Local aid accounts benefit from reversal of $20M in budget cuts

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Citing state tax collections that are now on pace to meet the original forecast for fiscal 2013, Administration and Finance Secretary Glen Shor on May 17 announced the reversal of a limited amount of budget cuts that had been made by the Patrick administration earlier in the fiscal year.
Most of the $20.8 million in restored spending is going back to cities, towns and school districts under the following three programs:
• $11.5 million will be added back to special education “circuit breaker” reimbursements, bringing the total back to $242 million, the amount in the original fiscal 2013 state budget act.
• $5.25 million will be restored to fully fund, at $11.3 million, reimbursements due to municipalities and school districts for the mandated costs of transporting homeless students under the federal McKinney-Vento law, which was adopted by the state.
• $1 million will be added to the account to reimburse regional school districts for student transportation costs, bringing the total to $45.5 million, as allocated in the original fiscal 2013 state budget.
The balance of the restored funding is going to a dozen or more small accounts.
In December, in response to lagging state tax collections, the governor reduced the revenue forecast by $515 million and used his Section 9C authority to make mid-year spending cuts totaling $225 million. Through the end of April, however, collections have rebounded back to nearly the same amount as originally expected.
Written by MMA Legislative Director John Robertson