Thursday, March 4, 2010

House Republicans to offer Local Aid Resolution

BOSTON—House Republicans today announced their intention to offer a Local Aid Resolution during the House’s next full formal session and hope their effort will garner bipartisan support.

In an email distributed to House colleagues on behalf of Republican lawmakers, House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. said, “As our cities and towns continue to develop their local budgets during these very tough times they need certainty and reliable information more than ever. It is important that we, as legislators, provide some predictability for our districts.”

The resolution proposes the following:

1. Establish a minimum level of Chapter 70 and Unrestricted Local Aid equal the amount proposed by the Governor for FY’11

a. The minimum Chapter 70 appropriation must equal $4,048,324,258 for FY11; and
b. The minimum Unrestricted Local Aid appropriation must equal $936,437,803.

2. Establish a minimum level of funding for each of the following accounts
to equal the amount proposed by the Governor for FY’11

a. Reimbursement to Cities in Lieu of Taxes $27.3 million
b. Regional School Transportation $40.5 million
c. Special Education Residential Schools $135 million

This resolution provides among other things flexibility during budget debate, so that the Legislature might further increase local aid appropriations from an established floor. It also provides predictability for municipalities who are already constructing their budgets.

House Republicans have been on the front lines protecting local aid for many years and say it is time Governor Patrick and the Democratic-controlled legislature respect the state’s cities and towns and stop using taxpayer money as their own personal piggy bank.