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21st Century UConn Proposal
Clears First Hurdle at Capitol
By Karen A. Grava
21st Century UConn, the $1.3 billion legislative initiative to continue rebuilding the UConn campuses, has passed its first hurdle at the state Capitol. The Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee of the General Assembly approved the program on Tuesday by a vote of 37-8, just before the 5 p.m. deadline to consider bills this session.
"The approval reflects broad bi-partisan support for the ongoing transformation and acknowledges the progress that has occurred to date at the University," said Scott Brohinsky, director of communications.
The 21st Century UConn program would extend and expand UConn 2000, the $1 billion, 10-year program begun in 1996 to renew, enhance, and rebuild the campuses of the University. The new program, which would begin in 2004, would also include the Health Center, which was not included in UConn 2000.
Brohinsky said he is optimistic that the program will receive a positive response from the Education Committee, before it is expected to come to the floor for a vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
"Any proposal of this magnitude will be highly scrutinized by the General Assembly," he said. "Because of the program's cost and duration it is certain to attract significant attention and be subject to substantial debate in both the House and the Senate."
Brohinsky said the final vote on the program must occur before the Legislative session ends on May 8.