With one week left in the legislative session, state Rep. Patricia Dillon of New Haven said Wednesday that she will not be proposing legislation this year after all that would allow college athletes to form unions.

Dillon, D-New Haven, announced earlier this month after Shabazz Napier, University of Connecticut basketball star, said he sometimes goes to bed “starving” that she was considering proposing legislation that would ensure that student athletes at the state’s public colleges could unionize.

During an interview Wednesday, Dillon said she plans to save the issue to propose for the next legislative session, which begins in January, so it can have a public hearing and the proper vetting.

The National Labor Relations Board ruled last month that the football players at Northwestern, a private college, have the right to form the first labor union in college sports.

The NLRB ruling does not empower athletes at public universities like UConn to unionize, because public schools rely on state labor laws for such issues.

Jacqueline Rabe Thomas

Jacqueline was CT Mirror’s Education and Housing Reporter, and an original member of the CT Mirror staff, joining shortly before our January 2010 launch. Her awards include the best-of-show Theodore A. Driscoll Investigative Award from the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists in 2019 for reporting on inadequate inmate health care, first-place for investigative reporting from the New England Newspaper and Press Association in 2020 for reporting on housing segregation, and two first-place awards from the National Education Writers Association in 2012. She was selected for a prestigious, year-long Propublica Local Reporting Network grant in 2019, exploring a range of affordable and low-income housing issues. Before joining CT Mirror, Jacqueline was a reporter, online editor and website developer for The Washington Post Co.’s Maryland newspaper chains. Jacqueline received an undergraduate degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University and a master’s in public policy from Trinity College.

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