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Poll: Connecticut Opposes More Casinos, Highway Tolls

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FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- Connecticut residents oppose the expansion of gambling in the Nutmeg State as well as the reintroduction of highway tolls, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday.

"Voters think gambling in Connecticut is good for the state, but they don't want more casinos. Three-quarters oppose more casinos in general and nearly 60 percent oppose specific legislation to allow two Native American tribes to open new smaller casinos," Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz said.

Voters say 62 percent to 29 percent that the current legal gambling in Connecticut is good for the state. But voters say 75 percent to 20 percent there should not be more casinos in Connecticut.

Voters oppose 59 percent to 36 percent a more limited proposal to allow the two Native American tribes that currently operate casinos in the state to open new smaller casinos near the borders with New York and Massachusetts. Danbury and Bridgeport are two cities floated as possible sites for new casinos. Only voters 18 to 34 years old support the idea, 54 percent to 46 percent.

When it comes to highway tolls, voters oppose 61 percent to 36 percent putting tolls on state highways, with opposition from all party, age and gender groups. Gov. Dannel Malloy is proposing a multibillion-dollar plan to improve the state's highways, trains, ports, airports and trails.

But voters support tolls 59 percent to 40 percent if the money is used to repair the state's roads and bridges. There is little difference among Democrats, Republicans and independent voters.

Tolls have been suggested as a way to pay for the Malloy plan.

On another issues before the state legislature, Connecticut voters support 63 percent to 34 percent allowing adults to legally possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use. Voters also support 67 percent to 28 percent reducing the penalties of small amounts of illegal drugs for personal use from a felony to a misdemeanor.

By an overwhelming 82 percent to 15 percent margin, voters support elimination of mandatory minimum sentences for possession of small amounts of illegal drugs, and allowing judges to decide sentences on a case by case basis.

Voters support 63 percent to 31 percent allowing doctors to legally prescribe lethal drugs to help terminally ill patients end their own lives. All party, age and gender groups support the idea, including voters over 55 years old, who support it 59 percent to 34 percent.

From March 6 to 9, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,235 registered voters with a margin of error of 2.8 percentage points.

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