HARTFORD, CT — The House passed legislation Wednesday to reduce the governor’s rescission authority when it comes to education aid.
The House voted 117-32 to pass a bill that would prohibit the governor from making rescissions or reductions to education cost sharing grants for local school districts.
The legislation would prohibit the governor from doing what he did this year in holding back $91 million in municipal aid. About $58 million of that was education funding.
Both Democratic and Republican legislative leaders have said it wasn’t their intention to hold back that money, even if the governor had the power to do it.
“This bill protects school districts from the devastating, unacceptable education cuts that the Malloy administration made in the middle of the last fiscal year,” Rep. Andrew Fleischmann, D-West Hartford, said. “Those cuts did not reflect the approach or values embodied in the ECS formula, and I’m proud of the overwhelming, bipartisan support this bill received.
The bill now heads to the Senate.
“Assuming this bill becomes law, no district will be hit with a surprise cut in education funding by the governor’s budget office in the middle of a school year,” Fleischmann said.
It’s unclear how they are going to convince Malloy to sign it if it passes the Senate.
Currently, the governor has the power to reduce spending up to 5 percent of any individual appropriation within an agency or 3 percent of the total appropriation to a fund. However, he must seek the legislature’s approval for reductions that exceed those limits. The governor is also restricted from from unilaterally cutting municipal aid, watchdog agency funding, or legislative and judicial branch line items.
Malloy isn’t seeking re-election.