CCM Urges General Assembly To Override Governor's Veto Of New Legislation That Would Prohibit The Executive Branch From Cutting Education Aid In The Mddle Of The Fiscal Year
For immediate release:
Kevin Maloney, (203) 710-3486
The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM) today (Tuesday, June 12) called on the General Assembly to override the Governor’s recent veto of new legislation that would prohibit the executive branch from making rescissions or other reductions to the Education Cost Sharing (ECS) grant during the middle of the fiscal year.
The legislation would prohibit the Governor from reducing allotment requisitions or allotments in force. An allotment requisition is a state agency's formal quarterly request to the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) for the amount it needs to carry out an appropriation's purpose. An allotment in force is an allotment that OPM has granted.
The legislation would, among other things, prohibit the Governor from making reductions in allotments to achieve budget savings in the General Fund in any budgeted agency of the state and specifies that ECS grants are not subject to the Governor's statutory rescission authority.
“Overriding the veto and enacting this legislation would protect and clarify in existing state statutes that you can’t cut state aid for local public education after an approved amount for a town has been set for the next fiscal year,” said Joe DeLong, CCM Executive Director. “Calling for the General Assembly to override this veto shows CCM’s support for formally codifying what already exists in state statute.”
Will there be an overrride? back to top
The General Assembly bill passed the House 117 to 32 and the Senate approved it 36 to 0. It is not clear at this time if lawmakers will return to the Capitol to override the veto.
When the General Assembly passed the final budget last October, towns and cities relied on the budget's appropriation for education. However, only a few weeks after its adoption, the Governor – through an undesignated lapse or holdback authority provided in the budget – drastically reduced education aid to most municipalities even further.
CCM strongly advocated throughout the 2018 session for mechanisms to prohibit the Executive Branch from making rescissions or other reductions to the education equalization aid grant, including unspecified lapses and holdbacks after the fiscal year commenced. CCM has consistently argued that that action would help provide increased stability and predictability in local education budgets.
Why is protecting promised levels of ECS aid so important? Local public education is the largest single item in every municipal budget. In some towns it is as much as 80% of the total budget. Rising education costs have outpaced growth in property tax revenue. When these increases are added to unfunded and underfunded mandates, towns and cities have no choice but to cut back on other municipal services and raise property taxes to pay for rising education expenditures.