Connecticut Democrats want to follow states like New York and propose a plan to cover tuition for low-to-middle income students at public community colleges and universities.
State Senator Beth Bye, D-West Hartford, was one of the Democrats who introduced the bill this week. Bye says free college will help keep young people in Connecticut and will also help businesses.
“Free to start, free to finish is about expanding economic opportunities for students and for our business in Connecticut. Connecticut depends on a highly qualified workforce to attract and keep our companies. It’s been estimated that by 2025...70 percent of all jobs in Connecticut will require an education past high school. So this bill is about building the future workforce.”
Bye says the state would pay tuition for qualifying students enrolled full-time at community colleges. That’s for two-person families that earn less than $49,000 a year or a four-person family that earns less than $73,000.
Those students would be eligible to have tuition covered for two years at a state university if they graduate from community college within two years.
Republican Senate Leader Len Fasano says Connecticut faces a budget deficit and is skeptical about finding funding for the program.