The General Assembly is wrapping up the 2016 legislative session over the next few days. At this time, many bills impacting the independent colleges have not been acted on but here is a quick update on a few of the issues we are tracking. We’ll send out a thorough update after the session concludes on Wednesday, May 4th.
Program Approval: The Senate approved SB 24 with revised language on Wednesday, April 27th.The bill as amended exempts independent colleges that meet certain standards from the academic program approval process administered by the Office of Higher Education for two years. The bill now moves to the House where it awaits action.
Governor’s Scholarship Program: HB 5332 seeks to make some important programmatic changes to the Governor’s Scholarship grant program to provide flexibility, transparency and predictability. The bill continues to be a work in progress and an amendment is likely before any action is taken.
SARA: The bill requiring CT to join NC-SARA and is awaiting action in the House. An amendment has been introduced that authorizes OHE to collect application and renewal fees from institutions that participate in SARA to cover the costs of implementation. Such fees will be based on the number of full-time equivalent students at each Connecticut institution of higher education.
Affirmative Consent: This bill was approved in the House on Thursday, April 28th. Language was added to the bill by an amendment to ensure an institution of higher education with an affirmative consent policy already in place shall not be required to adopt the definition in the bill verbatim, provided the institution‘s definition is substantially similar to the definition in the bill. The bill now awaits action in the Senate.
SB 1: This bill seeks to support innovation and entrepreneurship in Connecticut in an effort to promote economic development. Among other things, the bill seeks to put infrastructure in place to enhance the efforts by institutions of higher education to cultivate and support entrepreneurs. The bill remains a work in progress and an amendment will be filed before further action is taken.
Matter of Fact
The U.S. Labor Market will require nearly 2 million additional bachelor's level college graduates to fill projected job openings.
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