Matt Lesser

State Senator

Matt Lesser

Deputy Majority Leader

Your Independent Voice

February 5, 2019

Lesser Gives Public Testimony on Bill to Protect Students From Fraud

Today, State Senator Matt Lesser gave public testimony to the Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee on a proposed bill that will provide consumer protection for students at private occupational schools in Connecticut.

“Institutions should not be able to dangle higher education and the opportunities that come with it in front of students while requiring them to waive certain rights,” said Sen. Lesser. “Offering protection to them will prevent institutions from scamming and defrauding former and current students.”

If enacted, Senate Bill No. 81, “an act making certain private occupational schools ineligible for a certificate of authorization and public funds,” would prevent private occupational schools that require students to waive certain rights as a condition of enrollment from receiving a certificate of authorization or public funds from the Office of Higher Education.

“This legislation will provide safeguards for students and give consumer protection authority to the Office of Higher Education,” said Sen. Lesser. “We want to know if claims have been made against an institution to further assist the Office of Higher Education to determine if funds or a certificate of authorization should be denied. I am hopeful the committee will vote to draft this bill.”

Senate Bill No. 81 would prevent private occupational institutions from requiring students to refrain from participating in class action lawsuits in order to stay enrolled, limit any claim made against the institution or assert any claim in anything less than a judicial forum. Sen. Lesser added he would also approve of offering these protections to students of vocational schools.

About Matt Lesser: Sen. Lesser was first elected in 2018 to represent the ninth Senate District which consists of Cromwell, Middletown, Newington, Rocky Hill and Wethersfield. Prior to being elected to the State Senate, he was a State Representative for the city of Middletown. He has been a principle author of Connecticut’s Student Loan Bill of Rights, the first in the nation, a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing waste and a major workplace safety law later adapted as a national standard. He has been honored by the Connecticut chapter of the AARP and has been named a champion by the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters.