The state GOP has unveiled their budget proposal, one that makes teachers (and other public employees) contribute more to health and retirement, guts collective bargaining rights, and allows city/town councils to override local Boards of Education decisions.
Since being released a few hours ago, CABE was the first to speak out and steadfastly oppose the proposal.
PLEASE READ and REACH OUT to your legislators.
You may email using cga.ct.gov “click” on Representation to email or phone numbers are below.
Directly From The Republican Budget:
MUNICIPAL MANDATE RELIEF
Allow municipalities to override the arbitration decisions with a 2/3 vote of local legislative bodies.
Formation of a committee to study the funding of local services including analysis of current structure and its impact on growth and opportunity on the state and local levels. The committee may submit a report on its findings and recommendations to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to finance, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a of the general statutes.
Require a supermajority vote in the legislature to adopt any new unfunded mandate that has a statewide municipal impact.
Modify section 10-157 of the CGS to allow towns with a population of less than 10,000, with less than three public schools located in their town and with less than 2,000 resident students to not have a local superintendent. Recommend allowing said small towns receive direction from another local board of education’s superintendent. The town legislative body shall make the determination that they will share a superintendent.
Require boards of education to enter into cooperative arrangements with municipalities to provide administration and central office duties. The town legislative body shall make this determination.
To allow for a reduction of associated expenses, allow boards of education that jointly employ a superintendent to either (1) reduce the number of meetings they individually hold or (2) hold joint meetings at least quarterly.
Eliminate the MBR requirement for non-alliance districts.
If ECS funding is reduced after education budgets are adopted, authorize a municipality’s legislative body to reduce education administrative budgets by the same amount without seeking a waiver from the state Department of Education and without going to referendum.
Authorize towns to reduce education spending on administrative expenses after the budget is adopted to reflect reductions in other sources of municipal aid..
Prohibit boards of education from entering into leases for equipment, such as phone systems, computers, portable classrooms, vehicles, and copiers without town authorization.
Require boards of education to adhere to town purchasing procedures.
Require boards of education to consult with towns before purchasing new payroll, and payable software systems to determine whether such purchases can be shared or purchased on a regional basis.
Require, when timing of contracts allows, for municipal and board of education consolidation with regards to the purchase of property casualty and workers’ compensation insurance.
Require shared maintenance of buildings, grounds, equipment and information technology between boards of educations and towns.
– Prohibit boards of education from hiring any administrative personnel for positions which are not included in the proposed and approved budget without town concurrence.
Authorize regional school districts to establish finance boards consisting of representatives from members towns to provide input on local budget issues.
Provide towns in regional school districts with greater oversight of collective bargaining agreements by requiring such agreements to be approved by each local governing body. Deemed approved if the contract is approved by a majority of the towns in the regional school district.
Allow towns to reopen collective bargaining agreements to negotiate savings in the event that education aid is reduced by more than 10%.
Allow towns to reopen collective bargaining agreements when changes are needed to effectuate consolidation or shared services agreements.
Require decisions in the arbitration of unfair labor practices to be issued not later than 60 days after the post-hearing briefs are filed.
Require all municipal employers and municipal employee organizations engaged in mandatory binding arbitration to complete negotiations within one year from the date that binding arbitration to complete negotiations within one year from the date that binding arbitration was imposed by the state.
Provide for the random selection of neutral arbitrators and the use of a single neutral through an agreement of the parties in the binding arbitration process.
Require all employment contracts with administrative personnel (and amendment, including wage modifications) to be filed with the Town Clerk, and in regional districts, all town clerks..
Provide that 15% or less of a municipality’s budget reserve fund shall not be available for an argument towards a town’s ability to pay.
Allow municipalities to use volunteer service provided by children and parents by prohibiting collective bargaining agreements from containing provisions prohibiting the practice.
Increase the current prevailing wage thresholds from the current $400,000 to $1,000,000 for new construction and from $100,000 to $500,000 for remodeling and alterations. Exempt projects specific to roofing, elevators, included are all DECD funded projects.
Create a new state bonding authorization that will be used to repay debt on a capital expense when said capital expense is a barrier to regionalization for those towns with a school population of less than 3,000 students.
With regards to the 2018 fiscal year, for those municipalities that forecasted reduced state revenue when setting their mill rate and tax levy, said municipalities would be required to rebase their mill rate and tax levy upon actual revenue from the state as included in the adopted FY 2018 FY 2019 Biennial Budget. Any excess taxes levied by municipalities over $500,000 shall be returned to taxpayers in full in January 2018
Other measures include:
Repeal the local spending cap imposed under the Municipal Revenue Sharing Account.
Regarding school construction – require the State Department of Education to submit a report to the General Assembly on three different prototype schools. If municipalities do not pick these schools then they will get a lower reimbursement rate and the municipality must pay all architectural and engineering costs as they will no longer be reimbursable.
There is no municipal contribution to the Teacher Retirement System. Teachers will pay an additional 1% in January and then another 1% in July to then be at an 8% contribution.