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Newington Council Urges Malloy To Restore Education Funding, Payment In Lieu Of Taxes

The town council has voted unanimously to pass a resolution asking Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to restore educational cost-sharing and PILOT funding to the town.

Following the footsteps of South Windsor, which passed an identical resolution last week, Newington town officials also demanded in the resolution that the governor keep the legislature in session until a spending plan passes.

"I think the beauty of this is that it makes a statement. It makes a strong statement that we're watching and we're concerned," Republican councilwoman Gail Budrejko said.

The town stands to lose $11.7 million in educational funding from the state by Oct. 1, according to Malloy's Aug. 18 funding proposal.

Council members said they hope other towns vote on similar resolutions. There are 84 other towns across the state that would lose all their ECS funding under Malloy's order.

Mayor Roy Zartarian asked that the resolution also include the restoration of the PILOT [payment in lieu of taxes] funding the town loses for tax-exempt state buildings in the current budget.

"What really riles me is when you drive on the Berlin Turnpike and the most luxurious office building is, you guessed it, the state-owned DOT building," Zartarian said.

Democratic councilwoman Carol Anest said the resolution would give the town and the board of education "peace of mind."

"I'd love to see us do something like what South Windsor did. As well as insist that they stay in session until they pass something," she said. "They need to pass a budget. This will put pressure on the legislators."

Gov. Malloy released the new temporary funding scheme in Aug. that shifts education aid to districts serving the state's neediest students while eliminating funding entirely for dozens of other districts. The plan will stand until the legislature enacts a budget.

Towns are expecting news on Thursday of a new budget proposal.

"This resolution would call upon the Governor to restore Educational Cost Share funds in the executive order from the Governor in the absence of a budget," Zartarian said.

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