Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Raised Bill No. 870

January Session, 2017

 

LCO No. 4299

 

*04299_______HED*

Referred to Committee on HIGHER EDUCATION AND EMPLOYMENT ADVANCEMENT

 

Introduced by:

 

(HED)

 

AN ACT IMPLEMENTING THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE BOARD OF REGENTS FOR HIGHER EDUCATION.

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

Section 1. Section 10a-16 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

The Board of Regents for Higher Education shall adopt [regulations in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54] policies for determining financial need for tuition waivers granted pursuant to subsection (f) of section 10a-77, subsection (f) of section 10a-99 and subsection (g) of section 10a-105. Such [regulations] policies shall prohibit the designation of graduate students as graduate assistants solely to provide tuition and fee waivers.

Sec. 2. Section 10a-17 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

The [Board of Regents for] Office of Higher Education shall (a) be responsible for obtaining information on new programs and methods of education that are being developed in the public schools and colleges of the state and nation, keeping such records current and publicizing information concerning these programs; and (b) encourage and aid in the development of new and improved programs and methods of education in order to recruit, prepare and train or retrain personnel needed in such programs.

Sec. 3. Section 10a-19e of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) There is established an "Engineering Connecticut" loan reimbursement grant program, administered by the [Board of Regents for] Office of Higher Education, for persons who have graduated from institutions of higher education with undergraduate or graduate degrees in engineering.

(b) Within available appropriations, the program shall provide student loan reimbursement grants for persons who (1) attended any institution of higher education, (2) have been awarded an undergraduate or graduate degree in engineering, and (3) are newly employed in Connecticut on or after January 1, 2006, as engineers.

(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 Connecticut State Colleges and Universities] executive director of the Office of Higher Education. 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] Office of 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] Office of Higher Education at such time and in such manner as the [president of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities] executive director of the Office of Higher Education prescribes.

(d) Any unexpended funds appropriated for purposes of this section shall not lapse at the end of the fiscal year but shall be available for expenditure during the next fiscal year.

(e) The [Board of Regents for] Office of Higher Education may use up to two per cent of the funds appropriated for purposes of this section for program administration, promotion and recruitment activities.

Sec. 4. Section 10a-19f of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) There is established a "You Belong" loan reimbursement grant program, administered by the [Board of Regents for] Office of Higher Education, for graduates of doctoral programs who are employed in Connecticut in economically valuable fields.

(b) Within available appropriations, the program shall provide student loan reimbursement grants for persons who (1) have been awarded a doctoral degree from any institution of higher education, and (2) are newly employed in Connecticut in an economically valuable field, as determined by the Department of Economic and Community Development, on or after January 1, 2006, by a company or an institution of higher education that has registered with or otherwise been qualified under the program by the Department of Economic and Community Development.

(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 Connecticut State Colleges and Universities] executive director of the Office of Higher Education. 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] Office of 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] Office of Higher Education at such time and in such manner as the [president of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities] executive director of the Office of Higher Education prescribes.

(d) Any unexpended funds appropriated for purposes of this section shall not lapse at the end of the fiscal year but shall be available for expenditure during the next fiscal year.

(e) The [Board of Regents for] Office of Higher Education may use up to two per cent of the funds appropriated for purposes of this section for program administration, promotion and recruitment activities.

Sec. 5. Section 10a-19i of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) As used in subsections (a) to (e), inclusive, of this section:

(1) "Green technology" means technology that (A) promotes clean energy, renewable energy or energy efficiency, (B) reduces greenhouse gases or carbon emissions, or (C) involves the invention, design and application of chemical products and processes to eliminate the use and generation of hazardous substances;

(2) "Life science" means the study of genes, cells, tissues and chemical and physical structures of living organisms and biomedical engineering and the manufacture of medical devices; and

(3) "Health information technology" means the creation, execution or implementation of electronic data systems that record or transmit medical or health information.

(b) There is established a Connecticut green technology, life science and health information technology loan reimbursement program to be administered by the [Board of Regents for] Office of Higher Education.

(c) A Connecticut resident who graduated on or after May 1, 2010, from an institution of higher education in this state with a bachelor's degree in a field relating to green technology, life science or health information technology and who has been employed in this state for at least two years after graduation by a business in the field of green technology, life science or health information technology and whose federal adjusted gross income for the year prior to the initial reimbursement year does not exceed one hundred fifty thousand dollars shall be eligible for reimbursement of federal or state educational loans up to a maximum of two thousand five hundred dollars per year or five per cent of the amount of such loans per year, whichever is less, for up to four years.

(d) A Connecticut resident who graduated on or after May 1, 2010, from an institution of higher education in this state with an associate degree relating to green technology, life science or health information technology and who has been employed in this state for at least two years after graduation by a business in the field of green technology, life science or health information technology and whose federal adjusted gross income for the year prior to the initial reimbursement year does not exceed one hundred fifty thousand dollars shall be eligible for reimbursement of federal or state educational loans up to a maximum of two thousand five hundred dollars per year or five per cent of the amount of such loans per year, whichever is less, for up to two years.

(e) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (c) and (d) of this section, the total combined dollar value of loan reimbursements available under this and any other provision of the general statutes shall not exceed five thousand dollars per recipient of an associate degree and ten thousand dollars per recipient of a bachelor's degree.

(f) The [Board of Regents for] Office of Higher Education may adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, to carry out the provisions of subsections (a) to (e), inclusive, of this section.

Sec. 6. Subsection (c) of section 10a-22 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(c) The [Board of Regents for Higher Education and] Office of Higher Education shall provide continuing evaluation of the effectiveness of such contracts and shall submit on or before February first, annual reports and recommendations to the Governor and the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to education. In administering this section, the [Board of Regents for Higher Education and] Office of Higher Education shall develop and use fiscal procedures designed to insure accountability of public funds.

Sec. 7. Section 10a-55g of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

The [Board of Regents for] Office of Higher Education, in consultation with the Department of Education, shall annually prepare and publish on the [Board of Regents for] Office of Higher Education's web site a list of every green jobs course and green jobs certificate and degree program offered by technical high schools and public institutions of higher education and an inventory of green jobs related equipment used by such schools and institutions of higher education.

Sec. 8. Section 10a-144 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

[(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 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 Connecticut State Colleges and Universities shall call and convene an initial meeting for the development of such plan.

[(b) On or before April 1, 1994, and annually thereafter, the Board of Trustees for the Regional Community-Technical Colleges and the Board of Trustees for The University of Connecticut shall jointly report, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a, to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to education on the joint use plan developed pursuant to subsection (a) of this section.]

Sec. 9. Section 10a-161a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

The [president of the 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. 10. Subsection (f) of section 10a-173 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(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,] on students receiving a Roberta B. Willis 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 or review. Funds not obligated by an institution of higher education shall be returned by May first 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 Roberta B. Willis Scholarship program.

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

Section 1

from passage

10a-16

Sec. 2

from passage

10a-17

Sec. 3

from passage

10a-19e

Sec. 4

from passage

10a-19f

Sec. 5

from passage

10a-19i

Sec. 6

from passage

10a-22(c)

Sec. 7

from passage

10a-55g

Sec. 8

from passage

10a-144

Sec. 9

from passage

10a-161a

Sec. 10

from passage

10a-173(f)

Statement of Purpose:

To revise the higher education and employment advancement statutes.

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