative session ends. That leaves little time to debate contentious bills that are pending, including marijuana legalization.
House Speaker Matt Ritter said that the last details of the $46 billion budget were finally hammered out with the governor’s office Sunday night. He said the bill was not ready for lawmakers to debate on Monday because they needed time to prepare the final document.
“Twelve hours would take us to about 1 o’clock in the morning and I don’t think that’s a good look for the state of Connecticut or our chamber. So we’ll run the budget on Tuesday morning I’m confident and hopeful that we’ll get some bipartisan support on it,” Ritter said.
Ritter anticipated some Republican support because most of the new taxes proposed by Democrats have been dropped — though a controversial truck user fee is still in the bill.
Ritter is also optimistic that the House will pass a marijuana legalization bill before that deadline, despite opposition from some members of his Democratic caucus.
“I think we do expect it to pass. Again we don't think we’ll have 97 votes. I don’t think we ever said that. We understand there would be no’s in our caucus. But you know we’ve heard from some people on the other side of the aisle that have had a chance to digest some stuff and I would say they are few people involved in conversations there too,” Ritter said.
The bill would require wholesale and retail marijuana sellers to sign union agreements before they could apply for a license.
Up to six homegrown plants would be allowed.