Derek Slap


Derek Slap



June 5, 2023

State Senator Derek Slap Leads Final Passage Of Bill Addressing Workforce Labor Shortage Through Reducing Student Loan Interest

Today, State Senator Derek Slap (D-West Hartford) led the State Senate in the final passage of legislation that helps alleviate student debt for first responders, nurses, educators, and mental health professionals. The bill allows eligible workers in these fields to refinance their loans, thanks to a state subsidy, through the Connecticut Higher Education Supplemental Loan Authority (CHESLA).

“This will not only help existing workers in these fields alleviate some of their debt burden, it also makes it easier for folks to become teachers, nurses, police officers and social workers,” said Sen. Slap. “This is great news for our labor market and of course all those who benefit from the work of these public servants.”

House Bill 5441, “An Act Concerning Clinical Placements For Nursing Students, The Establishment of Registered Apprenticeships For Teachers, Reporting By The Office Of Workforce Strategy, Promotion of the Development of the Insurance Industry and a Student Loan Subsidy For High-Demand Professions,” seeks to make a number of changes impacting higher education statutes and programs.

Most significantly, the bill extends eligibility to the Connecticut Higher Education Supplemental Loan Authority’s Alliance District Teacher Loan Subsidy Program to paraeducators and counselors, require CHESLA to establish a Police Officer Loan Subsidy Program to subsidize interest rates on CHESLA loans to eligible police officers in distressed municipalities, and expand a CHESLA loan subsidy program for health care professionals to include emergency services professionals.

It further creates a task force to develop a plan to establish clinical placements at state facilities for nursing students in higher education; permanently requires the Chief Workforce Officer to annually report on the Office of Workforce Strategy’s workforce training programs; and requires the insurance commissioner to promote the development, growth of and employment opportunities within the state’s insurance industry.

This bill received testimony in support from figures including Kate Dias, president of the Connecticut Education Association; Sarah Matney, Senior Vice President of Clinical Services & Chief Nursing Officer at Connecticut Children’s; and the Connecticut Business and Industry Administration.

It previously passed the House on May 23 and now heads to the Governor’s desk for his signature.