Connecticut’s legislative session ended last night before the House of Representatives could consider legislation to legalize adult-use cannabis but House Speaker Matt Ritter (D) said lawmakers will take up the bill in a special session, the Hartford Courant reports.
The bill had momentum going into the last day of the session after being passed by the Senate — the first time a legislative body of Connecticut approved sweeping cannabis reforms — but ultimately the bill’s progress was set to be stalled by debates with House Republicans. Speaker Ritter said he decided to delay the vote for a special session in order to avoid the lengthy fallout.
“It’s one thing to have an honest, robust debate on a complicated topic. The concern in my caucus is the four or five people that never want to stop and that goes into your calculation. If you had 36 people speak for 10 minutes, ask good questions — not the same questions — because they want to learn about the bill, that is an honest debate. The concern on my end is six people who want to go for nine hours each.” — Ritter via the Hartford Courant
House Republican Leader Vin Candelora said that talks of a Republican filibuster were “preposterous” because lawmakers were only given one day to consider the 300-page bill. “It was less the threat of a filibuster and more a reality of when midnight comes, the debate has to end,” he said.
The bill was approved 19-17 in the Senate early Tuesday morning.
Gov. Ned Lamont (D), who supports the legislation, was still confident that legalization would pass.
“We’re not going to lose momentum,” he said in the report. “It will pass. … We’ll vote when they’re tired of talking. … Look, if they want more time to read it, God bless ‘em — they got a little more time to read it.”
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