$3 Million More In ECS Funding For Town

May 10, 2018

Led by Rep. Andy Fleischmann, House chairman of the Education Committee, the West Hartford legislative delegation was able to secure an additional $3 million in education funding for West Hartford under the bipartisan budget the legislature passed on the last day of the 2018 General Assembly session.

Fleischmann, working with Senator Beth Bye and Representatives Joe Verrengia and Derek Slap to secure the funding, said the additional appropriation of $3 million in Education Cost Sharing funding will help the town balance its budget and protect the town’s schools from devastating cuts.

In the closing days of the session, Fleischmann also led the House in passing House Bill 5171, legislation he introduced that prohibits the governor from reducing the amount of ECS funding the municipality is supposed to receive. This will allow municipalities to balance education budgets and plan ahead to make the best educational decisions for the benefit of the students, Fleischmann said.

In addition, the bipartisan budget:

  • Fully funds the Medicare Savings Program
  • Restores $12 million to the Husky A healthcare program
  • Reestablishes solvency to the Special Transportation Fund
  • Increases the state’s rainy day fund balance to $1.14 billion

“As House chairman of the Education Committee, I'm happy that the leadership of both parties listened to me and my West Hartford colleagues, and understood how much our town deserved this increase in Education Cost Sharing funds. I couldn't be happier about the outcome. And I thank my West Hartford colleagues, since this win wouldn't have been possible without a team effort,” Fleischmann said.

Fleischmann also noted that, thanks to the bipartisan support of his House Bill 5171, which was incorporated into the state budget, West Hartford and other towns will be protected from surprise cuts in state funding once the new spending plan is signed into law.

“This bill protects school districts like ours from the devastating, unacceptable cuts of the type the Malloy administration made in the middle of the last fiscal year – another important victory for our town,” Fleischmann said.

“I’m very pleased we were able to work in a bipartisan manner to restore critical education funds to our schools. This not only helps the town maintain some of the best public schools in the country, it impacts overall affordability in town. The budget adjustments strike the right balance by protecting local education and our seniors while maintaining more than $1 billion in the state’s rainy day fund,” Slap said.

“This is a great example of what a delegation working together can accomplish,” Verrengia said. “One of my top priorities is funding for education as the most important investment in the future of our state and I am pleased to see West Hartford is being kept on the radar.”

State Sen. Beth Bye, D-West Hartford, said the legislature had to take action to reverse Gov. Dannel Malloy’s November budget cuts to cities and towns, or else those cuts would have carried over into the new fiscal year beginning on July 1.

“The West Hartford legislative delegation realizes how critical restoring these funds is to keeping West Hartford’s public schools top-notch,” Bye said. “It’s becoming more and more challenging to do this every year, but we have to try.”