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Third Casino, Tolls, and Marijuana: How Did Three Revenue Proposals Fare in CT?

June 7, 2017 By Staff
Third Casino, Tolls, and Marijuana: How Did Three Revenue Proposals Fare in CT?

The Connecticut legislature reached decision points on three major proposals to bring the state more revenue. How did casinos, tolls, and marijuana fare?

The Connecticut legislature reached the conclusion of three major policy debates on Tuesday, as the 2017 session approaches its close.

The legislature considered plans for a third Connecticut casino, electronic tolls on major highways, and the legalization and taxation of recreational marijuana. Each of the three proposals would bring the state millions of dollars of revenue.

Here’s how each proposal did on Tuesay.

THIRD CASINO

The Connecticut House approved a third casino in the state, which will be a joint effort from the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes that own Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun, respectively.

The Senate approved the third casino last month, according to reporting from Hartford Business Journal (HBJ). MGM, which is opening a casino in Springfield, Massachusetts, is challenging their lack of ability to compete on a third Connecticut casino in court.

HBJ reported that the amount of revenue the third casino can bring in is unclear:

The tribes are expected to pay the state $266 million in the current fiscal year under the terms of a deal struck in the 1990s: In return for exclusive rights to casino games, the tribes annually pay the state 25 percent of its gross slots revenues.

…Analysts project the slots revenue will be worth $266 million again next year, then fall to $199 million after MGM Springfield opens.

TOLLS

House Majority Leader Matt Ritter (D-Hartford) reported on the House floor on Tuesday that tolls will not happen in Connecticut in 2017:

Tolls would bring in millions for transportation spending every year, but could also cost drivers hundreds of dollars a year.

MARIJUANA

The Connecticut House tabled its debate on marijuana legalization, according to CT News Junkie. Passionate proponents and opponents of the measure spoke out on legalization on Tuesday.

Democrats included marijuana legalization in their effort to balance the two-year budget last month, estimating legalization would bring in $168 million in that time period.

After the failure of marijuana legalization and tolls, though, it’s back to the drawing board as state leaders attempt to balance a budget that’s expected to be $5 billion out of balance in the next two fiscal years.