The Governor’s proposed budget includes $20 million this year, and more in future years for a revolving loan fund for county governments trying to ‘get by’ in tight fiscal years without stalling school construction projects.
Last year the 21st Century School Facilities Act implemented a recommendation of the 21st Century School Facilities Commission (often called the Knott Commission) to create a revolving loan fund to help counties unable to make the required match for school construction projects. The fund would allow those counties with smaller school construction budgets to break ground on school construction projects and continue to advance State and local school construction goals without delays due to temporary funding shortages. The idea was set forth by county representatives to the 21st Century School Facilities Act.
The provision survived amendments to the 21st Century Act and became law last year, however the law did not mandate any funding appropriation.
It is good news, therefore, to see that the Governor’s budget bill includes $20 million for this fund this year, with more $40 million more dedicated over the next two years. This little help could allow counties to provide the local share required to advance needed renovations to aging facilities, and other school construction projects.
For more information, see the Capital Budget Volume Fiscal Year 2020.
In addition to the budget allocation, The Building Opportunity Act of 2019, legislation introduced by the Governor’s Administration this Session includes a provision allowing excess funding to be fed into the revolving loan fund. For more information see, The Building Opportunity Act of 2019 text.