James Maroney


James Maroney



March 22, 2019

Maroney Legislation to Make College Affordable, Accessible Receive Bipartisan Committee Support


HARTFORD, CT – The Higher Education and Employment Committee voted to advance three of State Senator James Maroney’s (D-Milford) bills to the Senate floor. Sen. Maroney’s bills aim to create nontraditional pathways to earning a Bachelor’s Degree, and to make college more affordable and accessible. Sen. Maroney said the key is innovation.

“When I was on the campaign trail, I promised to be innovative in cultivating ways to ensure everyone has a chance to be successful in the 14th District and our state,” said Sen. Maroney, who is a member of the committee. “This legislation makes good on those promises and seeks innovative ways to provide opportunities to our citizens to better themselves. I commend my friends on both sides of the aisle in the committee for supporting this legislation and moving them forward.”


The following bills advanced:


SB 435 – “An Act Establishing a Tax Credit for Employers Making Education Loan Payments for Employees,” received bipartisan support, passing unanimously. This legislation will establish a tax credit for employers who make education loan payments for their employees. Student loan debt is crushing many young people across our country and state and the ripple effect is harming our economy. Currently, the average college graduate in our state owes over $38,000 in student loan debt. To alleviate the crisis of exorbitant student loan debt, this legislation will incentivize employers who make student loan payments for their employees by providing a tax credit. The tax credit will be equal to half of the amount of the monthly loan payment made and multiplied by the number of months the employer made payments during that taxable year.


SB 607 – “An Act Concerning Apprenticeships Pathways to Earning a Bachelor’s Degree,” received bipartisan support and passed unanimously. In addition to creating apprenticeship pathways to receiving a Bachelor’s Degree, there will also be some coursework for students. The foundation of this legislation is all about opening up the pool of individuals who can earn a Bachelor’s if they determine college in the traditional sense is not for them. By 2025, over 70% of the jobs in Connecticut will require a post-secondary credential. This is crucial legislation to ensure our young people can thrive in this rapidly evolving economy.


SB 746 – An Act Establishing the Roberta B. Willis Scholarship Foundation and Creating a Business Tax Credit  passed by a convincing 16-6 vote. This bill will establish the Roberta B. Willis Scholarship Foundation and create a business tax credit. Businesses that donate to the foundation will receive a 50 percent tax credit. Tax credits will be capped at $27 million. The Roberta B. Willis Scholarship is a need-based grant program with 31 participating higher education institutions, including the University of Connecticut, the University of New Haven, Quinnipiac University and Gateway Community College. Priority for the Roberta B. Willis Scholarship is given to individuals who are least able to afford college expenses.