OLR Bill Analysis

sSB 12

AN ACT AUTHORIZING AND ADJUSTING BONDS OF THE STATE FOR CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS AND OTHER PURPOSES.

SUMMARY

This bill makes the following bond authorization adjustments:

1. cancels approximately $106.3 million in general obligation (GO) bonds, including $100 million for grants to hospitals for capital improvements, authorized in PA 17-2, June Special Session (JSS) ($20 million per year, for FYs 18 through 22);

2. authorizes up to $8.5 million in new GO bonds for FY 19 for two statutory grant programs;

3. restores approximately $6.7 million in bonds cancelled in PA 17-2, JSS;

4. adjusts the purposes of several existing bond authorizations; and

5. makes a technical correction to a provision in PA 17-2, JSS ( 20).

The bill also requires the L.W. Batchelder Elementary School in Hartford to continue to operate as a district/neighborhood school and co-locates the Montessori Magnet school at Batchelder. And it establishes requirements for the Hartford local board of education to follow when enrolling students at Batchelder.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2018, except the provision concerning the operation of the L.W. Batchelder Elementary School and its co-location with the Montessori Magnet school and the technical correction to PA 17-2, JSS, are effective upon passage.

1 & 5 — NEW BOND AUTHORIZATIONS

The bill authorizes up to $5.5 million in new state GO bonds for the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) to provide grants to reimburse municipalities for revenue loss from enterprise zone property tax exemptions.

The bill increases, from $7 million to $10 million, the existing bond authorization for the bikeway, walkway, trail, and greenway grant program administered by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

2 & 3 — HARTFORD SCHOOL OPERATION AND ENROLLMENT

L.W. Batchelder School

The bill requires the L.W. Batchelder Elementary School to continue operating as a district/neighborhood school for children in preschool through grade five. In doing so, it overrides a school closure plan approved by Hartford's board of education on January 23, 2018. (The District Model for Excellence Restructuring Recommendations and School Closures recommended closing Batchelder and consolidating its classes into several other schools.)

The bill establishes requirements the Hartford school district must follow when enrolling students at Batchelder, starting with the upcoming school year that begins July 1, 2018. Under the bill, the school district must:

1. guarantee enrollment to students enrolled in the school's preschool or grades through four during the July 1, 2017 school year, and not require the students to participate in the annual Hartford District Choice Lottery as long as they are continuously enrolled at the school;

2. include the school in the district lottery; and

3. guarantee enrollment to students who enroll at the school through the lottery and are continuously enrolled at the school, through grade five.

The Hartford Public Schools Office of School Choice conducts the Hartford District Choice Lottery each year. The lottery process enables students to choose which school they would like to attend among the city's schools. There are separate lotteries for the district schools and the magnet or open choice schools.

The bill requires the annual lottery, starting with the school year beginning July 1, 2018, to give preference to siblings, Batchelder employees' students, and students living within 0.9 miles of Batchelder.

Montessori Magnet

Under the bill, the Montessori Magnet school, formerly located at the Moylan/McDonough campuses, must be co-located at Batchelder. The bill specifies that it must continue to operate as an interdistrict magnet school program but its enrollment lottery must, beginning with the school year starting July 1, 2018, give preference to siblings, Batchelder employees' students, and students who live within 0.9 miles of the school.

4, 6-12 & 17-19 — BOND RESTORATION AND PURPOSE ADJUSTMENTS

The bill restores two GO bond authorizations cancelled in PA 17-2, JSS, as shown in Table 1, and makes conforming changes to the corresponding bond supertotals. It also adjusts the purposes of several existing authorizations, as shown in Table 2.

Table 1: Restored Bond Authorizations

Agency

Purpose

Current Authorization

Amount Cancelled in PA 17-2, JSS

Bill's Authorization

9

Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services

Grants to nonprofits for community-based residential and outpatient facilities for purchases, repairs, alterations, and improvements

$3,956,164

$318,975

$4,275,139

11

Department of Education (SDE)

Grants for alterations, repairs, improvements, technology, equipment, and capital start-up costs to expand high-quality school models and help implement the common CORE state standards and assessments

18,554,746

6,334,200

24,888,946

Table 2: GO and STO Bond Purpose Adjustments

Agency

Purpose

Authorized Amount

Department of Administrative Services

4

Earmarks $5 million of an existing bond authorization for school construction projects to be used for school security projects with multimedia interoperable communication systems

$450,000,000

Judicial Branch

6

Eliminates a $5 million authorization for a new criminal and juvenile courthouse in New Haven and transfers the bonds to an existing authorization for repairs to existing judicial branch facilities in New Haven, thus increasing the latter authorization from $4.5 million to $9.5 million

9,500,000

Board of Regents (BOR)

7

Replaces the purpose of an authorization to plan, design, and build a new facility at Charter Oak State College with one to design, build, renovate, and make improvements related to the college's relocation

2,500,000

BOR

12

Replaces the purpose of an authorization to plan, design, and build a new academic building at Middlesex Community College with one to renovate and add to the college's Wheaton and Snow classroom buildings

4,800,000

Department of Housing

17

Earmarks up to $12 million authorized for housing development and rehabilitation for state-assisted affordable housing and housing-related financial assistance programs to be used for the Down Payment Assistance Program, administered by the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority, to provide financial assistance to those with incomes up to 120% of the area median income

125,000,000

SDE

18

Expands the use of an existing authorization for grants to targeted local and regional school districts for certain improvements in low-performing schools to include the costs associated with co-locating the Montessori Magnet school at the L.W. Batchelder Elementary School in Hartford, including making needed alterations or renovations (see above 2 & 3 )

5,000,000

Department of Transportation

19

Specifies that projects funded by the local transportation capital program (STO bonds) must include those located at Grumman Hill Road in Wilton

64,000,000

13-16 & 21 — BOND CANCELLATIONS AND REDUCTIONS

The bill cancels all or part of prior bond authorizations for the projects and grants shown in Table 3. It also makes conforming changes to the corresponding bond supertotals.

Table 3: Bond Cancellations and Reductions

Agency

Purpose

Current Authorization

Amount Cancelled

SDE

14

Grants for alterations, repairs, improvements, technology, equipment, and capital start-up costs to expand high-quality school models and help implement the common core state standards and assessments

$10,000,000

$1,334,200

SDE

16

Grants for alterations, repairs, improvements, technology, equipment, and capital start-up costs to expand high-quality school models and help implement the common CORE state standards and assessments

5,000,000

5,000,000

OPM

21

Grants to hospitals for capital improvements ($20 million per year for five years)

100,000,000

100,000,000

COMMITTEE ACTION

Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

50

Nay

0

(04/05/2018)