Members of the House of Representatives voted 52-17 to pass Senate Bill 194, which extends the provision allowing school districts to use capital outlay funds for certain insurance, energy, utilities and motor fuel costs to 2018.
“This is clearly an essential bridge as we work through these troubling economic times,” Rep. Scott Ecklund (25) said in favor of the bill during its floor debate.
“Our schools took a major hit two years ago. They’re reeling.”
The provision, which was introduced in 2009, was set to expire in 2014. Each year since the capital outlay flexibility had been in place the total dollar amount has increased. In fiscal year 2009 school districts flexed a little more than $1 million with steady increases in FY 2010 and 2011 and topping out at over $15 million in FY 2012.
Rep. Dan Dryden (34) argued schools were becoming “more and more reliant” on using capital outlay dollars for costs other than they were intended for and introduced an amendment to scale back the sunset date to 2016. The amendment was defeated 23-46.
“For right now, we don’t have a different solution,” Rep. Jacqueline Sly (33) said.
SB 194 now heads to Gov. Dennis Daugaard for signature or veto.
For updates on the bill, and others, check the ASBSD blog and bill tracker.
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