Legislative  Monitor
CSCU Day at the Capitol:
April 19, 1-3pm
Legislative Leadership

Martin Looney, Pres. Pro Tempore
Bob Duff, Majority Leader
Len Fasano, Minority Leader

How to Track a Bill
  1. Visit the "Enter Public" Tab of Bill Tracking on the General Assembly's homepage.
  2. Click on "Enter Guests"
  3. Register (at the top) by entering your name, email address, mobile number, mobile provider, and password. Click submit.
  4. You must check your email and click on the confirmation link.
  5. Once logged in, you are able to track bills by their number, by committee, or by sponsor or co-sponsor. 
  6. You may also direct the website to notify you immediately when there is a bill status change or email you a report. 

How Do the Community College Fare in Governor's Second Budget?
As you may have read, the Governor criticized the Appropriations Committee when it passed its budget last week, calling it "incomplete" (read more here). Therefore, the Governor released a second budget this week. The Governor's budget includes a workforce reduction of 2,500 state employees, non-union management increases to a 20% contribution towards health care premiums, and significant cuts to education and social services.
For the Community Colleges, there is a small cut to the Board of Regents (about 2% below the Appropriations Committee recommendation). In the Governor's February budget, he recommended that the BOR pay for the fringe benefits of its employees (rather than the Comptroller's Office). This proposal was removed by the Appropriations Committee. However, the transfer of fringe benefit costs has been transferred back in the Governor's second budget.
While the Community Colleges have not been significantly harmed in the budget talks so far,  it is important to remain strong advocates for our colleges and for our brother and sister state employees! See more information for how you can help in "Lobby Days."
Lobby Days
The 4Cs sponsored a Lobby Day for the Community Colleges on March 31. About 40-50 attendees came to the Capitol and went out to meet with legislators. While there were not many legislators in the building that day, packets were delivered to EVERY legislator with our fact sheets. Also, about 1500-2000 postcards that we have collected in support of the community colleges were hand delivered!
CSCU is sponsoring a Lobby Day - CSCU Day at the Capitol - on April 19 from 1-3pm, meeting in the Old Judiciary Room. While this is a CSCU day, please feel free to utilize the information the 4Cs created for our Lobby Day, including Support Community Colleges fact sheet, Inequality Infographic, Talking to Your Legislator, the number of community college students and 4Cs member by city/town, and several fact sheets shared within the Better Choices Coalition on revenue, tax flight, and how cuts hurt our state.

Proposed Legislation
Every legislative session, there are a number of proposed bills that if passed, will affect our members. Following is a list of proposals that have been introduced so far. As always, keep in mind that these are simply proposals. Thousands of bills are proposed every year and only a small portion of them go on to become law. The 4Cs leadership and lobbyist will follow all of these bills and if there is ever a need for us to act in great numbers, we will inform you. However, if you are interested in following these bills yourself, please see "How to Track Bills" in the sidebar.

Higher Education 
HB-5072: AN ACT CONCERNING HIGHER EDUCATION CERTIFICATE PROGRAMS. Statement of Purpose:  To create consistency among the various sub-baccalaureate certificate programs. (View testimony provided by Mark Ojakian here). It is currently on the House Calendar with a favorable Committee report.

HB-5071:  AN ACT REQUIRING CONNECTICUT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE STATE AUTHORIZATION RECIPROCITY AGREEMENT REGARDING DISTANCE LEARNING PROGRAMS. Statement of Purpose:  To require participation in the nation-wide state authorization reciprocity agreement. (View 4Cs' testimony here.) The House referred the bill to the Appropriations Committee.
HB-5332:  AN ACT CONCERNING THE GOVERNOR'S SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM. Statement of Purpose:  To make changes to the Governor's Scholarship program. (View testimony by Tunxis Director of Financial Aid, David Welsh, here). It is currently on the House Calednar with a favorable Committee report.

SB-23: AN ACT CONCERNING CONNECTICUT'S MANUFACTURING AND TECHNOLOGY WORKFORCE. Statement of Purpose:  To require a study of issues concerning Connecticut's manufacturing and technology workforce. It is currently at the foot of the Senate Calendar.
SB-25: AN ACT CONCERNING SPECIAL POLICE FORCES ON COLLEGE CAMPUSES. Statement of Purpose: To permit the establishment of a special police force at each of the regional community-technical colleges, subject to approval by the BOR.  (View testimony provided by Mark Ojakian  here ). It is currently tabled for the Senate Calendar. It received a favorable report from the Committee.

SB-147: AN ACT ASSISTING STUDENTS WITHOUT LEGAL IMMIGRATION STATUS WITH THE COST OF COLLEGE. Statement of Purpose:  To enable students without legal immigration status to be eligible for institutional financial assistance. Many students spoke in favor of this legislation, including community college students (here). It is currently on the Senate Calendar with a favorable Committee report.

SB-270: AN ACT MAKING THE BUDGETS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT, THE CONNECTICUT STATE UNIVERSITY SYSTEM AND THE REGIONAL COMMUNITY-TECHNICAL COLLEGE SYSTEM AVAILABLE ONLINE. Statement of Purpose: To make the budget available to the public online. (Testimony in opposition to the bill by CSCU can be read here).

Labor & Public Employees
SB-269: AN ACT REQUIRING THE SECRETARY OF THE OFFICE OF POLICY AND MANAGEMENT TO STUDY THE IMPACT OF IMPLEMENTING A FORTY-HOUR WORK WEEK FOR STATE EMPLOYEES. Statement of Purpose: To require the Secretary of OPM to study the impact of requiring all state employees to work a forty-hour work week. This bill was recently referred to the Office of Legislative Research and Office of Fiscal Analysis.

What are the Hot Topics at the Capitol?
According to the Office of Legislative Research (OLR), the hot topics this week are:
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