SECTION 1. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, there is hereby established a Chapter 70 Equalization Fund, to meet the deficiencies in the base Chapter 70 aid that a community received at the inception of the Education Reform Act of 1993 as calculated pursuant to the communities which receive less than 17.5 per cent of their foundation budget through Chapter 70 for such municipalities; provided, that a municipality seeking funds hereunder shall apply for money through the fund to the Department of Education (“Department”); provided further, that the Commissioner of the Department shall issue a finding concerning such applications, after consulting with the school district regarding the merits of such application; provided further, that assistance under this fund shall be available on a recurring basis and funded in item 7061-0010 in the annual operating budget; provided further, that funds distributed from this item to a municipality shall be considered base aid used in the calculation of the minimum required local contribution for any fiscal year; provided further that all money appropriated for this item shall be taken from the Local Aid Fund.
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