Representative Paul K. Frost (R-Auburn) has joined the House Republican Caucus in filing a Local Aid Resolution to provide municipalities with timely notice of the Legislature’s commitment to support them with local aid in Fiscal Year 2015. As of now, cities and towns are constructing their budgets on uncertain numbers and most towns have Spring Town Meetings to vote on a town budget. This resolution would give local communities numbers to work with while they formulate their budgets and plan to put them before town meeting.
Frost said, “I have in the past and will continue to support early Local Aid Resolutions by the State Legislature so the towns in my district can have as much information as possible as they plan out their local budgets and put them forth at their Spring town meetings. I, along with my Republican colleagues, call on the Democrats in leadership of the House to adopt an early Local Aid Resolution on the minimum our cities and towns can expect to receive from the state in a timely fashion.”
“I know it is a frustrating task for our communities to attempt to work out their local budgets without hard numbers they can count on. This is the right the thing to do by our communities,” Frost added.
The resolution proposes the following:
• Increase the amount of Chapter 70 school aid for Fiscal Year 2015 by $113 million over the current fiscal year, which correlates to an additional investment of $50 per student;
• Increase the amount of Unrestricted General Government Aid by $75 million – an 8.15% increase over Fiscal Year 2014;
• Level fund the Reimbursement to Cities in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) with the FY14 appropriation;
• Increase the level of funding for Regional School Transportation by $2.5 million over Fiscal Year 2014;
• Fund the reimbursement for the Special Education Circuit Breaker at $252.5M, slightly above the Fiscal Year 2014 level; and
• Set the level of funding for Homeless Student Transportation (McKinney/Vento) at the projected FY15 district claim amount of $14.9 million.
This resolution would also provide flexibility during budget debate so that the Legislature may further increase local aid from the House floor.