HARTFORD – State Representative Tom O’Dea (R-New Canaan, Wilton), Deputy House Republican Leader-at-Large, voted in favor of H.B. 5592, An Act Waiving Penalties Imposed on a Board of Education for Making Reductions to its Budgeted Appropriation for Education as a Result of Cuts to its Education Cost-Sharing Grant for Fiscal Year 2018 during a session of the House of Representatives on April 11th, 2018.
This bill waives the penalty imposed on towns for making reductions to their education budgets compared to the previous year due to a reduction in state educational aid (ECS) awarded to the town. Under current law, municipalities are being forced to make up the difference between the previous year’s state education aid and the following year’s allocation, assuming the town’s grant is reduced. This is known as the minimum budget requirement (MBR). For example, if a town receives $1 million in the previous year, but only $500,000 in the following year, the town would be obligated to raise the $500,000 to fill the gap. H.B. 5592 would eliminate this requirement.
“The budget crisis has left towns like New Canaan and Wilton in a perpetual state of uncertainty as municipal aid is cut and local governments are left scrambling to balance their budgets in the wake of this mess,” Rep. O’Dea said. “This bill gives cities and towns a little more flexibility by waiving a fee that would otherwise punish them for opting not to raise taxes on their residents to cover up Hartford’s fiscal mismanagement. I was proud to vote for this bill and look forward to seeing it become law.”
H.B. 5592 passed the House (141-2-7) and Senate (34-1-1) on April 11th, 2018 and now awaits Governor Malloy’s signature.