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Sound Bites: Connecticut State College and University students can expect tuition hikes

Graduation at Central Connecticut State University.
Molly Ingram
Graduation at Central Connecticut State University.

Happy Saturday! Connecticut’s Board of Regents of Higher Education has voted to increase tuition at the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities. Tuition at community colleges will increase by 5%, and all other institutions will increase by 3%. 

All but one member of the board voted for the increases. New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart, who attended CCSU, voted against the increase. CSCU President Terrence Cheng cited a “daunting” projected budget landscape for the consolidation of the state’s community colleges as part of the reason the system needs more cash. 

Here's a bite-sized look at what else we're hearing:

Connecticut Eversource and United Illuminating standard service customers will see lower electric rates this month. That’s partly because natural gas supplies have improved. The Eversource standard service rate will go down by 10 cents per kilowatt hour, and the UI standard service rate will decrease by 7 cents.

Dozens of Fairfield parents do not want the town’s schools to redistrict. They addressed the Board of Education this week, asking them to push back against the state’s racial imbalance law that would force McKinley students of color to transfer schools. Currently, the board is set to adopt a redistricting plan this fall and implement it for the 2024-25 school year.

Bridgeport police officers will no longer be able to cash out unused sick days under their new contract. It’s in an effort to avoid large payouts, which have been as high as $300,000 in recent years. According to a city spokesperson, employees hired after the contract is ratified will be able to accumulate sick time, but will not be able to trade it for salary when they leave.

The opening of Bridgeport’s Pleasure Beach has been delayed due to a high tick population. The beach is now scheduled to open on July 8.

Four Suffolk County beaches are closed to swimmers due to bacteria levels. Gold Star Battalion Beach in Huntington, Amityville Beach in Amityville, Benjamin Beach in Bay Shore and Ronkonkoma Beach in Islip are closed for bathing until further notice.

Two Connecticut veterans organizations have received federal grants. The money is from the U.S. Department of Labor. It supports services for veterans looking to reenter the workforce. Goodwill of Western and Northern Connecticut Inc. in Bridgeport received $139,392 and Veterans Inc. in New Britain received $154,000.

Connecticut’s vulnerable communities are getting money for beverage container recycling. The state’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is administering $1.6 million for beverage container redemption centers in environmental justice communities across the state.

The Tenant Energy Advocacy Project spoke to low-income New Haven renters this week. They found that renters pay more for housing that is not energy efficient and struggles to get help from government assistance programs. The Yale Planetary Solutions Project-funded research is looking at low-income renters’ access to energy-efficient utilities.

The Sag Harbor police chief still has no contract. Police Chief Austin J. McGuire’s contract expired on July 1, 2021, the same day Mayor Jim Larocca took office. Now that Larocca is on his way out, members of the board have said negotiations will be easier, citing personality clashes between McGuire and Larocca.

A judge has dismissed a Suffolk County Police brutality case. Christopher Loeb was beaten by police in 2012, leading to prison terms for former Chief of Department James Burke and ex-District Attorney Thomas Spota. The judge said the case was dismissed because the statute of limitations had expired.

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Molly is a reporter covering Connecticut. She also produces Long Story Short, a podcast exploring public policy issues across Connecticut.