In an attempt to accurately report this story, CT Chronicle has made several attempts to contact Senator Flexer regarding the information we published on Friday. We have not received a call from Flexer or her press aid seeking comment regarding this story.
Senator Flexer interviewed with WINY radio in Putnam to discuss the story we posted. Flexer stated to WINY, “The entirety of the story is false. The decisions about a variety of these proposals to deal with our community college system haven’t been made yet. The bill that I put forward will be heard in that same screening committee process next week, but the totality of that article is just completely false.”
Prior to publication of the original story, CT Chronicle researched the bills proposed by Senator Flexer. Flexer has submitted thirty-six (36) bills (the bills can be found at the link or in the article below) for the 2019 session and there is not a bill in the attached list dealing with the issue of either the Board of Regents or any legislative protections for the Connecticut College system. The only bill referencing the Board of Regents is SB00273 “An Act Concerning Free College.” The wording of this bill states;“That the general statutes be amended to require the Board of Trustees of The University of Connecticut and the Board of Regents for Higher Education to establish a program to maximize federal funds and institutional grants to enable students at public institutions of higher education to graduate without student loans.”
There is no language to reign in the Board of Regents and will actually expand their scope should the bill pass. The content of this bill actually runs counter to the last-minute amendment she proposed during the 2018 session where she sought to take control and power for consolidation and school closing away from the Board of Regents and place it in the legislature.
The bill that was boxed by Flexer in the Higher Education Committee was HB5207 “An Act Eliminating the board of Regents for Higher Education” introduced by State Representative Gail Lavielle (R-Wilton)
Senator Flexer apparently misspoke when she stated to WINY “The bill that I put forward.” As there is no bill currently that she has proposed dealing with this matter. The deadline for proposing new bills has passed so she cannot submit a new bill at this time, in this session. Flexer can add an amendment to a bill, and students across the state college system certainly hope she or someone else does. Possibly she can also unbox HB5207 submitted by Representative Lavielle or if there are other bills that have not passed through screening by other legislators that can be debated and the public provide comment. Either way students, professors and administrators deserve clarity on this issue from Senator Flexer.
CT Chronicle stands by our reporting as Flexer has called the information we have submitted as “entirely false.” We have provided facts that can be found on the Connecticut General Assembly website and information provided to us by sources we deem reliable. Senator Flexer can contact us at any time and provide us with the information she is claiming as we have left our contact information with her office. To clarify, Representative Gail Lavielle was not the original source for information pertaining to the boxing of her submitted legislation.
LEGISLATION PROPOSED BY SENATOR FLEXER IN 2019