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Governor Lamont Unveils First Legislative Proposal of 2024 at UHart

February 02, 2024
Lamont with UHart nursing students

Surrounded by University of Hartford nursing students, Lamont announced the elimination of licensure application fees for certain education, child care, and health care workers.

From the Hartford HealthCare Immersive Simulation Labs located at the University of Hartford, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont announced on January 31 that the fiscal year 2025 budget adjustment proposal that he will present to lawmakers when they meet in February to convene the next legislative session will include a recommendation that licensure application fees required for workers to obtain certain jobs in the education, child care, and health care fields be eliminated.

UHart Acting President Stephen Mulready welcomed the group, sharing that it was fitting the announcement was taking place in the University’s Hursey Center for Advanced Engineering and Health Professions. “Opened in 2021, the Hursey Center was intentionally created to house our new, specialized, and technology-rich facilities in our growing academic programs,” said Mulready. “In this space, we will continue to meet the needs of high-caliber, dedicated, and deserving students for many years to come, while contributing to the health and well-being of our larger communities throughout the state.”

In his announcement, the governor said that he is proposing the change in an effort to encourage workers looking for employment to seek jobs in fields in which there is a significant need to fill available openings. The proposal will save these workers about $3.5 million annually.

“Right now, there are many job openings in essential fields that employers need to fill, and by eliminating these licensure application fees, we can help encourage those who are seeking employment to consider entering a career in these sectors. I am hopeful that legislators will agree and vote to approve these fee reductions.”

Ned Lamont, Governor of Connecticut
Lamont with Steve Mulready and Ces Thompson with UHart nursing students

Cesarina Thompson, dean of UHart’s College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions, and student Jeralyn Wiggins ’24 also spoke at the event, highlighting a variety of workforce development initiatives that benefit UHart and its students. This includes the CT Health Horizons program, a grant providing scholarships to many nursing students.

"Currently, we have about 250 undergraduate nursing students and about one-third of those students are benefiting from a CT Health Horizons scholarship and/or already participating in a focused clinical experience with our clinical partners that will better prepare them as future nurses,” Thompson remarked.

The governor has proposed eliminating the initial application fee for educator certificates, home child care licenses, registered nurse licenses, practical nurse licenses, and registered nurse licenses.

“This announcement is certainly wonderful news for our students,” Thompson emphasized, “and I want to thank you Governor Lamont for creating and supporting initiatives such as this that will remove barriers for our future health care professionals to enter practice.” 

This is the first legislative proposal that Lamont has unveiled so far in 2024. He is set to deliver his State of the State and Budget Address on Wednesday, Feb. 7, at noon. At that time, his full fiscal year 2025 budget adjustment proposal will be released, along with other legislative proposals that he is asking lawmakers to consider this year.

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Molly Polk