Connecticut House debates but doesn't vote on marijuana bill

Lydia Fleming
June 9, 2017

CT lawmakers have passed legislation that could eventually prevent state transportation funds from being spent on other projects.

This overall, last-minute pact comes on the eve of the final day of this year's regular legislative session, which ends Wednesday at midnight.

The state is now looking at a projected $5 billion deficit over the upcoming two fiscal years, and leaders from both parties and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy have refrained from increases to income and sales taxes as part of their proposals. The bureau must approve changes to the agreement between the state and the tribes that, among other things, guarantee the state a 25 percent cut of slot revenue each month.

"I commend and thank both chambers of the General Assembly for keeping CT jobs and workers at the center of this debate", Malloy said.

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The Latest on legislation authorizing a tribal casino in East Windsor, Connecticut. "I have been very clear that I will not sign a bill that puts these jobs at risk, and I look forward to reviewing this proposal".

The Mohegan Tribal Chairman, Kevin Brown, expressed how families of casino workers at Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun were "breathing a sigh of relief" at the passing of the new legislation.

The legislature's non-partisan analysts declined to predict what impact the new casino might have on state revenues.

On Monday, a bill to require the Division of Criminal Justice to compile a preliminary report within 40 days after a deadly police shooting was tabled in the House and last week a debate on whether undocumented immigrant students should have access to the college financial aid pool into which they pay with their tuition was tabled in the Senate.

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MGM International, which is now building a casino in Springfield, Massachusetts, is also lobbying hard to be allowed to make a proposal in CT.

The revenue sharing has been worth $7 billion to the state since 1993, but it has been shrinking since hitting a high of $430 million in 2007. The Mashantucket Pequots and Mohegans - partnering as MMCT Venture for the project - have consistently said they would pursue this path. The gambling venue will aim to be a direct competitor to the $950-million resort Las Vegas casino giant MGM Resorts International is now building in neighboring MA. But some residents don't think MGM has anything to worry about.

If a vote count by House leaders is correct, the biggest remaining complication could be an amendment that Rep. Chris Davis, R-Ellington, whose district includes East Windsor, was considering proposing: It would make approval of the casino contingent on a local referendum.

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