Gov. Ned Lamont was at the University of Connecticut to meet with students and discuss the state’s future and biggest challenges before attending UConn football’s Blue/White Showcase in Storrs on Friday, April 22.
During the event, Lamont spoke on his commitment to Connecticut and some of the challenges affecting the state, as well as how to address some of these issues. He also spoke with students about navigating Connecticut’s economy post-quarantine and about creating opportunities to keep younger generations working within the state.
“You know, a lot of these bright kids, they all go to Boston and San Francisco, and I’m trying to tell them what the advantages are about being right here,” Lamont said in an interview after the event.
Lamont later met with smaller groups of students to speak to them individually to learn about their concerns. Some topics of conversation included issues relating to the pandemic, incarceration and addressing inequity in education.
“He likes to hear what our young people have to say [and] to encourage our students to stay in Connecticut [and] help continue our growth as a state,” Director of Outreach at the Office of the Governor Peter Yazbek said.
Lamont also told students about a tax program that can help pay for their student loans once they graduate. Substitute Senate Bill No. 250 outlines this program, which is available to those who graduate with a bachelor’s degree from a state university and then live and work in the state for at least five years.
“It’s a tax credit we provide to companies,” Lamont said. “So, we’ll give them a $5,000 tax credit, so if they forgive your student loan over a period of time, we’ll pay for most of that to the companies so they have an incentive to hire you, and you probably have an incentive to stay in Connecticut because they forgive your student loan if you have one.”
The event was organized by eighth-semester political science and economics double major Noah Frank and fourth-semester political science major Mike Cerulli. It was held in the Student Union and was attended by UConn President Radenka Maric and about 40 students from different groups on campus. Some of the groups present included Hillside Ventures, College Democrats, College Republicans, Undergraduate Student Government and Human Rights Symposium.
“I really tried to get a broad, diverse group of students and I think our conversation reflected that,” Cerulli said.
Following the event, Lamont walked over to the Joseph J. Morrone Stadium to attend UConn football’s Blue/White Showcase, where he served as an honorary coach for the night.