On May 27, the Senate approved a $47.72 billion state spending plan for fiscal 2022 that, for municipal and school aid accounts, included few changes from the recommendation released by the Senate Ways and Means Committee in early May.

On the main local aid accounts, the Senate budget matches the House-Senate local aid agreement announced in early April.

Unrestricted General Government Aid would increase by 3.5%, or $39.5 million, matching the projected growth in state tax collections and consistent with the state revenue-sharing practice over the last several years.

The Senate budget meets the House-Senate commitment to fund the Student Opportunity Act at one-sixth of the implementation schedule rather than one-seventh, providing a total of $5.5 billion for Chapter 70 aid. The joint agreement also would provide $40 million for a one-time, targeted grant program for school districts adversely affected by student enrollment decline during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

The Division of Local Services will be posting updated preliminary Cherry Sheet numbers for cities, towns and regional school districts based on the final Senate budget.

The Senate decided against taking up amendments that would address extending certain provisions after the public health emergency, including remote participation at public meetings, vote-by-mail, and outdoor dining provisions. Instead, these items will be taken up through the legislative process.

The House and Senate will quickly appoint a six-member conference committee to work out the differences between the House and Senate budget bills, with the objective of presenting a final legislative budget to the governor by the beginning of the fiscal year on July 1.

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