THE 2017-18 STATE BUDGET IS A BIG WIN FOR NORTH ROCKLAND SCHOOL DISTRICT
STATEMENT FROM SENATOR WILLIAM J. LARKIN (R- 39th DISTRICT)
In addition to a $1.8 million increase in total school aid funding, the state budget includes the Senate’s honest, real proposals to help the district, including $4 million in special grants specifically for North Rockland. This funding, and the $900,000 I secured over the last two years, will go a long way toward easing the school district’s short-term budget challenges.
The state budget also includes my other top priority: language allowing North Rockland to refinance its Mirant (tax certiorari) debt with New York State. Enabling North Rockland to refinance its debt at a lower interest rate could result in millions of dollars in savings for the district. This is a key step toward helping North Rockland deal with its Mirant debt over the long term.
In addition to these, Senate-sponsored measures, the state budget includes a measure authoring the State Comptroller to conduct a comprehensive review of North Rockland’s financial condition, the results of which must be shared with the Legislature and the State Budget Director (i.e., Governor Cuomo). This report will show state officials the seriousness of North Rockland’s fiscal challenges, while also giving taxpayers peace of mind that the school district is acting fiscally responsible.
Furthermore, the state budget includes measures to give North Rockland administrative flexibility for its budget challenges and makes the district eligible to receive certain future funds now when they need it the most.
Again, I am very happy the final state budget includes my two priorities for North Rockland. I never wanted to over-promise things I knew couldn’t be delivered, and I didn’t. I fought for a state budget that provides the North Rockland community with short-term and long-term assistance, and that’s exactly what they got.
I look forward to doing much more for the North Rockland Central School district and the taxpayers of Stony Point and Haverstraw in the future.