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Legislative Summary

Government Relations works with members of the Connecticut General Assembly on issues pertaining to higher education funding and advancement, workforce development, and other opportunities for the 17 CSCU campuses.

2015 Summary

The 2015 Regular Session of the General Assembly adjourned on May 7, 2014. The following is a summary of bills that passed during the 2015 session and that impact the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU).
2015 Full Summary (pdf)

Highlights

Academic Affairs

Senate Bill 694 (Special Act 15-1)
An Act Concerning Services Available to Veterans on State College and University Campuses. The Act requires the Board of Regents for Higher Education to conduct a study to 1) evaluate and assess programming at Operation Academic Support for Incoming Service Members (OASIS) centers at public institutions of higher education; and 2) identify successful programming at such centers. The results of the study must be formally reported to the Higher Education and Veterans Committees not later than January 15, 2016.
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Continuing Education

House Bill 5913 (Public Act 15-11)
An Act Concerning Persons Who Decontaminate Reusable Medical Instruments or Devices. Subsection (c) of the Act requires central service technicians, to complete a minimum of ten hours of continuing education annually, in areas related to the functions of the technician. Subsection (f) requires ten hours of continuing education in areas related to infection control and the decontamination and sterilization of reusable medical equipment, instruments, and devices, for any hospital staff specially trained, deemed competent, and listed as authorized to act as a central service technician, though not certified as such.
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Financial Aid

House Bill 6915 (Public Act 15-162)
An Act Concerning a Student Loan Bill of Rights. Section 1 of the Act creates the position of Student Loan Ombudsman, housed within the Department of banking, tasked with the following duties:

  • Receive and review complaints from borrowers;
  • Attempt to resolve the complaints, including doing so in collaboration with institutions of higher education, loan servicers, and any other participants in student loan lending, including the University of Connecticut, Board of Regents for Higher Education, Office of Higher Education, or Connecticut Higher Education Supplemental Loan Authority;
  • Compile and analyze complaint data;
  • Help borrowers understand their rights and responsibilities under the terms of student education loans;
  • Provide information to the public, agencies, legislators, and others about borrowers' problems and concerns and make recommendations for resolving those problems and concerns;
  • Analyze and monitor the development and implementation of federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and policies on borrowers and recommend necessary changes;
  • Review the loan history for borrowers who give written consent;
  • Disseminate information about his or her availability to help those with servicing concerns, such as borrowers, potential borrowers, state higher education institutions, and loan servicers.
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2014 Summary

The 2014 Regular Session of the General Assembly adjourned on May 7, 2014. The following is a summary of bills that passed during the 2014 session and that impact the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU).
2014 Full Summary (pdf)

Transform CSCU 2020

House Bill 5596 (Public Act 14-47)
An Act Making Adjustments to State Expenditures and Revenues for the Fiscal Year Ending June 30, 2015. The Act appropriates $23 million and further transfers an additional $19 million from the Connecticut Student Loan Foundation to the Board of Regents for Higher Education. Effective: July 1, 2014
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Academic Affairs

Senate Bill 19 (Public Act 14-91)
An Act Establishing Uniform State Academic Degree Standards. The Act clarifies that the Board of Regents, in approving academic programs, must follow regulations promulgated by the Office of Higher Education in addition to any other statutory requirements. Effective: July 1, 2014
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Board Affairs

Senate Bill 402 (Public Act 14-208)
An Act Concerning Faculty Representation on the Board of Regents for Higher Education. This Act adds the faculty advisory committee (FAC) vice-chairperson to serve as an ex-officio, non-voting BOR member for a two-year term but excludes the vice-chairperson from BOR executive sessions. Effective: July 1, 2014
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2013 Summary

The 2013 Regular Session of the General Assembly adjourned on June 5, 2013. The following is a summary of bills that passed during the 2013 session and that impact the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU).
2013 Full Summary (pdf)

BOR/CSCU Initiatives

House Bill 6648 (Public Act 13-4)
An Act Concerning the Board of Regents for Higher Education. This act requires that the president of the Board of Regents for Higher Education be appointed by the Board, eliminating (1) the governor's responsibility to appoint the president upon the Board's recommendation and (2) legislative confirmation of the appointee. It requires the BOR to establish the president's terms and conditions of employment, prescribe his or her duties, and fix his or her compensation. Effective: Immediately
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Audit

House Bill 6624 (Public Act 13-122)
An Act Concerning Minor Revisions To The Education Statutes. The act specifies that interdistrict magnet school operators, rather than the schools themselves, must annually give the education commissioner financial audits. Additionally, the act requires operators to report two types of audits, rather than just one. The first type of audit is for each individual magnet school, as required under current law, by its operator. The second type is an aggregate audit combining all magnet schools run by the operator. Effective: July 1, 2013
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Campus Safety

Senate Bill 1160 (Public Act 13-3, as amended by PA 13-247)
An Act Concerning Gun Violence Prevention and Children's Safety. The act requires (Sec. 92) all state colleges to do the following:

  1. 1. by October 1, 2013, give an up-to-date security protocol plan to the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP), which by law must outline how faculty and staff should identify and respond to students at risk for harm to themselves or others; and
  2. 2. by July 1, 2015, and every two years afterward, review and revise its security protocol plan with chiefs of police or campus security and submit revisions to DESPP by August 1 of the effected year.

The act also requires all of the above colleges to establish trained threat assessment teams on each campus by January 1, 2014. The institution president must choose team membership in consultation with the campus chief of police or head of security. A membership model must include at least one member from its special police force or campus security personnel, administration, faculty, and senior and mid-level staff.

The chief of police or head of security for each campus must ensure that each member is capable of (1) executing the security protocol plan, and (2) receiving training in identifying at-risk people and safety threats.

Sec. 93 of the Act allows for greater latitude within the BOR to determine the qualifications of its officers. (REPEALED IN P.A. 13-247 Sec. 63)

The act requires (Sec. 94) the BOR, in consultation with DESPP, to evaluate whether the establishment of a special police force for each regional and technical community college would be effective. By January 1, 2014, the BOR president must deliver the results to the Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee.

The act requires (Sec. 95) all armed campus security personnel to be certified by the Police Officer Standards and Training Council. Effective: Immediately
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2012 Summary

The following is a summary of bills passed during the 2012 Regular Session that impact the Connecticut State College and Universities (CSCU).

General Education Core of Courses

House Bill 5030 (Public Act 12-31)
An Act Concerning the Development of a General Education Core of Courses to Allow for the Seamless Transfer Among Public Institutions of Higher Education. This Act requires the Connecticut State University System (CSUS) and the community-technical college system (CTC) to develop and implement, by July 1, 2013, a general education core of courses. The core must comprise at least 30 academic credits and be offered in CSUS's and CTC's liberal arts and sciences programs and any other degree program designated as a transfer program. If a student earns academic credits from the core and subsequently transfers to the other system or a different institution in the same system, the Act requires those credits to count towards that system's core requirements.
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College Readiness and Completion

Senate Bill 40 (Public Act 12-40)
An Act Concerning College Readiness and Completion. The Act generally prohibits the Connecticut State University System (CSUS) and the community-technical colleges (CTC), beginning by the 2014 fall semester, from offering remedial support or courses not embedded with an entry level course or part of an intensive readiness program. However, it allows institutions to offer a student one semester of non-embedded remedial support if (1) it is intended to advance the student toward a degree and (2) the program is approved by the Board of Regents.
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An Act Concerning Educational Reform

Senate Bill 458 (Public Act 12-116)
Six Principles of the Education Reform Package and the Final Legislation as Outlined by Commissioner Pryor
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Sharing of Information

Senate Bill 237 (Public Act 12-192)
An Act Concerning the Sharing of Information Between the Labor Department and the Board of Regents for Higher Education. By law, employers must keep accurate employment records. These records, which contain information that the unemployment compensation administrator (i.e., the labor commissioner) prescribes, must be open for his inspection. With two exceptions, the administrator cannot publish the information or open it to public inspection if it will reveal an employee's or employer's identity. This Act allows disclosure of this information with the identifiers to the president of the Board of Regents for Higher Education (BOR) for use in his official duties to the extent necessary to evaluate programs at higher education institutions governed by BOR.
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Sexual Violence on College Campuses

House Bill 5031 (Public Act 12-78)
An Act Concerning Sexual Violence on College Campuses. This Act requires public and private higher education institutions to adopt and disclose one or more policies on sexual assault and intimate partner violence. The policies must include provisions for (1) providing information to students about their options for assistance if they are victims of such violence, (2) disciplinary procedures, and (3) possible sanctions. Institutions must include the policies in their uniform campus crime report, which is produced annually and made available to students, employees, and applicants for admission. The Act also requires such institutions, within existing budgetary resources, to offer (1) sexual assault and intimate partner violence primary prevention and awareness programming for all students and (2) ongoing prevention and awareness campaigns.
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2011 Summary

The following is a summary of bills passed during the 2011 Regular Session that impact the Connecticut State College and Universities (CSCU).

Higher Education Reorganization

A new law reorganizes the state system of higher education by establishing a 19-member (including 15 voting members) Board of Regents for Higher Education (BOR) to serve as the governing body for the Connecticut State Universities, the Connecticut Community Colleges, and Charter Oak State College. It allows the board to appoint and remove staff responsible for its own operation and the operation of these constituent units. BOR replaces the existing Connecticut State University System and Connecticut Community College boards of trustees and the Board of State Academic Awards (BSAA) (which governs Charter Oak). The act maintains UConn's board of trustees and makes changes to the budget process for UConn and the other constituent units.
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In-State Tuition Benefits

A new law allows individuals (including those without lawful immigration status) who meet certain criteria to pay in-state tuition rates at Connecticut's public colleges and universities. Such criteria include completing four years of high school in the state and graduating (or the equivalent). Individuals without lawful immigration status must file an affidavit with the college or university stating that they have applied to legalize their immigration status or will do so as soon as they are eligible. (PA 11-43, effective July 1, 2011).
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