Deputy Republican Leader Paul Cicarella (R-North Haven) and Chief Deputy Republican Leader Henri Martin (R-Bristol) today applauded the Senate’s passage of S.B. 1165, which is a measure that promotes financial literacy for the state’s public high school students. The bill now awaits action by the House of Representatives.
Senator Cicarella and Senator Martin originally introduced the concept of the bill (Proposed S.B. 18) that requires high school students to complete a one-half credit course in personal financial management and financial literacy for graduation. The policy is part of the Senate Republican lawmakers’ comprehensive ‘A Better Way to a Prosperous Connecticut’ series of legislative workforce measures to put young people on a path to a well-paying career to support themselves and their families.
Senator Cicarella said, “Thank you to my Senate colleagues for advancing this very important piece of legislation for Connecticut’s future workforce. The first step of workforce development is understanding the value of a dollar, and the cause and effects of how you earn and spend your money.
“I’ve met with countless educators, school counselors and students over the past year. I was very surprised to learn that many young people do not know the cost of necessities like a phone, groceries, and insurance. This measure can empower young people and ensure that they are taught how far a dollar will go, and how to avoid the pitfall of debt. This information may seem basic but can be transformative if it’s learned at an early stage in life. I encourage my colleagues in the House to support this bill in the coming weeks.”
Research shows that over 60 percent of Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck and struggle to save money for short-term or long-term financial goals. Credit card and student loan debt are also at historic highs, at a whopping $930.6 billion and $1.757 trillion, respectively.
Senator Martin said, “Our students must learn how to budget, create a spending plan, balance needs versus wants, understand credit, and look for the best places to invest. If students do not learn how to budget, they will have lifelong challenges in living within their means, they will have challenges in saving for retirement, many will not know how to save or invest, and many will not have enough to pay their bills.
“Now more than ever, it is important that we prepare our younger generations to ensure financial stability in their future. Less than half of all Americans have more than $1,000 in savings, and a recent survey by Bankrate found that more than 80% of Americans are financially unprepared for retirement. With Social Security’s solvency teetering, it is imperative that we begin introducing financial literacy to our students in their teenage years and S.B. 1165 is a step in providing the best possible opportunity for financial stability.”
Read the complete ‘Better Way to a Prosperous Connecticut’ workforce plan here.