The Connecticut Legislature will be voting on House Bill 6541 soon. The purpose of this bill is to to allow online boating courses to qualify for Connecticut boating licenses.

This is a very bad idea. While other states are requiring better boating education (particularly after the tragic accident on Long Island Sound where three children were killed last July 4) we are taking a big step backward.

The state wants to stop teaching safe-boating classes.

We are all aware that the state has budget issues, but public safety is not the place to save money.

It's common knowledge that an interactive classroom setting, with a live instructor, is far superior to an unsupervised, online course.

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Furthermore, there is no reason for the state to spend any money teaching boating classes. Private providers (local boating schools), Coast Guard Auxiliary and others who already teach the classes in Connecticut are more than capable of providing boating classes to everyone who needs to attend one.

In addition, the private providers, most of whom are Connecticut residents, rely on that income (and pay taxes in Connecticut on that income) to make a living.

The approved online providers are in Texas and Canada. Why would you send that money out of state?

Yale Greenman