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CT Gov. Lamont's Budget Proposal Calls For Legalizing Marijuana, Sports Betting

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont delivers his virutal budget address Feb. 10, 2021
WAMC screenshot

Defeating COVID-19 tops the priorities in Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont’s two-year, $46 billion budget proposal. The package unveiled Wednesday includes plans to continue rolling out tests and vaccinations while providing interim rate increases for nursing homes. It also seeks to provide financial support to health care providers and keep schools open. In a virtual message, the Democrat said his proposal includes no broad-based tax increases and relies on legalizing recreational marijuana, sports betting and internet gambling for revenue.

Marijuana retailers are operating in Massachusetts, voters in New Jersey have approved legalization and New York leaders are aiming to legalize the drug this year. With those neighboring developments, Lamont says Connecticut shouldn’t lose out.

"These additional revenues will go to distressed communities, which have been hardest hit by the war on drugs," Lamont said. "Half the tax revenues should be allocated to PILOT payments, in addition to a three percent local excise tax option. And importantly, my proposed legislation authorizes the automated erasure of criminal records for those with marijuana-related drug possession, convictions, and charges."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Jim is WAMC’s Associate News Director and hosts WAMC's flagship news programs: Midday Magazine, Northeast Report and Northeast Report Late Edition. Email: jlevulis@wamc.org
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