West Hartford lawmakers secure $3 million more in ECS funding

May 14, 2018

To help further support the town’s schools and students, the West Hartford legislative delegation secured an additional $3 million in education funding under the bipartisan spending package that was approved May 9 by the legislature.

State Reps. Andy Fleischmann, Derek Slap, Joe Verrengia and state Sen. Beth Bye, said the additional appropriation of $3 million in Education Cost Sharing funding will help the town balance its budget and protect the municipality’s schools from devastating cuts.

This session, lawmakers passed House Bill 5171, which prohibits the governor from reducing the amount of ECS funding a municipality receives. This will allow municipalities to balance its education budgets and plan ahead to make the best educational decisions for the benefit of the students.

The fiscal year 2019 budget was approved unanimously by the state Senate and passed the state House of Representatives in a 142 to 8 vote.

The bipartisan financial plan:

  • Fully funds the Medicare Savings Program.
  • Restores $12 million to the Husky A healthcare program.
  • Reestablishes solvency to the Special Transportation Fund.
  • Increases the state’s rainy day fund balance to $1.14 billion.

“As House Chairman of the Education Committee, I'm happy that the leadership of both parties listened to me and my West Hartford colleagues, and understood how much our town deserved this increase in Education Cost Sharing funds. I couldn't be happier about the outcome. And I thank our West Hartford delegation, since this win wouldn't have been possible without a team effort,” Fleischmann said.

Fleischmann also noted that, thanks to bipartisan support for a bill he introduced that was incorporated into the budget, West Hartford and other towns will be protected from surprise cuts in state funding once the new spending plan is signed into law.

“This bill protects school districts like ours from the devastating, unacceptable cuts of the type the Malloy administration made in the middle of the last fiscal year – another important victory for our town,” Fleischmann said.

“I’m very pleased we were able to work in a bipartisan manner to restore critical education funds to our schools. This not only helps the town maintain some of the best public schools in the country, it impacts overall affordability in town. The budget adjustments strike the right balance by protecting local education and our seniors while maintaining more than $1 billion in the state’s rainy day fund,” Slap said.

“This is a great example of what a delegation working together can accomplish,” Verrengia said. “One of my top priorities is funding for education as the most important investment in the future of our state and I am pleased to see West Hartford is being kept on the radar.”

Bye said the legislature had to take action to reverse Gov. Dannel Malloy’s November budget cuts to cities and towns, or else those cuts would have carried over into the new fiscal year beginning on July 1.

“The West Hartford legislative delegation realizes how critical restoring these funds is to keeping West Hartford’s public schools top-notch,” Bye said. “It’s becoming more and more challenging to do this every year, but we have to try.”

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Press Release: West Hartford slated to receive $3M more in ECS funding