Connecticut Seal

Senate Bill No. 273

Public Act No. 16-15

AN ACT CONCERNING REVISIONS TO THE HIGHER EDUCATION STATUTES.

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

Section 1. Section 10a-173 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(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] bachelor's 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, as amended by this act;

(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 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.

(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] bachelor's 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. 2. Subdivision (2) of subsection (a) of section 31-11ff of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(2) "Early college high school" means a school in which persons who are underrepresented in higher education, including, but not limited to, low-income youth, first-generation college students, English language learners and minority students, may simultaneously earn, tuition free, a high school diploma and an associate degree or up to two years of credit toward a [bachelor] bachelor's degree; and

Sec. 3. Subsections (b) to (e), inclusive, of section 10-16p of the 2016 supplement to the general statutes are repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(b) (1) The office shall be the lead agency for school readiness. For purposes of this section and section 10-16u, school readiness program providers eligible for funding from the office shall include local and regional boards of education, regional educational service centers, family resource centers and providers of child care centers, as defined in section 19a-77, Head Start programs, preschool programs and other programs that meet such standards established by the commissioner. The office shall establish standards for school readiness programs. The standards may include, but need not be limited to, guidelines for staff-child interactions, curriculum content, including preliteracy development, lesson plans, parent involvement, staff qualifications and training, transition to school and administration. The office shall develop age-appropriate developmental skills and goals for children attending such programs. The commissioner, in consultation with the president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, the Commissioners of Education and Social Services and other appropriate entities, shall develop a professional development program for the staff of school readiness programs.

(2) For purposes of this section:

(A) Prior to July 1, 2017, "staff qualifications" means there is in each classroom an individual who has at least the following: (i) A childhood development associate credential or an equivalent credential issued by an organization approved by the commissioner and twelve credits or more in early childhood education or child development, as determined by the commissioner or the president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, after consultation with the commissioner, from an institution of higher education (I) accredited by the Board of Regents for Higher Education or Office of Higher Education, and (II) regionally accredited; (ii) an [associate's] associate degree with twelve credits or more in early childhood education or child development, as determined by the commissioner or the president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, after consultation with the commissioner, from such an institution; (iii) a four-year degree with twelve credits or more in early childhood education or child development, as determined by the commissioner or the president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, after consultation with the commissioner, from such an institution; or (iv) certification pursuant to section 10-145b with an endorsement in early childhood education or special education;

(B) From July 1, 2017, until June 30, 2020, "staff qualifications" means that for each early childhood education program accepting state funds for infant, toddler and preschool spaces associated with such program's child care program or school readiness program, (i) at least fifty per cent of those individuals with the primary responsibility for a classroom of children hold (I) certification pursuant to section 10-145b with an endorsement in early childhood education or early childhood special education, or (II) a bachelor's degree with a concentration in early childhood education, including, but not limited to, a bachelor's degree in early childhood education, child study, child development or human growth and development, from an institution of higher education accredited by the Board of Regents for Higher Education or Office of Higher Education, and regionally accredited, provided such bachelor's degree program is approved by the Board of Regents for Higher Education or the Office of Higher Education and the Office of Early Childhood, and (ii) such remaining individuals with the primary responsibility for a classroom of children hold an associate degree with a concentration in early childhood education, including, but not limited to, an [associate's] associate degree in early childhood education, child study, child development or human growth and development, from an institution of higher education (I) accredited by the Board of Regents for Higher Education or Office of Higher Education, and (II) regionally accredited, provided such associate degree program is approved by the Board of Regents for Higher Education or the Office of Higher Education and the Office of Early Childhood; and

(C) On and after July 1, 2020, "staff qualifications" means that for each early childhood education program accepting state funds for infant, toddler and preschool spaces associated with such program's child care program or school readiness program, one hundred per cent of those individuals with the primary responsibility for a classroom of children hold (i) certification pursuant to section 10-145b with an endorsement in early childhood education or early childhood special education, or (ii) a bachelor's degree with a concentration in early childhood education, including, but not limited to, a bachelor's degree in early childhood education, child study, child development or human growth and development, from an institution of higher education (I) accredited by the Board of Regents for Higher Education or the Office of Higher Education, and (II) regionally accredited, provided such bachelor's degree program is approved by the Board of Regents for Higher Education or the Office of Higher Education and the Office of Early Childhood.

(3) Any individual with a bachelor's degree in early childhood education or child development or a bachelor's degree and twelve credits or more in early childhood education or child development, who, on or before June 30, 2015, is employed by an early childhood education program that accepts state funds for infant, toddler and preschool spaces associated with such program's child care program or school readiness program shall be considered to meet the staff qualifications required under subparagraphs (B) and (C) of subdivision (2) of this subsection. No such early childhood education program shall terminate any such individual from employment for purposes of meeting the staff qualification requirements set forth in subparagraph (B) or (C) of subdivision (2) of this subsection.

(4) Any individual with a bachelor's degree in early childhood education or child development or a bachelor's degree and twelve credits or more in early childhood education or child development, other than those bachelor's degrees specified in subparagraphs (B) and (C) of subdivision (2) of this subsection, may submit documentation concerning such degree for review and assessment by the office as to whether such degree has a sufficient concentration in early childhood education so as to satisfy the requirements set forth in said subparagraphs (B) and (C).

(5) Any individual with an associate's degree with twelve credits or more in early childhood education or child development, as determined by the commissioner or the president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, after consultation with the commissioner, from an institution of higher education (A) accredited by the Board of Regents for Higher Education or Office of Higher Education, and (B) regionally accredited, who has been employed in the same early childhood education program that accepts state funds for infant, toddler and preschool spaces associated with such program's child care program or school readiness program since 1995 shall be considered to meet the staff qualifications required under subparagraphs (B) and (C) of subdivision (2) of this subsection until June 30, 2025. On and after July 1, 2025, such individual shall hold a childhood development associate credential or an equivalent credential, described in subparagraph (A) of subdivision (2) of this subsection, or otherwise meet the staff qualifications required under subparagraph (C) of subdivision (2) of this subsection. Any such individual who terminates his or her employment with such early childhood education program on or before June 30, 2025, and accepts a position at another early childhood education program accepting state funds for spaces associated with such program's child care program or school readiness program shall submit documentation of such individual's progress toward meeting the staff qualification requirements set forth in subparagraph (B) or (C) of subdivision (2) of this subsection in a manner determined by the office.

(c) The commissioner shall establish a grant program to provide spaces in accredited school readiness programs located in priority school districts, as described in section 10-266p, or in former priority school districts for eligible children. Under the program, the grant shall be provided, in accordance with this section, to the town in which such priority school district or former priority school district is located. Eligibility shall be determined for a five-year period based on an applicant's designation as a priority school district for the initial year of application, except that if a school district that receives a grant pursuant to this subsection is no longer designated as a priority school district at the end of such five-year period, such former priority school district shall continue to be eligible to receive a grant pursuant to this subsection. Grant awards shall be made annually contingent upon available funding and a satisfactory annual evaluation. The chief elected official of such town and the superintendent of schools for such priority school district or former priority school district shall submit a plan for the expenditure of grant funds and responses to the local request for proposal process to the commissioner. The commissioner shall review and approve such plans. The plan shall: (1) Be developed in consultation with the local or regional school readiness council established pursuant to section 10-16r; (2) be based on a needs and resource assessment; (3) provide for the issuance of requests for proposals for providers of accredited school readiness programs, provided, after the initial requests for proposals, facilities that have been approved to operate a child care program financed through the Connecticut Health and Education Facilities Authority and have received a commitment for debt service from the Department of Social Services, pursuant to section 17b-749i, on or before June 30, 2014, and on or after July 1, 2014, from the office, are exempt from the requirement for issuance of annual requests for proposals; and (4) identify the need for funding pursuant to section 17b-749a in order to extend the hours and days of operation of school readiness programs in order to provide child care services for children attending such programs.

(d) (1) The commissioner shall establish a competitive grant program to provide spaces in accredited school readiness programs or school readiness programs seeking accreditation located in (A) an area served by a priority school or a former priority school, (B) a town ranked one to fifty when all towns are ranked in ascending order according to town wealth, as defined in subdivision (26) of section 10-262f, whose school district is not a priority school district pursuant to section 10-266p, (C) a town formerly a town described in subparagraph (B) of this subdivision, as provided for in subdivision (2) of this subsection, or (D) a town designated as an alliance district, as defined in section 10-262u, whose school district is not a priority school district pursuant to section 10-266p. A town in which a priority school is located, a regional school readiness council, pursuant to subsection (c) of section 10-16r, for a region in which such a school is located or a town described in subparagraph (B) of this subdivision may apply for such a grant in an amount equal to the number of spaces in an accredited school readiness program or a school readiness program seeking accreditation multiplied by the per child cost set forth in subdivision (1) of subsection (b) of section 10-16q. Eligibility shall be determined for a five-year period based on an applicant's designation as having a priority school or being a town described in subparagraph (B) of this subdivision for the initial year of application. Grant awards shall be made annually contingent upon available funding and a satisfactory annual evaluation. The chief elected official of such town and the superintendent of schools of the school district or the regional school readiness council shall submit a plan, as described in subsection (c) of this section, for the expenditure of such grant funds to the commissioner. In awarding grants pursuant to this subsection, the commissioner shall give preference to applications submitted by regional school readiness councils and may, within available appropriations, provide a grant to such town or regional school readiness council that increases the number of spaces for eligible children who reside in an area or town described in subparagraphs (A) to (D), inclusive, of this subdivision, in an accredited school readiness program or a school readiness program seeking accreditation. A town or regional school readiness council awarded a grant pursuant to this subsection shall use the funds to purchase spaces for such children from providers of accredited school readiness programs or school readiness programs seeking accreditation.

(2) (A) Except as provided in subparagraph (C) of this subdivision, commencing with the fiscal year ending June 30, 2005, if a town received a grant pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection and is no longer eligible to receive such a grant, the town may receive a phase-out grant for each of the three fiscal years following the fiscal year such town received its final grant pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection.

(B) The amount of such phase-out grants shall be determined as follows: (i) For the first fiscal year following the fiscal year such town received its final grant pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection, in an amount that does not exceed seventy-five per cent of the grant amount such town received for the town or school's final year of eligibility pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection; (ii) for the second fiscal year following the fiscal year such town received its final grant pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection, in an amount that does not exceed fifty per cent of the grant amount such town received for the town's or school's final year of eligibility pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection; and (iii) for the third fiscal year following the fiscal year such town received its final grant pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection, in an amount that does not exceed twenty-five per cent of the grant amount such town received for the town's or school's final year of eligibility pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection.

(C) For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2011, and each fiscal year thereafter, any town that received a grant pursuant to subparagraph (B) of subdivision (1) of this subsection for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2010, shall continue to receive a grant under this subsection even if the town no longer meets the criteria for such grant pursuant to subparagraph (B) of subdivision (1) of this subsection.

(e) (1) For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2009, and each fiscal year thereafter, priority school districts and former priority school districts shall receive grants based on the sum of the products obtained by (A) multiplying the district's number of contracted slots on March thirtieth of the fiscal year prior to the fiscal year in which the grant is to be paid, by the per child cost pursuant to subdivision (1) of subsection (b) of section 10-16q, except that such per child cost shall be reduced for slots that are less than year-round, and (B) multiplying the number of additional or decreased slots the districts have requested for the fiscal year in which the grant is to be paid by the per child cost pursuant to subdivision (1) of subsection (b) of section 10-16q, except such per child cost shall be reduced for slots that are less than year-round. If said sum exceeds the available appropriation, such number of requested additional slots shall be reduced, as determined by the commissioner, to stay within the available appropriation.

(2) (A) If funds appropriated for the purposes of subsection (c) of this section are not expended, the commissioner may deposit such unexpended funds in the account established under section 10-16aa and use such unexpended funds in accordance with the provisions of section 10-16aa.

(B) For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2015, and each fiscal year thereafter, if funds appropriated for the purposes of subsection (c) of this section are not expended, an amount up to one million dollars of such unexpended funds may be available for the provision of professional development for early childhood care and education program providers, and staff employed in such programs, provided such programs accept state funds for infant, toddler and preschool slots. Such unexpended funds may be available for use in accordance with the provisions of this subparagraph for the subsequent fiscal year. The commissioner may use such unexpended funds on and after July 1, 2015, to support early childhood education programs accepting state funds in satisfying the staff qualifications requirements of subparagraphs (B) and (C) of subdivision (2) of subsection (b) of this section. The commissioner shall use any such funds to provide assistance to individual staff members, giving priority to those staff members (i) attending an institution of higher education accredited by the Board of Regents for Higher Education or the Office of Higher Education, and approved by the Office of Early Childhood, and regionally accredited, at a maximum of ten thousand dollars per staff member per year for the cost of higher education courses leading to a bachelor's degree or, not later than December 31, 2015, an [associate's] associate degree, as such degrees are described in said subparagraphs (B) and (C), or (ii) receiving noncredit competency-based training approved by the office, at a maximum of one thousand dollars per staff member per year, provided such staff members have applied for all available federal and state scholarships and grants, and such assistance does not exceed such staff members' financial need. Individual staff members shall apply for such unexpended funds in a manner determined by the commissioner. The commissioner shall determine how such unexpended funds shall be distributed.

(C) If funds appropriated for the purposes of subsection (c) of this section are not expended pursuant to subsection (c) of this section, deposited pursuant to subparagraph (A) of this subdivision, or used pursuant to subparagraph (B) of this subdivision, the commissioner may use such unexpended funds to support local school readiness programs. The commissioner may use such funds for purposes including, but not limited to, (i) assisting local school readiness programs in meeting and maintaining accreditation requirements, (ii) providing training in implementing the preschool assessment and curriculum frameworks, including training to enhance literacy teaching skills, (iii) developing a state-wide preschool curriculum, (iv) developing student assessments for students in grades kindergarten to two, inclusive, (v) developing and implementing best practices for parents in supporting preschool and kindergarten student learning, (vi) developing and implementing strategies for children to transition from preschool to kindergarten, (vii) providing for professional development, including assisting in career ladder advancement, for school readiness staff, (viii) providing supplemental grants to other towns that are eligible for grants pursuant to subsection (c) of this section, and (ix) developing a plan to provide spaces in an accredited school readiness program or a school readiness program seeking accreditation to all eligible children who reside in an area or town described in subparagraphs (A) to (D), inclusive, of subdivision (1) of subsection (d) of this section.

(3) Notwithstanding subdivision (2) of this subsection, for the fiscal years ending June 30, 2015, to June 30, 2016, inclusive, the office may retain up to one hundred ninety-eight thousand two hundred dollars of the amount appropriated for purposes of this section for coordination, program evaluation and administration.

Sec. 4. Section 20-74b of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

Any person who (1) if an applicant for licensure as an occupational therapist, has attained a bachelor's degree and has graduated from an educational program accredited by the American Occupational Therapy Association, or has completed educational preparation deemed equivalent by the commissioner, or if an applicant for licensure as an occupational therapy assistant, has attained an [associate's] associate degree or its equivalent and has graduated from an educational program approved by the American Occupational Therapy Association, or has completed educational preparation deemed equivalent by the commissioner, and (2) has successfully completed not less than twenty-four weeks of supervised field work experience in the case of an occupational therapy applicant or eight weeks of such field work in the case of an occupational therapy assistant applicant at a recognized educational institution or a training program approved by the educational institution where he met the academic requirements, and (3) has successfully completed an examination prescribed by the commissioner shall be eligible for licensure as an occupational therapist or assistant. An applicant who has practiced as an occupational therapy assistant for four years with a minimum of twenty-four weeks of supervised field experience and has earned a bachelor's degree shall be eligible for licensure as an occupational therapist, provided such applicant has successfully completed the examination for licensure not later than January 1, 1988. The department shall prescribe examinations for licensure and their passing scores.

Sec. 5. Section 10a-1 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

There shall be a state system of public higher education to consist of (1) The University of Connecticut and all campuses thereof, and (2) the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, which include (A) the state [colleges] universities, which shall be known collectively as the Connecticut State University System, [(3)] (B) the regional community-technical colleges, [(4)] which shall be known collectively as the regional community-technical college system, and (C) Charter Oak State College. [, and (5) the staff of the Board of Regents for Higher Education as established pursuant to section 10a-1a. ] "Constituent units" as used in the general statutes means those units in subdivisions (1) [to (4), inclusive,] and (2) of this section.

Sec. 6. Subsection (a) of section 4-124z of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(a) The Labor Commissioner, the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, working with the Office of Workforce Competitiveness, the Commissioners of Education and Social Services, the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management and the president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, in consultation with the superintendent of the technical high school system and one member of industry representing each of the economic clusters identified by the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development pursuant to section 32-1m shall (1) review, evaluate and, as necessary, recommend improvements for certification and degree programs offered by the technical high school system and the community-technical college system to ensure that such programs meet the employment needs of business and industry, and (2) develop strategies to strengthen the linkage between skill standards for education and training and the employment needs of business and industry.

Sec. 7. Subsection (b) of section 4-124bb of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(b) The Connecticut Career Ladder Advisory Committee shall be comprised of the following thirteen members: (1) The Commissioners of Education and Public Health and the president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, or their designees; (2) the Labor Commissioner, or a designee; and (3) the following public members, all of whom shall be selected by the Labor Commissioner, with recommendation of the staff of the Office of Workforce Competitiveness, in conjunction with the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women, and knowledgeable about issues relative to career ladder programs or projected workforce shortage areas: (A) One member with expertise in the development of the early childhood education workforce; (B) one member with expertise in job training for women; (C) one member with expertise in the development of the health care workforce; (D) one member with expertise in labor market analysis; (E) one member representing health care employers; (F) one member representing early childhood education employers; and (G) three members with expertise in workforce development programs.

Sec. 8. Subdivision (5) of subsection (b) of section 4-124dd of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(5) The Commissioners of Public Health and Education, the president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities and the executive director of the Office of Higher Education, or their designees;

Sec. 9. Subsection (b) of section 4-124ff of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(b) There is established a Council of Advisors on Strategies for the Knowledge Economy to promote the formation of university-industry partnerships, identify benchmarks for technology-based workforce innovation and competitiveness and advise the award process (1) for innovation challenge grants to public postsecondary schools and their business partners, and (2) grants under section 4-124hh. The council shall be chaired by the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management and shall include the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, the president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, the Labor Commissioner, the chief executive officer of Connecticut Innovations, Incorporated and four representatives from the technology industry, one of whom shall be appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate, one of whom shall be appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives, one of whom shall be appointed by the minority leader of the Senate and one of whom shall be appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives.

Sec. 10. Subsections (a) to (i), inclusive, of section 4a-82 of the general statutes are repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(a) For the purposes of this section:

(1) "Person with a disability" means any individual with a disability, excluding blindness, as such term is applied by the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, the Department of Developmental Services, the Department of Rehabilitation Services or the Veterans' Administration and who is certified by the Department of Rehabilitation Services as qualified to participate in a qualified partnership, as described in subsections (e) to (l), inclusive, of this section;

(2) "Vocational rehabilitation service" means any goods and services necessary to render a person with a disability employable, in accordance with Title I of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 USC 701 et seq. , as amended from time to time;

(3) "Community rehabilitation program" means any entity or individual that provides directly for or facilitates the provision of vocational rehabilitation services to, or provides services in connection with, the recruiting, hiring or managing of the employment of persons with disabilities based on an individualized plan and budget for each worker with a disability;

(4) "Commercial contractor" means any for-profit proprietorship, partnership, joint venture, corporation, limited liability company, trust, association or other privately owned entity that employs persons to perform janitorial work or contractual services, and that enters into contracts to provide janitorial services or contractual services;

(5) "Janitorial work" means work performed in connection with the care or maintenance of buildings, including, but not limited to, work customarily performed by cleaners, porters, janitors and handypersons;

(6) "Janitorial contract" means a contract or subcontract to perform janitorial work for a department or agency of the state;

(7) "Person with a disadvantage" means any individual who is determined by the Labor Department, or its designee, to be eligible for employment services in accordance with the Workforce Investment Act or whose verified individual gross annual income during the previous calendar year was not greater than two hundred per cent of the federal poverty level for a family of four;

(8) "Awarding authority" means the Commissioner of Administrative Services, Chief Court Administrator of the Judicial Branch and president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, as applicable; and

(9) "Contractual services" includes, but is not limited to, any and all laundry and cleaning services, mail supply room staffing, data entry, telephone call center staffing and other services specified by the Commissioner of Administrative Services under subsection (b) of this section.

(b) (1) The Commissioner of Administrative Services shall establish a program to create and expand janitorial work job opportunities for persons with a disability and persons with a disadvantage. The program shall create full-time jobs or full-time equivalents at standard wage rates for persons with disabilities and persons with disadvantages. The Judicial Branch and Board of Regents for Higher Education may participate in such program.

(2) The Commissioner of Administrative Services may expand such program to include contractual services that the commissioner deems appropriate and shall post a list of such services on the department's Internet web site.

(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of the general statutes, under such program, the awarding authority may award janitorial contracts or contracts for contractual services pursuant to the following procedures: (1) Upon receipt of a request for janitorial services or a contractual service that the Commissioner of Administrative Services has deemed appropriate for inclusion in the program by an agency or department of the state, the awarding authority shall notify each qualified partnership, as described in subsections (e) to (l), inclusive, of this section, of such request and invite each qualified partnership in good standing to submit a bid proposal for such janitorial contract or service contract to the awarding authority in a manner and form as prescribed by the awarding authority; (2) in the event that only one such qualified partnership submits a bid or proposal for such janitorial or service contract, the awarding authority shall award such contract to such qualified partnership, provided such bid or proposal does not exceed the fair market value for such contract, as determined by the awarding authority; (3) if more than one qualified partnership submits a bid or proposal, the awarding authority shall award the contract to the lowest responsible qualified bidder or most advantageous proposer, as described in section 4a-59; and (4) in the event that a qualified partnership does not submit a bid or proposal or is not awarded such contract, the awarding authority shall award such contract in accordance with the provisions of sections 4a-52a, 4a-59, 10a-151b and 17b-656, or title 51, as applicable. No awarding authority shall award a contract under the provisions of this subsection at a site where employees are employed pursuant to an existing collective bargaining agreement or where a contract has been awarded pursuant to section 17b-656 unless a contract has been previously awarded to a qualified partnership pursuant to this section at such site.

(d) Notwithstanding any other provision of the general statutes, the responsibilities of the Commissioner of Administrative Services, Chief Court Administrator or president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities as established in subsections (b) and (c) of this section, may not be delegated to an outside vendor.

(e) The Connecticut Community Providers Association shall designate a commercial contractor and a community rehabilitation program as a "qualified partnership" whenever the following criteria have been established: (1) Such commercial contractor has entered into a binding agreement with such community rehabilitation program in which such contractor agrees to fill not less than one-third of the jobs from a successful bid for a janitorial or service contract under the program established in subsections (b) to (d), inclusive, of this section with persons with disabilities and not less than one-third of such jobs with persons with a disadvantage; (2) such contractor employs not less than two hundred persons who perform janitorial work or contractual services in the state; and (3) such contractor certifies, in writing, that it will pay the standard wage to employees, including persons with disabilities, under such janitorial or service contract. Any partnership between a commercial contractor and a community rehabilitation program that has been denied designation as a qualified partnership may appeal such denial, in writing, to the Commissioner of Administrative Services and said commissioner may, after review of such appeal, designate such program as a qualified partnership.

(f) The requirement established in subsection (e) of this section to fill not less than one-third of the jobs from a successful bid for a janitorial or service contract with persons with disabilities and one-third with persons with a disadvantage shall be met whenever such contractor employs the requisite number of persons with disabilities and persons with a disadvantage throughout the entirety of its operations in the state provided any persons with disabilities employed by such contractor prior to the commencement date of any such contract shall not be counted for the purpose of determining the number of persons with disabilities employed by such contractor.

(g) The number of persons with disabilities and the number of persons with a disadvantage that such contractor is required to employ pursuant to the provisions of subsection (e) of this section shall be employed not later than six months after the commencement of janitorial work or the contractual service under the terms of any contract awarded pursuant to the provisions of subsections (b) to (d), inclusive, of this section, provided such contractor shall fill any vacancy for janitorial work or contractual service that arises during the first six months of any such contract with persons with disabilities and persons with disadvantages.

(h) The Connecticut Community Providers Association shall develop an application process and submit a list of employees who have applied to participate in a partnership to the Department of Rehabilitation Services for certification. Such association shall maintain a list of certified employees who are persons with disabilities and community rehabilitation programs.

(i) Any qualified partnership awarded a janitorial or service contract pursuant to the provisions of subsections (b) to (d), inclusive, of this section shall provide to the Connecticut Community Providers Association, not later than six months after the commencement date of such contract and annually thereafter, a list of the persons with disabilities and persons with a disadvantage employed by such contractor that includes the date of hire and employment location for each such person. Such association shall certify annually to the Department of Administrative Services, the Judicial Branch or the Board of Regents for Higher Education, as applicable, in such manner and form as prescribed by the Commissioner of Administrative Services, Chief Court Administrator or the president of the Board of Regents for Higher Education, that the requisite number of persons with disabilities for such contract continue to be employed by such contractor in positions equivalent to those created under such contract and have been integrated into the general workforce of such contractor.

Sec. 11. Subsection (a) of section 4d-80 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(a) There is established a Commission for Educational Technology within the Department of Administrative Services. The commission shall consist of the following members or their designees: (1) The Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, the Commissioner of Administrative Services, the Commissioner of Education, the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, the president of The University of Connecticut and the president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, the State Librarian and the Consumer Counsel, (2) one member each representing the Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges, the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education, the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, the Connecticut Council of Small Towns and the Connecticut Library Association, (3) four members who represent business or have expertise in information technology, two of whom shall be appointed by the Governor, one of whom shall be appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives and one of whom shall be appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate, (4) one member who is a chief elected official of a municipality, who shall be appointed by the minority leader of the Senate, and (5) one member who is a representative of small business who shall be appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives. The commission shall convene a meeting at least once during each calendar quarter.

Sec. 12. Section 5-199d of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

The Department of Administrative Services or any other state agency which seeks to contract for training for their employees shall, prior to entering into a contract, contact the president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, or said president's designee, to determine if an appropriate training program exists or can be designed at a regional community-technical college. Nothing in this section shall preclude an agency from considering or choosing other providers to meet such training need.

Sec. 13. Subsection (a) of section 7-323k of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(a) There is established a Commission on Fire Prevention and Control to consist of twelve members appointed by the Governor. The State Fire Marshal or his or her designee and the president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities or his or her designee shall serve as ex-officio, voting members of said commission. Of the twelve members appointed by the Governor, two shall represent The Connecticut State Firefighter's Association, two shall represent the Connecticut Fire Chiefs Association, two shall represent the Uniformed Professional Firefighters of the International Association of Firefighters, AFL-CIO, two shall represent the Connecticut Fire Marshals Association, two shall represent the Connecticut Fire Department Instructors Association and two shall represent the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities.

Sec. 14. Subsection (a) of section 7-608 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(a) There is established a Neighborhood Revitalization Zone Advisory Board. The board shall consist of the following voting members: (1) The Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management; (2) the president of the Institute for Municipal and Regional Policy at Central Connecticut State University; (3) the president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities; (4) the heads of those state agencies deemed appropriate by the secretary; (5) the chief executive officer of a municipality in which a neighborhood revitalization zone planning committee, pursuant to this chapter, was established on or before July 1, 1998; and (6) one member of each such neighborhood revitalization zone planning committee appointed by the chief executive officer based upon recommendations submitted to him by such committee. In a municipality having more than one neighborhood revitalization zone planning committee, each committee shall submit its recommendations to the chief executive officer and he shall choose the board member to be appointed from such recommendations. Each member of the board may designate a person to represent him on said board. The membership of the board shall be increased on September 1, 1999, and annually thereafter, to reflect the addition of a municipal chief executive officer and a member of a neighborhood revitalization zone planning committee having been established in the preceding twelve months, in a municipality not previously represented on said board. The members of the board shall serve without compensation.

Sec. 15. Subsection (b) of section 10-1 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(b) The Governor shall appoint, with the advice and consent of the General Assembly, the members of said board, provided each student member (1) is on the list submitted to the Governor pursuant to section 10-2a, (2) is enrolled in a public high school in the state, (3) has completed eleventh grade prior to the commencement of his term, (4) has at least a B plus average, and (5) provides at least three references from teachers in the school the student member is attending. The nonstudent members shall serve for terms of four years commencing on March first in the year of their appointment. The student members shall serve for terms of one year commencing on July first in the year of their appointment. The president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities and the chairperson of the technical high school system board shall serve as ex-officio members without a vote. Any vacancy in said State Board of Education shall be filled in the manner provided in section 4-19.

Sec. 16. Subsection (a) of section 10-16z of the 2016 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(a) There is established the Early Childhood Cabinet. The cabinet shall consist of: (1) The Commissioner of Early Childhood, or the commissioner's designee, (2) the Commissioner of Education, or the commissioner's designee, (3) the Commissioner of Social Services, or the commissioner's designee, (4) the president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, or the president's designee, (5) the Commissioner of Public Health, or the commissioner's designee, (6) the Commissioner of Developmental Services, or the commissioner's designee, (7) the Commissioner of Children and Families, or the commissioner's designee, (8) the executive director of the Commission on Children, or the executive director's designee, (9) the project director of the Connecticut Head Start State Collaboration Office, (10) a parent or guardian of a child who attends or attended a school readiness program appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives, (11) a representative of a local provider of early childhood education appointed by the minority leader of the Senate, (12) a representative of the Connecticut Family Resource Center Alliance appointed by the majority leader of the House of Representatives, (13) a representative of a state-funded child care center appointed by the majority leader of the Senate, (14) two appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives, one of whom is a member of a board of education for a town designated as an alliance district, as defined in section 10-262u, and one of whom is a parent who has a child attending a school in an educational reform district, as defined in section 10-262u, (15) two appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate, one of whom is a representative of an association of early education and child care providers and one of whom is a representative of a public elementary school with a prekindergarten program, (16) eight appointed by the Governor, one of whom is a representative of the Connecticut Head Start Association, one of whom is a representative of the business community in this state, one of whom is a representative of the philanthropic community in this state, one of whom is a representative of the Connecticut State Employees Association, one of whom is an administrator of the child care development block grant pursuant to the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 1990, one of whom is responsible for administering grants received under section 1419 of Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 USC 1419, as amended from time to time, one of whom is responsible for administering the provisions of Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, 20 USC 6301 et seq. , and one of whom is responsible for coordinating education services to children and youth who are homeless, (17) the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, or the secretary's designee, (18) the Lieutenant Governor, or the Lieutenant Governor's designee, (19) the Commissioner of Housing, or the commissioner's designee, and (20) the Commissioner of Mental Health and Addiction Services, or the commissioner's designee.

Sec. 17. Subsection (a) of section 10-16nn of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(a) There is established an Interagency Council for Ending the Achievement Gap. The council shall consist of: (1) The Lieutenant Governor, or the Lieutenant Governor's designee, (2) the Commissioner of Education, or the commissioner's designee, (3) the Commissioner of Children and Families, or the commissioner's designee, (4) the Commissioner of Social Services, or the commissioner's designee, (5) the Commissioner of Public Health, or the commissioner's designee, (6) the president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, or the president's designee, (7) the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, or the commissioner's designee, (8) the Commissioner of Administrative Services, or the commissioner's designee, (9) the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, or the secretary's designee, and (10) the Commissioner of Housing, or the commissioner's designee. The chairperson of the council shall be the Lieutenant Governor, or the Lieutenant Governor's designee. The council shall meet at least quarterly.

Sec. 18. Subsection (c) of section 10-16pp of the 2016 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(c) Not later than January 1, 2015, the Commissioner of Education, the president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, the chairperson of the Board of Trustees for The University of Connecticut and the Banking Commissioner shall report to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to banks on the status of the plan described in subsection (a) of this section.

Sec. 19. Subsection (a) of section 10-151d of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(a) There is established a Performance Evaluation Advisory Council within the Department of Education. Membership of the council shall consist of: (1) The Commissioner of Education and the president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, or their designees, (2) one representative from each of the following associations, designated by the association, the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education, the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents, the Connecticut Federation of School Administrators, the Connecticut Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers-Connecticut, and (3) persons selected by the Commissioner of Education who shall include, but not be limited to, teachers, persons with expertise in performance evaluation processes and systems, and any other person the commissioner deems appropriate.

Sec. 20. Subsection (c) of section 10-155l of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(c) Not later than October 1, 2007, the Regional Educational Service Center Minority Recruiting Alliance, in consultation with the Department of Education, the Board of Regents for Higher Education, the constituent units of the state system of higher education and the Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges, shall propose guidelines to the Commissioner of Education and the president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities for pilot programs to recruit and retain minority teachers and may consider, but such consideration need not be limited to, the establishment and operation of the following pilot programs:

(1) A fellows program leading to the eligibility for an educator certificate for minority individuals who have (A) completed an intensive summer session focusing on classroom management and methodology, (B) received a bachelor's degree from an institution of higher education accredited by the Board of Regents for Higher Education or Office of Higher Education or regionally accredited, (C) achieved a satisfactory score on the examination required pursuant to section 10-145f or have had such requirement waived pursuant to said section, and (D) have such other qualifications for the issuance of an educator certificate as are required for individuals participating in the alternate route to certification program under section 10-155d;

(2) A competitive grant program to assist local and regional boards of education to form and operate future teachers' clubs as part of the extracurricular activities at middle and high schools under their jurisdiction; and

(3) A program to allow minority college seniors who are majoring in subject shortage areas pursuant to section 10-8b but who are not enrolled in a teacher preparation program to receive up to three credits for working as cadet teachers in a public school and, upon graduation and recommendation by school officials, to allow such cadet teachers to enter a fellows program pursuant to subdivision (1) of this subsection if such a program is in operation.

Sec. 21. Section 10a-1b of the 2016 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(a) The Board of Regents for Higher Education shall appoint a president of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities who shall serve at the pleasure of the board. The president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities shall (1) have the authority to implement the policies, directives and rules of the board and any additional responsibilities as the board may prescribe, (2) implement the goals identified in section 10a-11c and recommendations made pursuant to section 10a-11b, as amended by this act, (3) build interdependent support among the Connecticut State University System, the regional community-technical college system and Charter Oak State College, (4) balance central authority with institutional differentiation, autonomy and creativity, and (5) facilitate cooperation and synergy among the Connecticut State University System, the regional community-technical college system and Charter Oak State College. [Said] The president may designate an alternate to serve as a member of any commission, foundation or committee upon which the general statutes require [said] the president to serve. Such designee may vote on behalf of [said] the president. There shall be an executive staff responsible for the operation of the Board of Regents for Higher Education. The executive staff shall be under the direction of the president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, who shall be the chief executive officer of the Board of Regents for Higher Education.

(b) The president may employ staff as is deemed necessary, including, but not limited to, temporary assistants and consultants. The board shall establish terms and conditions of employment of [its] the president and the board's staff, prescribe their duties and fix the compensation of [its] the president and the board's professional and technical personnel.

(c) Upon recommendation of the president, the Board of Regents for Higher Education shall appoint two vice-presidents. One vice-president shall represent the Connecticut State University System and the other vice-president shall represent the regional community-technical college system. Each vice-president shall perform such duties and responsibilities as the board and president shall prescribe, so that each said constituent unit fulfills its mission. Such duties shall include, but not be limited to, oversight of academic programs, student support services and institutional support.

Sec. 22. Subsection (a) of section 10a-6a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(a) There is established a Higher Education Coordinating Council composed of: The vice-president for each constituent unit appointed pursuant to subsection (c) of section 10a-1b, as amended by this act, the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, the Commissioner of Education, the president of The University of Connecticut, the chief academic officer of The University of Connecticut, the chairperson of the Board of Trustees for The University of Connecticut, the chairperson of the Board of Regents for Higher Education and the president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities. The Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management shall call an annual meeting of the council.

Sec. 23. Subdivision (2) of subsection (a) of section 10a-11b of the 2016 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(2) The following persons shall serve as ex-officio nonvoting members on the commission: (A) The president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, the Commissioner of Education, the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development and the Labor Commissioner, or their designees; (B) the chairpersons of the boards of trustees and the chief executive officers of each constituent unit of the state system of higher education, or their designees; (C) the chairperson of the board and president of the Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges, or their designees; (D) the chairpersons and ranking members of the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to higher education and employment advancement; and (E) the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, or the secretary's designee.

Sec. 24. Section 10a-19d of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(a) The president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities shall, within available appropriations, expand the capacity of programs for training early childhood education teachers through the development of accelerated, alternate route programs to initial teacher certification with an endorsement in early childhood education.

(b) The president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, in consultation with the Labor Department's Office of Workforce Competitiveness, the Department of Education, the Department of Social Services, Charter Oak State College, early childhood education faculty at two and four-year public and independent institutions of higher education, early childhood education professional associations, early childhood education advocates and practitioners, and persons knowledgeable in the area of career development and programs in early childhood care and education, shall define the preservice and minimum training requirements and competencies for persons involved in early childhood education, from birth to five years of age, including requirements for individual levels of early childhood credentialing and licensing.

Sec. 25. Subsection (c) of section 10a-19e of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(c) Persons who qualify under subsection (b) of this section shall be reimbursed on an annual basis for qualifying student loan payments in amounts as determined by the president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities. A person qualifying under subsection (b) of this section shall only be reimbursed for loan payments made while such person is employed in the state as an engineer. The Board of Regents for Higher Education shall develop eligibility requirements for recipients of such reimbursements. Such requirements may include income guidelines. Persons may apply for grants to the Board of Regents for Higher Education at such time and in such manner as the president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities prescribes.

Sec. 26. Subsection (c) of section 10a-19f of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(c) Persons who qualify under subsection (b) of this section shall receive reimbursement grants on an annual basis for qualifying student loan payments in amounts as determined by the president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities. A person qualifying under subsection (b) of this section shall only be reimbursed for loan payments made while such person is employed in Connecticut by a qualifying company or in research at an institution of higher education in an economically valuable field. The Board of Regents for Higher Education shall develop eligibility requirements for recipients of such reimbursement grants in consultation with the Department of Economic and Community Development. Such requirements may include income guidelines. Persons may apply for grants to the Board of Regents for Higher Education at such time and in such manner as the president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities prescribes.

Sec. 27. Subsection (a) of section 10a-55a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(a) On or before October 1, 1991, and annually thereafter, each institution of higher education shall prepare in such manner as the president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities shall prescribe a uniform campus crime report concerning crimes committed in the immediately preceding calendar year within the geographical limits of the property owned or under the control of such institution. Such report shall be in accordance with the uniform crime reporting system pursuant to section 29-1c, provided such report is limited to those offenses included in part I of the most recently published edition of the Uniform Crime Reports for the United States as authorized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Department of Justice, sexual assault under sections 53a-70, 53a-70a, 53a-70b, 53a-71, 53a-72a, 53a-72b and 53a-73a, stalking under sections 53a-181c, 53a-181d and 53a-181e and family violence as designated under section 46b-38h. The state police, local police departments and special police forces established pursuant to section 10a-156b shall cooperate with institutions of higher education in preparing such reports. Institutions with more than one campus shall prepare such reports for each campus.

Sec. 28. Section 10a-55e of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

Each technical high school and public institution of higher education shall develop, in such manner as the Commissioner of Education and president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities prescribe, agreements to share equipment required for students participating in green jobs certificate or degree programs or enrolled in a course of study concerning green jobs, including, but not limited to, solar photovoltaic installation.

Sec. 29. Subdivision (3) of section 10a-91c of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(3) "CSCU 2020" means the projects at the [Connecticut state colleges and universities system] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities and system-wide that are identified in the facilities and academic plans necessary to modernize, rehabilitate, renew, expand and otherwise stabilize the physical plant and technology infrastructure of the system so as to provide a concentrated, accelerated and cooperative effort for the benefit of the educational and economic development needs of this state and the system in an efficient, cost effective and timely manner and to assure that the system continues to compete successfully for students, faculty and staff.

Sec. 30. Subsection (a) of section 10a-144 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(a) There is established a higher education center for the central Naugatuck Valley region. The regional community-technical college established for the greater Waterbury area pursuant to subsection (g) of section 10a-78, shall be located at such center. The University of Connecticut shall have access to classrooms, faculty office space and concurrent and cooperative use of common student facilities including, but not limited to, library and athletic fields, at such center. The Board of Trustees for the Regional Community-Technical Colleges and the Board of Trustees for The University of Connecticut shall jointly develop, in conjunction with the president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, or his designee, an annual joint use plan for such center. On or before September 1, 1993, and annually thereafter, the president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities shall call and convene an initial meeting for the development of such plan.

Sec. 31. Section 10a-161a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

The president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities and the Office of Higher Education shall report, biennially, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a, to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to higher education on state, northeast regional and national trends in (1) the cost of attendance at public and independent institutions of higher education and private occupational schools, and (2) the availability and utilization of all forms of student financial aid for academic and noncredit vocational courses and programs relative to economic conditions and personal income.

Sec. 32. Subsection (b) of section 10a-169a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(b) Within available appropriations, the program shall provide grants for students entering or enrolling in an information technology related degree or certification program at any public or independent institution of higher education in this state. The scholarship shall not exceed three thousand dollars per student per year. The scholarship shall not exceed the combined costs of tuition and fees of an institution at which a recipient is or will be enrolled. The Board of Regents for Higher Education shall develop eligibility requirements for recipients. Such requirements may include income guidelines. Students shall be eligible for such scholarships for each year they are enrolled in an information technology related degree or certification program for a total of not more than four years per student. Students may apply for such scholarships to the Board of Regents for Higher Education at such time and in such manner as the president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities prescribes.

Sec. 33. Subsection (c) of section 10a-169b of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(c) Persons who qualify under subsection (b) of this section and meet any additional requirements established by the Board of Regents for Higher Education pursuant to this subsection shall be reimbursed on an annual basis for qualifying student loans. Such reimbursement shall not exceed two thousand five hundred dollars for each year of employment and for no more than a total of two years per person. A person qualifying under subsection (b) of this section shall only be reimbursed if such person is employed by a qualifying company at the time of application for loan reimbursement pursuant to this section. The Board of Regents for Higher Education may develop additional eligibility requirements for recipients. Such requirements may include income guidelines. Persons may apply for grants to the Board of Regents for Higher Education at such time and in such manner as the president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities prescribes.

Sec. 34. Subsection (b) of section 10a-179a of the 2016 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(b) The Connecticut Higher Education Supplemental Loan Authority shall be governed by a board of directors consisting of the following nine members: (1) The State Treasurer, or the Treasurer's designee, who shall serve as an ex-officio voting member; (2) the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, or the secretary's designee, who shall serve as an ex-officio voting member; (3) the president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, or the president's designee, who shall serve as an ex-officio voting member; (4) the chairperson of the board of directors of the Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority; (5) the executive director of the Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority; (6) two residents of the state, each of whom is an active or retired trustee, director, officer or employee of a Connecticut institution for higher education, appointed by the board of directors of the Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority; (7) a resident of this state with a favorable reputation for skill, knowledge and experience in the higher education loan field, appointed by the board of directors of the Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority; and (8) a resident of this state with a favorable reputation for skill, knowledge and experience in either the higher education loan field or in state and municipal finance, appointed by the board of directors of the Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority. Of the four appointed members, not more than two may be members of the same political party. One appointed member shall serve until the earlier of July 1, 2017, or, if such person was a member of the Connecticut Higher Education Supplemental Loan Authority board on June 30, 2012, the date on which such member's then current term was originally scheduled to end. One appointed member shall serve until the earlier of July 1, 2018, or, if such person was a member of the Connecticut Higher Education Supplemental Loan Authority board on June 30, 2012, the date on which such member's then current term was originally scheduled to end. Except as provided in this subsection and notwithstanding the original date of expiration of the term of any person who is an appointed member of the Connecticut Higher Education Supplemental Loan Authority board on June 30, 2012, the term of all such persons shall expire on July 1, 2012. The Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority board shall appoint a member or members each for a term of six years or until his or her successor is appointed and has qualified to succeed the members whose terms expire. Said authority board shall fill any vacancy for the unexpired term. A member of the Connecticut Higher Education Supplemental Loan Authority board shall be eligible for reappointment. Any member of the Connecticut Higher Education Supplemental Loan Authority board may be removed by the appointing authority for misfeasance, malfeasance or wilful neglect of duty. Each member of the Connecticut Higher Education Supplemental Loan Authority board before entering upon his or her duties shall take and subscribe the oath or affirmation required by section 1 of article eleventh of the State Constitution. A record of each such oath shall be filed in the office of the Secretary of the State.

Sec. 35. Subsections (a) and (b) of section 12-413b of the general statutes are repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(a) The president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities may select a direct payment permit holder, as described in section 12-409a, for a pilot program in accordance with the provisions of this section.

(b) There shall be allowed a credit to such direct payment permit holder in an amount equal to the amount of a qualified investment, as defined in subsection (c) of this section, that is made on or after July 1, 2000, against the use tax liability that is incurred under this chapter by such holder in making purchases on or after July 1, 2000, of computer equipment to be used in this state in electronic commerce. The total amount of such credits allowed under this section shall not exceed four million dollars in the aggregate. No credit shall be allowed under this section unless the president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities certifies, in a manner satisfactory to the Commissioner of Revenue Services, that a qualified investment has been made by the direct payment permit holder and that projects related to such investment have been completed. The Commissioner of Revenue Services may adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, which prescribe the procedures for the direct payment permit holder to claim the credit allowed under this section.

Sec. 36. Subsection (a) of section 17a-52 of the 2016 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(a) There is established a Youth Suicide Advisory Board, within the Department of Children and Families, which shall be a coordinating source for youth suicide prevention. The board shall consist of twenty members, which shall include one psychiatrist licensed to practice medicine in this state, one psychologist licensed in this state, one representative of a local or regional board of education, one high school teacher, one high school student, one college or university faculty member, one college or university student and one parent, all appointed by the Commissioner of Children and Families, one representative of the Department of Public Health appointed by the Commissioner of Public Health, one representative of the state Department of Education appointed by the Commissioner of Education and one representative of the Board of Regents for Higher Education appointed by the president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities. The balance of the board shall be comprised of persons with expertise in the mental health of children or mental health issues with a focus on suicide prevention and shall be appointed by the Commissioner of Children and Families. Members of the board shall serve for two-year terms, without compensation. Any member who fails to attend three consecutive meetings or fifty per cent of all meetings held during any calendar year shall be deemed to have resigned from the board. The Commissioner of Children and Families shall be a nonvoting, ex-officio member of the board. The board shall elect a chairman, and a vice-chairman to act in the chairman's absence.

Sec. 37. Section 31-3c of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

The Labor Commissioner, with the approval of the Commissioners of Economic and Community Development and Education, shall establish a customized job training program for preemployment and postemployment job training for the purpose of meeting the labor requirements of manufacturing or economic base businesses, as defined in subsection (l) of section 32-222, and shall implement such job training program. Such job training program shall include training designed to increase the basic skills of employees, including, but not limited to, training in written and oral communication, mathematics or science, or training in technical and technological skills. The Labor Commissioner shall use funds appropriated to the Labor Department for vocational and manpower training in carrying out such job training program, except that not more than four per cent of such funds may be used to pay the cost of its administration. Upon receipt of a request for job training pursuant to this section, the Labor Commissioner shall notify the president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, or his or her designee, of such request. The president, or his or her designee, shall determine if a training program exists or can be designed at a regional community-technical college to meet such training need and shall notify the Labor Commissioner of such determination. The Labor Commissioner shall to the extent possible make arrangements for the participation of the regional community-technical colleges, the Connecticut State University System, other institutions of higher education, other postsecondary institutions, adult education programs, opportunities industrialization centers and state technical high schools in implementing the program. Nothing in this section shall preclude the Labor Commissioner from considering or choosing other providers to meet such training need. Nothing in this section shall preclude an employer from considering or choosing other providers to meet the training needs of such employer, provided the Labor Commissioner approves such employer's use of such other providers. For the period from July 1, 1996, to June 30, 1999, the Labor Commissioner, or his or her designee, the chancellor of the community-technical colleges and the chairpersons of the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to education shall meet semiannually to review actions taken pursuant to this section and section 32-6j, as amended by this act.

Sec. 38. Subsection (g) of section 31-254 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(g) (1) Notwithstanding any of the information disclosure provisions of this section, the administrator shall disclose information obtained pursuant to subsection (a) of this section to: (A) A regional workforce development board, established pursuant to section 31-3k, to the extent necessary for the effective administration of the federal Trade Adjustment Assistance Program of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended from time to time, the federal Workforce Investment Act, as amended from time to time, and the state employment services program established pursuant to section 17b-688c for recipients of temporary family assistance, provided a regional workforce development board, enters into a written agreement with the administrator, pursuant to subdivision (2) of this subsection, concerning protection of the confidentiality of such information prior to the receipt of any such information; (B) a nonpublic entity that is under contract with the administrator where necessary for the effective administration of this chapter or with the United States Department of Labor to administer grants which are beneficial to the interests of the administrator, provided such nonpublic entity enters into a written agreement with the administrator, pursuant to subdivision (2) of this subsection, concerning protection of the confidentiality of such information prior to the receipt of any such information; (C) the president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, appointed under section 10a-1a, for use in the performance of such president's official duties to the extent necessary for evaluating programs at institutions of higher education governed by said board pursuant to section 10a-1a, provided such president enters into a written agreement with the administrator, pursuant to subdivision (2) of this subsection, concerning protection of the confidentiality of such information prior to the receipt of any such information; or (D) a third party pursuant to written, informed consent of the individual or employer to whom the information pertains.

(2) Any written agreement shall contain safeguards as are necessary to protect the confidentiality of the information being disclosed, including, but not limited to a:

(A) Statement from the regional workforce development board, nonpublic entity, or president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, as appropriate, of the purposes for the requested information and the specific use intended for the information;

(B) Statement from the regional workforce development board, nonpublic entity, or president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, as appropriate, that the disclosed information shall only be used for such purposes as are permitted by this subsection and consistent with the written agreement;

(C) Requirement that the regional workforce development board, nonpublic entity, or president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, as appropriate, store the disclosed information in a location that is physically secure from access by unauthorized persons;

(D) Requirement that the regional workforce development board, nonpublic entity, or president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, as appropriate, store and process the disclosed information maintained in an electronic format in such a way that ensures that unauthorized persons cannot obtain the information by any means;

(E) Requirement that the regional workforce development board, nonpublic entity, or president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, as appropriate, establish safeguards to ensure that only authorized persons, including any authorized agent of the board, nonpublic entity, or president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, are permitted access to disclosed information stored in computer systems;

(F) Requirement that the regional workforce development board, nonpublic entity, or president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, as appropriate, enter into a written agreement, that has been approved by the administrator, with any authorized agent of the board, nonpublic entity, or president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, which agreement shall contain the requisite safeguards contained in the written agreement between the board, nonpublic entity, or president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities and the administrator;

(G) Requirement that the regional workforce development board, nonpublic entity, or president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, as appropriate, instruct all persons having access to the disclosed information about the sanctions specified in this section, and further require each employee of such board, nonpublic entity, or president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, and any agent of such board, nonpublic entity, or president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, authorized to review such information, to sign an acknowledgment that such employee or such agent has been advised of such sanctions;

(H) Statement that redisclosure of confidential information is prohibited, except with the written approval of the administrator;

(I) Requirement that the regional workforce development board, nonpublic entity, or president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, as appropriate, dispose of information disclosed or obtained under this subsection, including any copies of such information made by the board, nonpublic entity, or president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, after the purpose for which the information is disclosed has been served, either by returning the information to the administrator, or by verifying to the administrator that the information has been destroyed;

(J) Statement that the regional workforce development board, nonpublic entity, or president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, as appropriate, shall permit representatives of the administrator to conduct periodic audits, including on-site inspections, for the purpose of reviewing such board's, nonpublic entity's, or adherence of the president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education's adherence] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities to the confidentiality and security provisions of the written agreement; and

(K) Statement that the regional workforce development board, nonpublic entity, or president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, as appropriate, shall reimburse the administrator for all costs incurred by the administrator in making the requested information available and in conducting periodic audits of the board's, nonpublic entity's, or procedures of the president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education's procedures] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities in safeguarding the information.

(3) Any employee or agent of a regional workforce development board, nonpublic entity, or president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, as appropriate, who discloses any confidential information in violation of this section and the written agreement, entered into pursuant to subdivision (2) of this subsection, shall be fined not more than two hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than six months, or both, and shall be prohibited from any further access to confidential information.

Sec. 39. Subsection (a) of section 32-4i of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(a) The Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, in consultation with the Commissioner of Revenue Services and the president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, may establish the Learn Here, Live Here program. Such program may provide an incentive for graduates of a public institution of higher education, private university or college, or health care training school in this state, or graduates from a technical high school, to buy a first home in the state. Persons who graduate on or after January 1, 2014, from such institutions, universities, colleges or schools may have their income tax liability, up to a maximum of two thousand five hundred dollars annually, segregated into the Connecticut first-time homebuyers account established pursuant to section 32-4j, provided not more than one million dollars from all program participants may be so segregated in any calendar year. After a period not exceeding ten years after graduation, any amounts so segregated may be withdrawn by a participant for the purchase of a first home in the state. The Commissioner of Economic and Community Development may make payments in accordance with this section from said fund to the participants. For the purposes of this section, "health care training school" means a medical or dental school, chiropractic college, school or college of optometry, school or college of chiropody or podiatry, school of occupational therapy, hospital-based occupational school, school or college of naturopathy, school of dental hygiene, school of physical therapy or any other school or institution giving instruction in the healing arts.

Sec. 40. Section 32-6j of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

In the assessment and provision of job training for employers, the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development and the chief executive officer of Connecticut Innovations, Incorporated shall request the assistance of the Labor Commissioner. Upon receipt of a request for job training pursuant to this section, the Labor Commissioner shall notify the president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, or his or her designee, of such request. The president, or his or her designee, shall determine if a training program exists or can be designed at a regional community-technical college to meet such training need and shall notify the Labor Commissioner of such determination. The Labor Commissioner shall to the extent possible make arrangements for the participation of the regional community-technical colleges, the Connecticut State University System, other institutions of higher education, other postsecondary institutions, adult education programs and state technical high schools in implementing the program. Nothing in this section shall preclude the Labor Commissioner from considering or choosing other providers to meet such training need.

Sec. 41. Subsection (b) of section 32-35 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(b) The corporation shall be governed by a board of seventeen directors. Nine members shall be appointed by the Governor, six of whom shall be knowledgeable, and have favorable reputations for skill, knowledge and experience, in the development of innovative start-up businesses, including, but not limited to, expertise in academic research, technology transfer and application, the development of technological invention and new enterprise development and three of whom shall be knowledgeable, and have favorable reputations for skill, knowledge and experience, in the field of financial lending or the development of commerce, trade and business. Four members shall be the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, the president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, the Treasurer and the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, who shall serve ex officio and shall have all of the powers and privileges of a member of the board of directors. Each ex-officio member may designate his deputy or any member of his staff to represent him at meetings of the corporation with full power to act and vote in his behalf. Four members shall be appointed as follows: One by the president pro tempore of the Senate, one by the minority leader of the Senate, one by the speaker of the House of Representatives and one by the minority leader of the House of Representatives. Each member appointed by the Governor shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor but no longer than the term of office of the Governor or until the member's successor is appointed and qualified, whichever is longer. Each member appointed by a member of the General Assembly shall serve in accordance with the provisions of section 4-1a. A director shall be eligible for reappointment. The Governor shall fill any vacancy for the unexpired term of a member appointed by the Governor. The appropriate legislative appointing authority shall fill any vacancy for the unexpired term of a member appointed by such authority.

Sec. 42. Subdivision (19) of section 32-39 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2016):

(19) To advise the Governor, the General Assembly, the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development and the president of the [Board of Regents for Higher Education] Connecticut State Colleges and Universities on matters relating to science, engineering and technology which may have an impact on state policies, programs, employers and residents, and on job creation and retention;

Approved May 6, 2016