BDN features my comments on LD 1566 “An Act Regarding School Budgets”

BDN features my comments on LD 1566 “An Act Regarding School Budgets”

Today the Bangor Daily News featured my floor speech on LD 1566 “An Act Regarding School Budgets.” The bill was introduced by Senator Rebecca Millett (D-Cape Elizabeth) and would have enabled local school districts to use the extra education funds that were allocated in the state budget. This was a common sense measure. In fact the committee voted 11 to 2 in favor of the bill. Below is the article:

Law to ease local acceptance of additional state education money fails in House

By Christopher Cousins, BDN Staff

AUGUSTA, Maine — A bill designed to help school districts accept additional dollars allocated by the Legislature last month failed Tuesday in the House of Representatives by a vote of 97-54.

LD 1566 would have affected local school districts that had approved their budgets for the next year before the Legislature enacted a $6.3 billion budget bill that raised subsidies for public schools by about $30 million overall. The bill, which applied only to the 2013-14 fiscal year, would have let school boards accept the extra money without holding a second budget validation vote, as is now required by law.

“LD 1566 is a tool to allow schools to use those funds,” said Rep. Matthea Daughtry, D-Brunswick, who is a member of the Legislature’s Education Committee. “This is about local control.”

But some disagreed. Rep. Deborah Sanderson, R-Chelsea, voted against the bill in the name of transparency.

“Taxpayers supporting our schools should absolutely have a word on how money is spent on education,” she said. “I do not support this bill.”

Rep. Joyce Maker, R-Calais, agreed with Sanderson.

“To just not have a vote at the end just does not seem right to me,” she said.

The measure now heads to the Senate, which could revive the bill with two-thirds support and send it back to the House.

Watch for updates.

(Photo by Troy R. Bennett | BDN)

This post was written by
Matthea “Mattie” Daughtry, a Brunswick native, is the State Representative for the Maine House District 66

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