Pair of Higher Education Bills Pass Out of Committee Unanimously

House Bills 5467 & 5468 passes out of the Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee on a unanimous vote!

Today, two of my bills - House Bill 5467 & House Bill 5468 - passed out of the Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee with a unanimous favorable vote!

HB5467 requires the Board of Regents for Higher Education and the Board of Trustees of The University of Connecticut to establish an annual “Fee-Free Day”. This program is based on Colorado’s successful program which started in 2017. The initiative allows students for one day a year to apply for higher education institutions with the application fee waived. Students applying to UCONN or CSCU will be able to take advantage of this program. The hope would be to expand the concept to other institutions of higher education in the future.

Recently, over the last year, I had the opportunity to speak with several veterans from across the state. One of the many concerns I consistently heard was that some of their military occupational specialty (MOS) training was not translating into university credit. While MOS training can be used for university credit as already enshrined in statute, there is no review timeframe for a program review placed in statute. HB5468 would require the governing board of each institution of higher education to review and update its policy concerning credits awarded for a student’s military training every five years (10 semesters) in accordance with the adopted recommended guidelines by the American Council on Education (ACE) and consider such veteran’s existing college-level knowledge acquired through military or life experience.

I want to thank the committee for the favorable votes. In particular, Ranking Member Irene Haines for being the chief sponsor of both of these pieces of legislation and working with me on refining the language. Also, a special shout to Colorado State Representative David Ortiz and his staff for helping to gather information about Colorado’s Fee-Free Day. I am looking forward to the House and Senate debating and passing these items and for the Governor’s signature on these important improvements for our university students!