Malloy Backs Universal Pre-K, Help For Connecticut's College Students

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Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy delivered his annual State of the State address to start the 2014 legislative session Thursday. Photo Credit: CT-N

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. – Gov. Dannel Malloy added a series of education reforms to his previously announced plans for the economy in Fairfield County and the state as he opened Connecticut’s 2014 legislative session Thursday.

The governor delivered his annual State of the State address in the state Capitol before the entire General Assembly at midday Thursday. Malloy closed the speech with ideas to continue Connecticut’s education reforms, focusing on the state’s youngest and oldest students.

One proposal is a push for universal prekindergarten. Offering grants to towns and cities to implement public pre-K programs, as well as rate increases to private and quasi-public preschools and child care centers were among the proposals from Malloy, who has advocated for early childhood education since his days as the mayor of Stamford. 

“We know that early education is one of the best ways to level the playing field for students,” Malloy said. “We know it, because we’ve seen it firsthand.”

He also has ideas for higher education. Malloy proposed starting a state program that would let parents start a tax-free college fund for their kids, with the state contributing $250 at the start of the investment. He also proposed offering a free course to students who have let their college plans lapse to encourage them to finish their degrees.

He also suggested working with IBM to bring a version of the company’s P-TECH program to Connecticut. P-TECH has set up programs in New York and Chicago that allows a student to earn both a high school diploma and an associate’s degree, specializing in high-demand STEM fields.

Malloy also backed the “Transform CSCU 2020” initiative, which would unite community colleges and public universities into one “student-centered, technology rich-system.”

“Let's help colleges from Norwalk to Naugatuck Valley to Eastern Connecticut State University,” Malloy said. “Let's move our state university and community college system into the 21st century.”

For his economic policy, Malloy had introduced his ideas in the weeks leading up to the joint session, including his plan to use part of the $500 million surplus on a modest tax refund and to raise Connecticut’s minimum wage to $10.10 per hour by 2017.

He also rolled out plans to bring more jobs to Connecticut, many of which were introduced by the Democratic caucus. The ideas include continuing the Small Business Express and STEP-Up programs, which offer grants and incentives to new companies and existing ones that hire more people.

Malloy also backed plans for a series of tax exemptions, including restoring sales tax exemptions for clothing items under $50 and nonprescription medication.

He also wants to make municipalities exempt from paying taxes on their employees’ healthcare plans, which would go toward reducing property taxes statewide, and to give retired teachers income tax exemptions on their pension payments.

“This is modest but real relief,” Malloy said. “Relief designed to ease the burden of working families and help them share in Connecticut’s recovery, now and into the future.”

The governor also pledged support for President Barack Obama’s plans to help end homelessness among military veterans by 2015. Connecticut’s portion of the plan might include a new security deposit assistance program to help veterans put a down payment on a home. 

“I can’t think of anyone more ready and more deserving of our assistance, than Connecticut's veterans,” Malloy said.

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Comments (24)

Joethetaxpayer55:

Malloy is destroying this state, now he want to brainwash pre-k kids....

BaId intruder:

Governor Malloy you have my vote.. You took a state that was in the red due to years of Republican Governors and created a surplus.. Great work

BaId intruder:

This President has been a huge success fixing the Republican disasters. Thanks President Obama.

Elizabeth G:

Great news unemployment is the lowest since Obama inherited the Bush disaster.. Thanks President Obama

Bald intruder:

Elizabeth,are you serious? The unemployment numbers stink,kind of like your hero Ted Kennedy's bathroom the morning after Saint Patricks day.Impeach Obama now!

BaId intruder:

True Elizabeth it looks like the Democrats fixed yet another Republican screw up

Michael Shea:

Pre-K? This is nothing new. I had a great pre-K program that taught me to read. I had science, art, sports, music lessons, field trips to museums and historical sites - and it was all done without a single penny of taxpayer money. How? I had a Mother and Father, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins and even neighbors.

Why is this even an issue?

Robby.Rob:

I would like to thank the republican party as if it were not for you the smart people would have no one to mock and make fun of. You republicans are always good for a laugh.

The.Truth:

True Robby True.. I think its the Alzheimer's. or the drugs. Just look at the right wing posts on this site.

Ken P Jr:

Increase minimum wage by 2017? With any luck he'll have ceased ruining our state for 3 years by then.

BigWllly:

I agree Ken it should be increased immediately

GTR:

Bigwllly
I agree.. I would add that its nice to see how the Democrats are concerned with the people. Unlike the Republicans that are the friends of big oil.

RG of Mayo:

Of course studies continually show that any gain from these programs evaporates by 3rd grade. What is more important is that this is a HUGE present to the teacher unions. Similarly the move to pump up the minimum wage in addition to pandering for low income votes is ANOTHER gift to unions . . . many union contracts calibrate wages as X% above minimum wage threshold. A bump in the minimum wage thus triggers a whole lot of automatic contract renegotiation for construction and other unions.

The Democratic Party, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Organized Labor.

BigWilly:

Here we go.....more of the msnbc (and others), "your children are not your responsibility, they're ours" BS.

to my left leaning friends...this pendulum can swing back.....think of how your kids will be educated when President Cruz is in for 8 years.

your kids should be YOUR responsibility....not government's.

GTR:

You are very funny.. Cruz is considered insane even on Republican standards. That's saying something considering the Republicans have very low standards.

Bald intruder:

And you counter with,who,Hillary"what difference does it make"Clinton? As bugs bunny once said to Elmer Fudd,"what a maroon".

BigWllly:

Kenny
You forgot this is the first democratic governor in years. He is doing a fanatic job fixing the mess created by the republicans. The state actually has a surplus thanks to the leadership of governor Malloy. Of course I realize these facts mean nothing to you as right wingers just hate facts.

Bald intruder:

Just more liberal claptrap.How were your buddies job numbers today,eh Socrates?

Alethiologist:

Of course he will back another tax and spend adventure just to get more votes from teacher's unions and those who will benefit from another centrally administered boondoggle. WHY do they not understand central planning has failed each and every time!!!

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