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State Senator

Marilyn Moore

Representing Bridgeport, Monroe & Trumbull

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Senators Moore and Gomes Stand Up for HCC Students, Call on Malloy to Veto Republican Budget

BRIDGEPORT— Senator Marilyn Moore (D-Bridgeport) and Senator Ed Gomes (D-Bridgeport), and representatives Steve Stafstrom and Jack Hennessey, gathered with students at Housatonic Community College today to denounce the deep cuts across to higher education included in the Republican budget passed by the General Assembly last week.

The Republican plan eliminates scholarships for 15,000 of the Connecticut’s neediest students. In the 2016-17 Academic Year there were 751 Bridgeport, 320 Stratford, 128 Trumbull, and 57 Monroe students who received the Roberta Willis Scholarship. That financial assistance would be phased out under the Republican plan.

“The higher education funding that’s being cut in the Republican budget will make devastating, long-lasting impacts on the lives of students at Housatonic and universities across the state. Legislators can fight for you, but it’s important for students and families to stand up and say ‘we will not tolerate these cuts to education.’” Sen. Moore said. “The state has invested in Housatonic and programs like their highly successful Advanced Manufacturing Center— of which over 92 percent of students who graduated last year got jobs in the Advanced Manufacturing field— and if these budget cuts in the Republican plan go through, all that money will go down the drain.”

“This Republican plan cuts into the people who need these scholarships and resources the most. These are students who will stay in Connecticut, start their own businesses, pay taxes, and make significant contributions to our communities,” Sen. Gomes said. “An investment in education is also an investment in jobs, in business growth, and a vibrant economic future. It’s time for us to stand up for institutions of higher learning in this state and say ‘no’ to the Republican budget cuts.”

“My family grew up, we didn’t have a lot of money and I’m trying to change that cycle, break the poverty cycle, and have future for myself and without financial aid I wouldn’t be able to do that,” said Sara Husain, a Biology student at HCC. “I’ve been going to Housatonic for the past two years and I have nothing but great things to say about this school. It’s an incredible school. The teachers care a lot about what they’re teaching and I’ve had nothing but an amazing two years. I couldn’t imagine not going to school. Through education, we can make a better community a better future. Students at Housatonic are the future, even though we don’t seem like we are.”

Deep Cuts to Higher Education

The Republican budget would cut approximately $93M from the CSCU system over the next two years.

  • Republican reductions would be a state that is less prepared to meet the workforce needs of tomorrow. Over 95 percent of our students are from Connecticut and stay here after they graduate. At a time when Connecticut’s major employers are increasing their demand for a highly skilled workforce, we must continue to educate students interested in manufacturing, healthcare and information technology.
  • Elimination of state financial aid would make our institutions more costly and less accessible to the 85,000 students we serve, particularly those who are funding their own education, are first generation, and underrepresented students of color.

While the phasing out of the Roberta Willis scholarship fund would deny access to higher education for almost 15,000 of the state’s neediest students. This budget would force severe cutbacks and elimination of essential services such as academic advising, counseling, physical and mental health referrals.

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