State Senator Joe Markley Applauds the Passage of Bill to Eliminate MBR Penalty

April 18, 2018

Hartford –On April 11th State Senator Joe Markley (R-Southington) voted in support of a bipartisan bill regarding the State Department of Education’s minimum budget requirement (MBR). The bill eliminates penalties faced by towns across the state, notably Southington, which lawmakers believe were unfairly imposed on towns as a result of Governor Dannel P. Malloy’s budget holdbacks. The bill passed with bipartisan support in both the State House of Representatives and Senate.

Earlier this year the State Department of Education informed multiple towns that they were in non-compliance with the MBR because they reduced their FY 2018 education appropriations to reflect Governor Malloy’s holdbacks in local education funding. However, lawmakers and municipalities agreed that municipalities should not be penalized for reducing budgets in light of the governor’s additional withholding of funding beyond what was identified in the state budget.

The bill approved today would eliminate the penalty faced by towns that had to reduce their education funding following Gov. Malloy’s budget holdbacks.  The bill also makes conforming changes to statutes so that the MBR moving forward is based only on ECS entitlements.

“This law is the first, and unfortunately temporary, step towards giving municipalities real control over their education budgets,” said Senator Markley. “Southington in particular had been targeted by Governor Malloy’s education funding holdbacks, and had no tool to reduce its education budget accordingly. This new law will give my hometown the option to reduce its education budget in FY 2018 to avoid a serious deficit which could only have been filled with a tax increase. It is my hope that the legislature will soon authorize towns to permanently reduce their education budgets to reflect the reality of a shrinking state population and declining student enrollment.”