HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 5079 FILED ON: 6/21/2010
House . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . No. 4774
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
6/ 16 /2010
To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives:
Pursuant to Article LVI, as amended by Article XC, Section 3 of the Amendments to the Constitution, I am returning to you for amendment Section 4 of House, No. 4759, “An Act Making Appropriations for the Fiscal Year 2010 To Provide for Supplementing Certain Existing Appropriations and for Certain Other Activities and Projects.”
Section 4 extends the deadline for applying for education spending waivers from October 1, 2009 to July 31, 2010 for any municipality or regional school district that used qualifying revenue amounts in a fiscal year that will not be available for use in the next fiscal year. Although I support the goal of granting increased waiver flexibility on a short-term basis, I believe that the section, as written, covers too broad a range of situations. It also amends subsection (e) instead of subsection (b) of section 114 of the fiscal year 2010 general appropriation act. The subsection it amends relates to a particular revenue waiver which it is not necessary to extend.
The proposed amendment would limit the extension of the deadline for education spending waiver applications to those waivers relating to recalculations of minimum required local contributions . First, it narrows the eligibility to those municipalities in which data errors occurred in calculating their minimum required local contributions and moves the date of the required filing for eligible municipalities to June 30 th , within the current fiscal year. Second, it ensures that eligible districts will be kept at their foundation budget level of spending by using ARRA State Fiscal Stabilization Funds. This is consistent with the treat ment of all other districts eligible under this provision , and it serves to meet our constitutional obligation to keep every district at foundation .
For these reasons, I recommend that Section 4 be amended by striking out the text and inserting in place thereof the following text:-
SECTION 4. Notwithstanding section 114 of chapter 27 of the acts of 2009 or any general or special law to the contrary, a city or town whose fiscal year 2008 actual local contributions were lower than the amounts calculated in the one-time adjustment used pursuant to the fiscal year 2010 funding formula under chapter 70 of the General Laws may appeal to the department of revenue for an adjustment of its minimum required local contribution and net school spending not later than June 30, 2010, and any resulting adjustment causing the city or town to fall below its foundation level of spending shall be reimbursed to such level using American Recovery and Reinvestment Act State Fiscal Stabilization Funds.
Respectfully submitted ,
DEVAL L. PATRICK,