A proposed bill to prohibit higher learning institutions in Connecticut from inquiring about a prospective student’s criminal history during the application process was recently approved by the Judiciary Committee and is now being sent to the House for approval.

If passed, the bill would prohibit Connecticut higher education institutions from considering criminal history when making the decision to admit a prospective student into the college or university. Under the bill, criminal history information would also not be permitted to be used in determining eligibility for financial aid, grants, or scholarships from those schools.

The bill originated in the Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee. Proponents argue that those who have been in the criminal justice system and have been released from prison have paid their debt to society. Opponents voice concerns primarily that people who have been convicted of sexual assault would be permitted to live on college campuses without oversight and are concerned with the institution’s ability to maintain the safety of their students while on campus.