HARTFORD — Governor Ned Lamont and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo met in Hartford Wednesday to discuss common problems and solutions between the two states.
You could call it a meeting of the minds. The two governors were a month removed from a fishing trip on Lake Ontario.
The meeting was an attempt to collaborate and foster a new era of cooperation. “A state border is an artificial line,” said Lamont.” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said, “Why wouldn’t New York and Connecticut work together?”
They talked about cyber security, the environment and high profile issues like transportation and improving the shared Metro-North Line. “We’re investing in Metro North. We want to make it better, we want to do that with Connecticut,” said Cuomo.
The Governors want to legalize recreational marijuana through regional legislation and mirror key details. “What age are you thinking about? What is the THC content that you are allowing? What is the tax rate?” said Cuomo.
Some people agree like Christine Mozonski of West Hartford, agree, “I think regionalizing it is a good idea so the states can concur and reinforce the same set of legislation.” But Sam Wilkinson of West Hartford doesn’t agree.
“No. I think it would be better doing it state by state.
The regionalization strategy to extend to vaping. FOX61 asked Gov. Lamont if he plans to follow Gov. Cuomo, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker and Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo in banning vaping products via executive order.
“At least get something in the bill before the legislature as soon as we can. Whether you ban all vaping products or whether that leads more people to the black market the illegal stuff that’s even more dangerous. I want to do a little more research on this it’s still early,” said Lamont.
In the face of mounting health concerns, stores like Artisan Vapors in West Hartford say unlike the black market, their products are FDA regulated and have benefits.
“I’ve never experienced anyone coming in saying I want to vape to vape. More often than not everyone is like I want to quit smoking,” said sales associate Rachel Duckworth.
Governor Cuomo hopes to have another meeting to further discuss regionalization on October 17th and have a plan by January before the start of New York’s legislative session.
The issue of tolls never came up.