Capital briefs

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Speaker appoints Conroy to subcommittees

HARTFORD — State Rep. Theresa Conroy (D-105) has been appointed to serve on the bipartisan Regional Entities subcommittee and Municipal Efficiencies subcommittee of the MORE (Municipal Opportunities & Regional Efficiencies) Commission.

Conroy was appointed to the subcommittees by Speaker of the House Brendan Sharkey.
The subcommittees will look for ways to regionalize some of the functions of local government and other entities.

“Finding regional ways to provide services saves money and streamlines government,” Conroy said in a news release.

Bills target cost of college

HARTFORD — Several bills aimed at making college more affordable have been introduced in the state Senate.

“My wife and I were blessed with six children and we had three in college at the same time,” said state Sen. Joseph Crisco (D-17) in a press release. “We experienced the burdens placed on students and families by the costs of a college education. Since then, these burdens have grown so much heavier. We can’t allow this to continue, and that is why we’re taking these great steps to help make college more affordable.”

Senate Bill 393, An Act Concerning A Cap on the Administrative Expenses of the Board of Regents For Higher Education and the University of Connecticut, would put a percentage cap on how much of the block grants appropriated to the University of Connecticut and the Board of Regents is allowed to be spent on administrative expenses of the central offices of these two systems.

According to the College Board, tuition at public four-year institutions in the U.S. has increased by 17 percent in the past five years, the release stated. At the same time, according to the State Office of Higher Education, tuition has increased 24.7 percent at the Connecticut State University System, 26.9 percent at the community colleges and 28.7 percent at UConn.

Senate Bill 399, An Act Concerning Reporting Requirements of the University of Connecticut Regarding Financial Aid, would require UConn to submit information to the Office of Higher Education indicating how its financial aid was awarded annually, including to in-state and out-of-state students.

Senate Bill 950, An Act Enabling the Refinancing of Student Loans, has also been introduced to make loan refinancing available to Connecticut residents, Connecticut students, parents and attendees of Connecticut higher education institutions through the Connecticut Higher Education Supplemental Loan Authority (CHELSA), regardless of whether the loan was originally made by CHESLA.

Legislation would exempt diapers from sales tax

HARTFORD — State Rep. Lezlye Zupkus (R-89) co-sponsored a bill that would exempt baby diapers from the state sales tax.

The measure, House Bill 6595 would exempt baby diapers from the 6.35 percent state sales tax. The bill passed unanimously out of the children’s committee and moved to the House of Representatives for further debate, according to a press release.

Under current state law, adult diapers fall within a state sales tax exemption for “certain disposable pads prepared for use in the manner of a diaper or as an under-pad. Adult diapers are classified, according to the state Department of Revenue Services, as “medical goods and equipment,” but baby diapers are not the release stated.

“As a mother, I am very proud to co-sponsor this bill in support of moms and dads, caregivers and families who are caring for young children,” said Zupkus, a member of the House Republican Women’s Caucus, in the release. “Baby diapers are one of many very costly monthly expenses when caring for infants and toddlers. This bill will provide immediate relief for those families in need.”