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Substitute House Bill No. 5571

Public Act No. 04-253

AN ACT ADDRESSING THE NURSING SHORTAGE AND ESTABLISHING A CHALLENGE GRANT FOR REGIONAL WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT BOARDS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective from passage) (a) There is established a Connecticut nursing incentive program administered by the Department of Higher Education.

(b) The department shall provide financial assistance to up to four regional community-technical colleges that enter into partnerships with hospitals, as defined in section 19a-490 of the general statutes, as amended, or other health care institutions, as defined in said section 19a-490, in order to secure nonstate funding to increase the number of faculty members at such regional community-technical colleges that are qualified to teach or train students to become registered nurses.

(c) A regional community-technical college seeking such assistance shall submit to the Department of Higher Education its nursing faculty expansion plan, together with a commitment agreement signed by its hospital or health care institution partner or partners and information on the amount of nonstate funding secured by the partnership. Assistance provided by the department to a regional community-technical college (1) may be provided for up to two years in accordance with this subsection, and (2) shall not exceed (A) seventy-five thousand dollars per year, or (B) the annual amount of nonstate funding secured by the partnership, whichever is less. In determining whether to provide assistance pursuant to this section for a second year, the department shall consider the success of the nursing faculty expansion plan, as measured by factors including, but not limited to, the number of persons teaching or providing training to nursing students pursuant to the nursing faculty expansion program and the number of students graduating from nursing programs.

(d) For the fiscal years ending June 30, 2005, and June 30, 2006, the Department of Higher Education may use up to two per cent of the funds appropriated for purposes of this section for program administration.

Sec. 2. (Effective July 1, 2004) (a) For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2005, the Office of Workforce Competitiveness shall establish a challenge grant program for regional workforce development boards, established pursuant to section 31-3k of the general statutes, for the purpose of (1) expanding educational programs directed at providing low wage, low skilled workers with skill assessment and life management support, and (2) training in high growth, workforce shortage areas such as health care and information technology. Such expansion in educational programs and training shall be accomplished through expansion of an existing job training academy.

(b) The Office of Workforce Competitiveness shall provide assistance pursuant to this section to a regional workforce development board that raises money from nonstate sources and commits such money to the expansion of a job training academy for the purposes described in subsection (a) of this section. The amount of such assistance shall be equal to the amount raised by the regional workforce development board from nonstate sources, but the total amount of assistance provided to all regional workforce development boards pursuant to this section shall not exceed five hundred thousand dollars.

Sec. 3. (Effective from passage) The sum of two hundred thousand dollars is appropriated to the Department of Higher Education, from the General Fund, for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2005, for the program established pursuant to section 1 of this act.

Sec. 4. (Effective from passage) The sum of two hundred thousand dollars is appropriated to the Office of Workforce Competitiveness, from the General Fund, for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2005, for the program established pursuant to section 2 of this act.

Approved on June 14, 2004