Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Governor's Bill No. 6845

January Session, 2015

 

LCO No. 3997

 

*03997__________*

Referred to Committee on HIGHER EDUCATION AND EMPLOYMENT ADVANCEMENT

 

Introduced by:

 

REP. SHARKEY, 88th Dist.

REP. ARESIMOWICZ, 30th Dist.

SEN. LOONEY, 11th Dist.

SEN. DUFF, 25th Dist.

 

AN ACT IMPLEMENTING THE BUDGET RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE GOVERNOR CONCERNING HIGHER EDUCATION.

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

Section 1. (Effective July 1, 2015) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 10a-173 of the general statutes, for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2016, the sum of one hundred fifty thousand dollars, and for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2017, the sum of three hundred thousand dollars, of the funds appropriated to the Office of Higher Education for the Governor's Scholarship program shall be provided to New Haven Promise for a student financial aid program. New Haven Promise shall provide, within available funding, merit-based grants to a person, other than a nonimmigrant alien as described in 8 USC 1101(a)(15), who is enrolled as a full-time or part-time undergraduate student at a public institution of higher education, as defined in section 10a-173 of the general statutes. New Haven Promise may use up to seven per cent of such funds annually for administrative costs.

Sec. 2. Subsection (a) of section 10a-22u of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2015):

(a) There shall be an account to be known as the private occupational school student protection account within the General Fund. Each private occupational school authorized in accordance with the provisions of sections 10a-22a to 10a-22o, inclusive, shall pay to the State Treasurer an amount equal to [one-half] four-tenths of one per cent of the tuition received by such school per calendar quarter exclusive of any refunds paid, except that correspondence and home study schools authorized in accordance with the provisions of sections 10a-22a to 10a-22o, inclusive, shall contribute to said account only for Connecticut residents enrolled in such schools. Payments shall be made by January thirtieth, April thirtieth, July thirtieth and October thirtieth in each year for tuition received during the three months next preceding the month of payment. In addition to amounts received based on tuition, the account shall also contain any amount required to be deposited into the account pursuant to sections 10a-22a to 10a-22o, inclusive. Said account shall be used for the purposes of section 10a-22v. Any interest, income and dividends derived from the investment of the account shall be credited to the account. All direct expenses for the maintenance of the account may be charged to the account upon the order of the State Comptroller. The executive director may assess the account [(1)] for all direct expenses incurred in the implementation of the purposes of this section which are in excess of the normal expenditures of the Office of Higher Education. [for accounting, auditing and clerical services, and (2) for the fiscal years ending June 30, 2000, and June 30, 2001, in an amount not to exceed one hundred seventy thousand dollars in each of such fiscal years for personnel and administrative expenses for the purposes of sections 10a-22a to 10a-22o, inclusive, provided such amount does not exceed the annual interest accrual, which shall be transferred to the appropriation of the Office of Higher Education for personal services and other expenses for positions and responsibilities relating to said sections, provided the office has expended all federal funds that may be available for personnel and administrative expenses for the purposes of said sections. After disbursements are made pursuant to subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection, if the resources of the private occupational school student protection account exceed two million five hundred thousand dollars, no additional school assessments shall be made.]

Sec. 3. Section 10a-22w of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2015):

On or before June thirtieth of each year the State Treasurer shall determine the balance of the account established pursuant to section 10a-22u. [Following such determination by the State Treasurer, if the balance of the account is more than two million five hundred thousand dollars, schools which began payments to the account on or before October 1, 1987, shall cease further payments to the account until it falls below five per cent of such annual net tuition income at which time payment shall be resumed pursuant to section 10a-22u. Schools which begin payments to the account after October 1, 1987, shall continue to make payments to the account when the balance of the account is six per cent or more of such annual net tuition income for a period of time equal to the number of calendar quarters from October 1, 1987, to the date on which the account first equaled said six per cent, provided such schools shall make payments to the account pursuant to said section 10a-22u when the account falls below five per cent of such annual net tuition income.]

Sec. 4. Section 10a-173 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2015):

(a) For the purposes of this section:

(1) "Family contribution" means the expected family contribution for educational costs as computed from the student's Free Application for Federal Student Aid;

(2) "Full-time or part-time undergraduate student" means a student who is enrolled at an institution of higher education in a course of study leading to such student's first associate or bachelor degree and who is carrying, for a full-time student, twelve or more semester credit hours, or, for a part-time student, between six and eleven semester credit hours at such institution of higher education;

(3) "Independent institution of higher education" means a nonprofit institution established in this state (A) that has degree-granting authority in this state; (B) that has its main campus located in this state; (C) that is not included in the Connecticut system of public higher education; and (D) whose primary function is not the preparation of students for religious vocation;

(4) "Public institution of higher education" means the constituent units of the state system of higher education identified in subdivisions (1) to (4), inclusive, of section 10a-1;

(5) "Eligible educational costs" means the tuition and required fees for an individual student that are published by each institution of higher education participating in the grant program established under this section, plus a fixed amount for required books and educational supplies as determined by the Office of Higher Education.

(b) The state, acting through the Office of Higher Education, shall establish the Governor's Scholarship program to annually make need-based financial aid available for eligible educational costs for Connecticut residents enrolled at Connecticut's public [and independent] institutions of higher education as full-time or part-time undergraduate students beginning with new or transfer students in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2014. Any award made to a student at a public or independent institution of higher education in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2013, under the capitol scholarship grant program, established under section 10a-169 of the general statutes, revision of 1958, revised to January 1, 2013, the Connecticut aid to public college students grant program, established under section 10a-164a of the general statutes, revision of 1958, revised to January 1, 2013, Connecticut aid to Charter Oak, established under subsection (c) of section 10a-164a of the general statutes, revision of 1958, revised to January 1, 2013, or the Connecticut independent college student grant program, established under section 10a-36 of the general statutes, revision of 1958, revised to January 1, 2013, shall be offered under the Governor's Scholarship program and be renewable for the life of the original award, provided such student meets and continues to meet the need and academic standards established for purposes of the program under which such student received the original award. Any award made to a student at an independent institution of higher education in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2015, under this section shall be renewable for the life of the original award, provided such student meets and continues to meet the need and academic standards established for purposes of the grant originally awarded under the Governor's Scholarship program.

(c) Within available appropriations, the Governor's Scholarship program shall be comprised of a need and merit-based grant, a need-based grant, a Charter Oak grant, and a performance incentive pool. The need and merit-based grant shall be funded at not less than twenty per cent of available appropriations. The need-based grant shall be funded at up to eighty per cent of available appropriations. The Charter Oak grant shall be not less than one hundred thousand dollars of available appropriations. The incentive pool shall be not less than two and one-half per cent of available appropriations. There shall be an administrative allowance based on one-quarter of one per cent of the available appropriations, but not less than one hundred thousand dollars. [Not less than thirty-eight per cent of the annual appropriation shall be allocated to the independent institutions of higher education for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2014, and not less than thirty-six per cent of such appropriation shall be allocated to such institutions for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2015.]

(d) The Governor's Scholarship need and merit-based grant shall be available to any Connecticut resident who is a full-time or part-time undergraduate student at any public [or independent] institution of higher education beginning in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2014. The Office of Higher Education shall determine eligibility by financial need based on family contribution and eligibility by merit based on either previous high school academic achievement or performance on standardized academic aptitude tests. The Office of Higher Education shall make awards according to a sliding scale, annually determined by said office, up to a maximum family contribution and based on available appropriations and eligible students. The Governor's Scholarship need and merit-based grant shall be awarded in a higher amount than the need-based grant awarded pursuant to subsection (e) of this section. Recipients of the need and merit-based grant shall not be eligible to receive an additional need-based award. The accepting institution of higher education shall disburse sums awarded under such grant for payment of the student's eligible educational costs.

(e) The Governor's Scholarship need-based grant shall be available to any Connecticut resident who is a full-time or part-time undergraduate student at any public [or independent] institution of higher education beginning in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2014. The Office of Higher Education shall determine eligibility based on family contribution. The amount of the annual appropriation to be allocated to each institution of higher education shall be determined by its actual eligible enrollment based on family contribution during the fiscal year one year prior to the grant year. Participating institutions of higher education shall make awards according to a sliding scale, annually determined by the Office of Higher Education, up to a maximum family contribution and based on available appropriations and the number of eligible students. Each participating institution of higher education shall expend all of the moneys received under the Governor's Scholarship program as direct financial assistance only for eligible educational costs based on the sliding scale determined by the Office of Higher Education and the maximum award amounts set by said office.

(f) Participating institutions of higher education shall annually provide the Office of Higher Education with data and reports on all Connecticut students who applied for financial aid, including, but not limited to, students receiving a Governor's Scholarship grant, in a form and at a time determined by said office. If an institution of higher education fails to submit information to the Office of Higher Education as directed, such institution shall be prohibited from participating in the scholarship program in the fiscal year following the fiscal year in which such institution failed to submit such information. Each participating institution of higher education shall maintain, for a period of not less than three years, records substantiating the reported number of Connecticut students and documentation utilized by the institution of higher education in determining eligibility of the student grant recipients. Such records shall be subject to audit. Funds not obligated by an institution of higher education shall be returned by February fifteenth in the fiscal year the grant was made to the Office of Higher Education for reallocation. Financial aid provided to Connecticut residents under this program shall be designated as a grant from the Governor's Scholarship program.

(g) The Governor's Scholarship Charter Oak grant shall be available to any full-time or part-time undergraduate student enrolled in Charter Oak State College beginning in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2014. The Office of Higher Education shall allocate any appropriation to Charter Oak State College to be used to provide grants for eligible educational costs to residents of this state who demonstrate substantial financial need and who are matriculated in a degree program at Charter Oak State College. Individual awards shall not exceed a student's calculated eligible educational costs. Financial aid provided to Connecticut residents under this program shall be designated as a grant from the Governor's Scholarship program.

(h) The Governor's Scholarship incentive pool shall be created to encourage retention and completion for any student who (1) receives the Governor's Scholarship need-based grant, (2) returns with sufficient credits to complete such student's associate degree in two years or bachelor degree in four years, and (3) exceeds the minimum satisfactory academic performance standards as determined by the Office of Higher Education. Such student shall be eligible beginning in the second year of such student's need-based grant. The pool shall be distributed to participating institutions of higher education based on eligibility as determined by the Office of Higher Education.

(i) In administering the Governor's Scholarship program, the Office of Higher Education shall develop and utilize fiscal procedures designed to ensure accountability of the public funds expended. Such procedures shall include provisions for compliance audits that shall be conducted by the Office of Higher Education on any institution of higher education that participates in the program. Commencing with the fiscal year ending June 30, 2015, and biennially thereafter, each such institution of higher education shall submit the results of an audit done by an independent certified public accountant for each year of participation in the program. Any institution of higher education determined by the Office of Higher Education not to be in substantial compliance with the provisions of the Governor's Scholarship program shall be ineligible to receive funds under the program for the fiscal year following the fiscal year in which the institution of higher education was determined not to be in substantial compliance. Funding shall be restored when the Office of Higher Education determines that the institution of higher education has returned to substantial compliance.

Sec. 5. Subsection (c) of section 10-95f of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2015):

(c) Whenever the term "vocational school" or "vocational schools" is used or referred to in the following sections of the general statutes, the term "technical high school" or "technical high schools" shall be substituted in lieu thereof: 4-29, 10-13, 10-55, 10-64, 10-97, 10-186, 10a-123, [10a-166,] 14-36, 20-90, 31-23, 31-24, 38a-682 and 48-9.

Sec. 6. Subsection (a) of section 10a-1d of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2015):

(a) There is established an Office of Higher Education. The Office of Higher Education shall administer the programs set forth in sections 10-19g, 10-155d, 10a-10a, 10a-11, 10a-11a, 10a-17d, 10a-34 to 10a-34f, inclusive, 10a-35, [10a-166,] 10a-168a, 10a-169a, 10a-169b and 10a-173. The Office of Higher Education shall be responsible for approving any action taken pursuant to sections 10a-34 to 10a-34f, inclusive.

Sec. 7. Subsection (a) of section 10a-1f of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2015):

(a) Wherever the term "Office of Financial and Academic Affairs for Higher Education" is used or referred to in the following sections of the general statutes, the term "Office of Higher Education" shall be substituted in lieu thereof: 10-155d, 10a-1d, as amended by this act, 10a-10a, 10a-11, 10a-11a, 10a-22d, [10a-22r, 10a-22s,] 10a-22u, as amended by this act, 10a-34, 10a-34a, 10a-34c, 10a-34d, 10a-34e, 10a-34f, 10a-35, 10a-48a, 10a-104 and 10a-168a.

Sec. 8. Subsection (a) of section 10a-55i of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2015):

(a) There is established a Higher Education Consolidation Committee which shall be convened by the chairpersons of the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to higher education or such chairpersons' designee, who shall be a member of such joint standing committee. The membership of the Higher Education Consolidation Committee shall consist of the higher education subcommittee on appropriations and the chairpersons, vice chairpersons and ranking members of the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to higher education and appropriations. The Higher Education Consolidation Committee shall establish a meeting and public hearing schedule for purposes of receiving updates from (1) the Board of Regents for Higher Education on the progress of the consolidation of the state system of higher education pursuant to this section, section 4-9c, subsection (g) of section 5-160, section 5-199d, subsection (a) of section 7-323k, subsection (a) of section 7-608, subsection (a) of section 10-9, section 10-155d, subdivision (14) of section 10-183b, sections 10a-1a to 10a-1d, inclusive, as amended by this act, 10a-3 and 10a-3a, subsection (a) of section 10a-6a, sections 10a-6b, 10a-8, 10a-10a to 10a-11a, inclusive, 10a-17d and 10a-22a, subsections (f) and (h) of section 10a-22b, subsections (c) and (d) of section 10a-22d, sections 10a-22h and 10a-22k, subsection (a) of section 10a-22n, sections [10a-22r, 10a-22s,] 10a-22u, as amended by this act, 10a-22v, 10a-22x and 10a-34 to 10a-35a, inclusive, subsection (a) of section 10a-48a, sections 10a-71 and 10a-72, subsections (c) and (f) of section 10a-77, section 10a-88, subsection (a) of section 10a-89, subsection (c) of section 10a-99 and sections 10a-102, 10a-104, 10a-105, 10a-109e, 10a-143 and 10a-168a, and (2) the Board of Regents for Higher Education and The University of Connecticut on the program approval process for the constituent units. The Higher Education Consolidation Committee shall convene its first meeting on or before September 15, 2011, and meet not less than once every two months.

Sec. 9. Sections 10a-19g, 10a-19h, 10a-19j, 10a-22q to 10a-22t, inclusive, and 10a-166 of the general statutes are repealed. (Effective July 1, 2015)

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

July 1, 2015

New section

Sec. 2

July 1, 2015

10a-22u(a)

Sec. 3

July 1, 2015

10a-22w

Sec. 4

July 1, 2015

10a-173

Sec. 5

July 1, 2015

10-95f(c)

Sec. 6

July 1, 2015

10a-1d(a)

Sec. 7

July 1, 2015

10a-1f(a)

Sec. 8

July 1, 2015

10a-55i(a)

Sec. 9

July 1, 2015

Repealer section

Statement of Purpose:

To implement the Governor's budget recommendations.

[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined.]