‘Let this be the year of Connecticut’s Comeback.’ Gov. Ned Lamont delivers upbeat address as 2021 legislative session kicks off; asks lawmakers to move on legalizing marijuana, sports betting

“I don’t want our state to be defined by a COVID crisis — instead I want this year to be the year we changed the narrative of Connecticut; let this be the year of Connecticut’s Comeback,” Lamont said in a prerecorded speech that began airing just after 12:50 p.m. The traditional in-person speech in the Hall of the House at the state Capitol in Hartford was canceled for public health reasons. Lamont said the state should move quickly to seize the financial advantage of legalized sports betting, internet gambling and recreational marijuana. But he notably did not call for any tax increase. “In this coming year, we will be expanding our commitment to affordable housing, access to broadband, transit-oriented development, open choice school incentives, as well as an expansion of our workforce development and small business growth fund.” The state House of Representatives meanwhile held a virtual roll call, with members stating they were “present” from their offices in the Legislative Office Building. A group swearing-in was then held outside the Capitol later in the morning. Rep. Matt Ritter of Hartford was elected House speaker, following in the footsteps of his father Tom, who served as speaker in the 1990s. Rep. Jason Rojas of East Hartford was elected House majority leader.


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