Senator Toni Boucher Submits Testimony to Promote Tuition Transparency and Encourage College Grads to Stay in Connecticut

February 24, 2017

State Senator Toni Boucher (R-26) today submitted testimony to the legislature’s Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee on behalf of two bills she proposed.

SB 572, An Act Concerning Transparency Regarding Tuition, and SB 571, An Act Concerning the Implementation of the Learn Here, Live Here Program, were before the committee for a public hearing.

Sen. Boucher said she proposed SB572 so that college students, and those paying college tuition in Connecticut, would know how the school spends their tuition dollars.

“When you pay for a service, I believe it is important to know exactly how your money is being used, Sen. Boucher said.

While legislators involved with the education committees know that state tuition waivers and various financial aid grants are funded by tuition fee, she said, students and their families may not know that. They also don’t know how much of their tuition pays for those programs.”

Sen. Boucher said, “SB572 would require institutions of higher education to disclose what financial aid programs are funded through tuition payments and how much of those payments contribute to these programs.”

SB 517 would address two problems by providing recent college graduates an incentive to stay in Connecticut, she said.

“Businesses regularly tell us about the difficulty they have finding skilled workers to fill positions,” Sen. Boucher said. “At the same time, Connecticut is suffering from a “brain drain” as our college graduates leave the state citing the high cost of living as one of the forces driving them out. SB 517 would address both of these concerns.”

Sen. Boucher said the Learn Here, Live Here program would allow graduates of public or independent institutions of higher education to segregate a portion of their Connecticut income tax payments as a way to save for the down payment on a home in our state. This activity can take place for up to ten years after graduation

“As a benefit of keeping more of our higher education graduates in state, employers would have a larger pool of educated, skilled workers to fill open positions,” she said. “This will make our state more attractive to businesses – those here and ones that are considering relocating to Connecticut.”

Keeping our young people here also gives the state the benefit of their participation in the community, Sen. Boucher said, which will further enrich the quality of life for all state residents.

Sen. Boucher represents the communities of Bethel, New Canaan, Redding, Ridgefield, Weston, Westport, and Wilton.