Connecticut lawmakers put final COVID funds toward higher ed

Connecticut lawmakers recently passed a state budget stabilization bill that allocates a large portion of the state’s remaining COVID relief funds to higher education. It’s a last-ditch effort to plug massive budget deficits facing the state’s public institutions for the second year in a row.

While most of the $2.8 billion Connecticut received from Congress’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) in 2021 has been exhausted, $370 million remains, and the unspent federal money must be distributed by Dec. 31.

The state’s Democrats, who hold a majority in both chambers of the legislature, firmly support funneling at least $160 million of what’s left to the University of Connecticut and Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) system. But Republicans staunchly oppose the move, arguing that the continued use of the one-time federal funds to cover ongoing expenses only sets the institutions up for larger deficits in the future.

Read more from Inside Higher Ed.

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