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2023 Public Policy Priorities

Budget Trouble

When Governor Lamont released his FY 2024-25, it included, if enacted as proposed, a shortfall of $159.6 million next year and $197.1 million the following year compared to the budget requests made by UConn and UConn Health.   These deep cuts will impact not only UConn staff and students, but could significantly impact the state economy.

We will be working with the legislature to fully fund UConn and UConn Health to enable the University to continue its mission as one of the top public universities in the country AND serve as the economic engine so many of us know it to be for the state of Connecticut.  Click here to see how you can help.


Pre-Session Outlook from OLR


Higher Education and Employment Advancement


College Enrollment and Retention

For the third year in a row, the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center has reported that college and university enrollment declined in the 2022 fall semester. As of September 29, 2022, the center reports that although the decline in postsecondary enrollment has slowed to nearly prepandemic enrollment rates, institutions are still facing an approximate 4.2% decline in undergraduate enrollment since 2020. Last session, the legislature considered bills addressing access to postsecondary education that included student loan reimbursement for state students who graduated from a state university (sSB 250 (2022)) and increasing the number of child care centers on or near each regional community-technical college and state university campus (sHB 5115 (2022)). The legislature may continue to explore barriers to enrollment and retention in the upcoming session.

Related OLR Reports:

2021-R-0044, Student Loan Forgiveness and Repayment Programs

2020-R-0178, Issue Brief: Open Educational Resources

Workforce Development

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce states that businesses added 3.8 million jobs in 2021, but workforce participation remains below pre-pandemic levels. Many industries are reporting a high number of job openings, including in education, health care, and manufacturing. According to the Connecticut Business and Industry Association’s 2022 Survey of Businesses, 44% say a lack of skilled applicants is their greatest obstacle to growth. In 2023, the legislature may consider proposals toward developing the state’s workforce to meet the needs of these in-demand sectors. 

Related OLR Report:

2020-R-0335, Student Loan Forgiveness Programs for Health Care Professionals

Public Health

Health Care Workforce

In Connecticut and nationally, there have been increasing challenges related to staffing within the health care sector, across various professions (e.g., nursing) and specialties (e.g., childhood behavioral health). In recent years, the General Assembly has taken various measures on this issue, such as establishing a new loan reimbursement program for eligible providers (PA 22-118, § 79) and a grant program for hiring and retaining child and adolescent psychiatrists (PA 22-47, § 38). There will likely be additional proposals in 2023 on ways to attract and retain more health care providers in needed fields.

Recent Past

Since our founding in 2018, UConn Strong has worked with the Executive Branch and Connecticut General Assembly on issues critical to UConn's ability to thrive as an elite public university.  While most of our work has centered around the state budget and Connecticut's continued unfunded pension liabilities, other successes include the following:

UConn Foundation Fundraising

PA 21-19 was signed into law by Governor Lamont on 5/26/21.  This law is fundamental to the UConn Foundation's efforts to raise funds in support of UConn.  Click on the link below for more details.


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