From the Re-elect Matt Lesser Campaign
FACT CHECK: Szewczyk Makes it Up
In response to Republican candidate John Szewczyk going negative Tuesday, attacking State Representative Matt Lesser, Rep. Lesser issued the following statement:
"It's disappointing that John Szewczyk has chosen the low road. He is showing his inexperience and making it up as he goes along. Amazingly not one claim in his press release is accurate.
Claim: UConn has "amongst the highest tuition rates in the country"
Reality: UConn in-state tuition is lower than virtually every comparable school in the region. UConn is significantly cheaper than UMass, Rutgers, the University of Vermont, the University of New Hampshire and only two-thirds the cost of Penn State. In-state rates at UConn are virtually identical to in-state rates at the Universities of Maine, Delaware and Rhode Island.
Claim: UConn pay scales are set by the General Assembly.
Reality: UConn pay scales are not set by the General Assembly. If Szewczyk thinks UConn is mismanaged, he should start by calling up Middlesex Chamber of Commerce President Larry McHugh who chairs the UConn Board of Trustees. McHugh has been moving UConn in the right direction, particularly since the recent departure of President Hogan.
"I frankly think Larry McHugh has been doing an excellent job of making UConn more accountable," Lesser added.
Claim: High in-state rates force Connecticut students to go out of state.
Reality: Out of state tuition rates at virtually every flagship university in the country are higher than in-state tuition rates at UConn. "This one is a real puzzle" Lesser said, "where is he getting this?"
Claim: Lesser has done nothing to make higher education more affordable.
Reality: Lesser has been a champion of higher education, and sponsored and passed legislation creating a loan repayment program for graduates who stay in Connecticut. He protected funding for education after legislative Republicans proposed closing a state university, and as a member of the Education Committee helped lead the charge against a proposal by Lieutenant Governor Michael Fedele that would have dismantled the state's vocational-technical and community college system.
Matt Lesser added, "I'm trying to run a positive campaign focused on the issues. It's disappointing my opponent is so interested in playing the partisan blame game he hasn't even bothered to do his homework. Voters are simply tired of this kind of nonsense."