OLR Bill Analysis

sHB 5171

AN ACT PROHIBITING THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH FROM MAKING RESCISSIONS OR OTHER REDUCTIONS TO THE EDUCATION COST SHARING GRANT DURING THE FISCAL YEAR.

SUMMARY

This bill, overriding any general statute or special act, prohibits the governor from reducing allotment requisitions or allotments in force concerning education cost sharing (ECS) aid grants to towns. An allotment requisition is a state agency's formal quarterly request to the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) for the amount it needs to carry out an appropriation's purpose. An allotment in force is an allotment that OPM has granted.

The bill also specifies that ECS grants are not subject to the governor's statutory rescission authority. Existing law already exempts municipal aid, of which ECS aid is considered a part, from rescissions.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2018

BACKGROUND

Governor's Authority to Reduce Allotment Requisitions or Allotments in Force

By law, the governor can reduce an allotment requisition or allotment in force if he (1) determines circumstances have changed after the budget's adoption or (2) estimates that budgeted resources will be insufficient to fully fund all appropriations. He may also do so if the comptroller's cumulative monthly financial statement shows a General Fund deficit of more than 1% of total General Fund appropriations. These reductions are called rescissions.

The law limits the amount by which the governor can reduce allotments and restricts him from reducing certain grants and line items. He may reduce allotments within specified limits—up to 5% of an individual appropriation account within an agency or 3% of total appropriations in a fund – but must seek the legislature's approval for reductions that exceed these limits (there are exceptions for extreme emergencies). The governor is also restricted from cutting (1) municipal aid, (2) certain ”watchdog” agency line items (e.g., the Office of State Ethics), or (3) legislative and judicial branch line items. He may, however, require an aggregate allotment reduction for the legislative and judicial branches (CGS 4-85(e)).

COMMITTEE ACTION

Education Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

27

Nay

9

(03/14/2018)