Martin looks to reinstate education money to towns

State Senator Henri Martin (R-31) Feb. 7 was among legislators from the House and Senate announcing a plan that will reinstate nearly $20 million in education money cut from state aid to towns. If approved by the General Assembly, the plan also eliminates a projected budget deficit for the current fiscal year.

“When state budgets are passed, municipalities incorporate state funding into their own budgets when planning what their communities can and can’t afford,” Martin said, according to a press release from state Republicans. “The Dec. 29 announcement that the state would hold back $20 million promised for education funding threw school districts into a tailspin wondering what programs or positions would have to be cut. It was a completely unacceptable move by the administration.”

Legislative Republicans proposed cuts to the existing state budget that would allow the state to restore $18.9 million in Education Cost Sharing (ECS) money, said the press release. Additionally, it would also eliminate a projected $11.9 million budget deficit estimated by the nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis.

Martin said, “Connecticut communities need stability. They need to know that when the state says ‘You will get X amount of funding,’ that is exactly what they will receive.”

Making mid-year funding changes is not only disruptive for municipalities, he said the press release reported, it also sends a message to taxpayers, communities, and business that state government can’t be trusted.

“How can we attract new business or expect to keep the ones we have if people don’t trust state government to keep its word?” Martin said, according to the press release. “We have a responsibility to restore this funding and restore the public trust.”

Martin said, according to the press release, he hopes legislators will take immediate action to approve the proposal.

Martin represents the communities of Bristol, Harwinton, Plainville, Plymouth, and Thomaston.