New Legislative Session Brings More Democrats to Hartford

The new Connecticut General Assembly will be solidly Democratic and include more members who call themselves progressive.

Lawmakers return Wednesday to Hartford for opening day.

With more lawmakers identifying as left of center politically, that could mean more support for legislation often viewed as liberal-leaning, such as a higher minimum wage. It may also create challenges for Democratic leaders, considering half of the 92 Democrats in the House of Representatives have joined the recently formalized Progressive Caucus.

House Majority Leader Matt Ritter is downplaying the potential for intra-party discord, saying Democrats need one another to pass legislation they care about.

A higher minimum wage, legalized marijuana and paid family medical leave are among the issues the progressive caucus is backing.

Early voting and sports betting are other potential hot issues.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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