PA 13-233—sSB 840

Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING NEXT GENERATION CONNECTICUT

SUMMARY: This act authorizes $1. 551 billion in new bonds for “Next Generation Connecticut,” a capital improvement program under the UConn 2000 infrastructure program.

The act specifies the purposes of the Next Generation program and requires UConn to develop a comprehensive plan to guide the program's investments. It requires UConn to (1) develop the plan in consultation with various groups, including leaders in the science, technology, engineering, and math-related industries, and (2) annually report to the legislature, beginning January 1, 2016, on its progress towards achieving the plan's goals. It also requires UConn to assess its progress in meeting the Next Generation program's purposes by December 31, 2019 and December 31, 2024.

Lastly, the act requires UConn to develop a strategic master plan that (1) encompasses all of its academic programs and (2) establishes strategic goals and objectives for the university and such programs. UConn must submit the plan, by July 1, 2015, to the Higher Education and Finance committees. The committees must hold a joint hearing on the plan within 30 days of receiving it.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2013

NEXT GENERATION CONNECTICUT PURPOSES

The act specifies that the purposes of the construction, renovations, infrastructure, and equipment related to Next Generation Connecticut are to:

1. develop preeminence in UConn's research and innovation programs,

2. hire and support outstanding faculty,

3. train and educate graduates to meet the state's future workforce needs, and

4. initiate collaborative partnerships that lead to scientific and technological breakthroughs.

The act requires UConn to undergo an assessment of its progress in meeting these purposes by December 31, 2019 and December 31, 2024. UConn must select peers from nationally-ranked research universities, which must conduct the assessment with input from the chairpersons and ranking members of the Finance, Commerce, and Higher Education committees.

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN

The act requires UConn to develop a comprehensive plan to guide Next Generation Connecticut investments that identifies strategic growth areas based on the state's research, innovation, workforce, and economic development needs.

UConn must develop the plan in consultation with:

1. a UConn-selected industry advisory board that (a) represents the state's science, technology, engineering, and math-related industries and (b) includes chief science or technology officers from these industries;

2. a UConn-selected independent research and development advisory firm;

3. university academic leaders;

4. federal and private funding agencies; and

5. UConn-identified research and innovation benchmarks and an analysis of its progress in meeting the benchmarks compared with nationally-ranked research universities.

The act requires the industry advisory board, research and development advisory firm, and university leaders to seek input from the chairpersons and ranking members of the Finance, Commerce, and Higher Education committees before UConn completes the plan. UConn's board of trustees must review and approve the plan by July 1, 2014.

Reporting Requirement

By January 1, 2016, and annually thereafter, UConn must report to the Finance, Commerce, and Higher Education committees on its progress towards achieving the goals in the Next Generation Connecticut plan. The report must summarize UConn's research and economic development activities, including:

1. research proposals, awards, and expenditures;

2. student applications and enrollment;

3. bachelor's, master's, and doctorate degrees awarded;

4. industry partnerships, including joint and consortium projects and incubator support;

5. university and joint university-industry intellectual property activities, including the number of disclosures, patents, licenses, new businesses, and entrepreneurial activities established with university technologies; and

6. research and innovation benchmarks and an analysis of the university's progress in meeting them compared with nationally-ranked research universities.

PROJECT AUTHORIZATIONS

As Table 1 shows, the act (1) increases bond authorizations for existing UConn 2000 Phase III projects, (2) adds three new Phase III projects, and (3) expands an existing Phase III project for Stamford campus improvements to also include housing. These changes and additions total $1. 551 billion in new bond authorizations under the program.

Table 1: Phase III Project Authorizations (in millions)

Project

Prior Authorization

New Authorization

Change

Academic and Research Facilities (new)

$0

$450

$450

Avery Point Renovation (new)

0

15

15

Deferred Maintenance/Code/ADA Renovation Lump Sum

215

805

590

Equipment, Library, Collections & Telecommunications

200

470

270

Hartford Relocation Acquisition/Renovation (new)

0

70

70

Parking Garage #3

15

78

63

Residential Life Facilities

90

162

72

Stamford Campus Improvements/ Housing (adds housing)

3

13

10

Deferred Maintenance/ Code/ ADA Renovation Sum – Health Center

50

61

11

TOTAL CHANGE

$1,551

Phase III Project Dates

The act extends Phase III of the program by six years, from 2018 to 2024. It also extends, from 2018 to 2024 or until completion of the UConn 2000 infrastructure program, UConn's authority to plan, design, acquire, remodel, alter, repair, enlarge, or demolish any real asset or other project on its campuses.

Annual Bond Limits

To conform to the increased bond authorizations, the act (1) adjusts the annual bond limits for the UConn 2000 program from FY 14 through FY 18 and (2) adds new limits for FY 19 though FY 24 (see Table 2). By law, any difference between the amount actually issued in any year and the cap can be carried forward to any succeeding fiscal year. Financing transaction costs can be added to the caps.

Table 2: Annual Bond Limits for UConn 2000 (in millions)

FY

Prior Limit

New Limit

Change

2014

$198. 0

$204. 4

$6. 4

2015

208. 5

315. 5

107. 0

2016

199. 5

312. 1

112. 6

2017

160. 9

266. 4

105. 5

2018

91. 0

269. 5

178. 5

2019

-

251. 0

251. 0

2020

-

269. 0

269. 0

2021

-

191. 5

191. 5

2022

-

144. 0

144. 0

2023

-

112. 0

112. 0

2024

-

73. 5

73. 5

TOTAL CHANGE

$1,551

OLR Tracking: RP: JKL: TA: RO