Senate Bill 0226
DIGEST OF SB 226 (Updated January 31, 2012 5:39 pm - DI 84)
School corporation financial management. Removes until January 1, 2016, the petition and remonstrance process requirements and referendum requirements that under current law must be met before a school corporation with a circuit breaker impact of at least 30% may restructure its debt. Provides that before January 1, 2016, costs attributable to transportation may be budgeted in and paid from a school corporation's general fund. Reduces the number of members on the distressed unit appeal board (board) to five members: (1) the director of the office of management and budget; (2) the commissioner of the department of local government finance; (3) the state examiner of the state board of accounts; (4) the superintendent of public instruction; and (5) an individual appointed by the chair of the legislative council. Allows a school corporation to petition the board to have the school corporation designated as a distressed school corporation. Provides that if the board receives such a petition, the board may designate the school corporation as a distressed school corporation if any of the following conditions are satisfied: (1) The school corporation has issued refunding bonds under the statute that allows a school corporation with a circuit breaker tax credits impact of at least 30% to restructure its debt (or has adopted the ordinance necessary to initiate the refunding process). (2) The school corporation has had two successive general fund referenda fail. (3) The school corporation has been severely affected, as determined by the board, as a result of the granting of circuit breaker tax credits. Allows the board to authorize a loan to a distressed school corporation from the distressed school fund. Establishes the distressed school fund. Provides that a loan from the distressed school fund is subject to review by the state budget committee and approval by the budget agency. Provides that the budget agency may not make such a loan after December 31, 2015. Appropriates $10,000,000 from the state general fund to the distressed school fund. Provides that the amounts appropriated may be used by the budget agency only for the purposes of making loans authorized from the distressed school fund. Provides that a school corporation that carried out a general program in at least one school year beginning after June 30, 2010, to provide transportation to and from school for eligible students must carry out a program to provide transportation to and from school, unless the governing body of the school corporation: (1) approves the termination of the transportation program; and (2) provides public notice of the termination; at least three years before the date after which the transportation will no longer be provided. Allows the department of education to waive these requirements if the department determines that a transportation plan presented by the school corporation, with or without revisions required by the department: (1) will protect the safety of eligible students enrolled in the school corporation; and (2) is otherwise in accordance with applicable law. Provides that the department of local government finance may upon petition by a school corporation adjust the school corporation's levy for the school bus replacement fund to reflect the school corporation's school bus acquisition plan. Specifies that in addition to the amount that a school corporation may levy for a year under the school corporation's school bus replacement fund maximum levy, the school corporation may also levy an additional amount for 2013, 2014, and 2015 equal to a percentage of the pension neutrality line item, if any, for the school corporation's school bus replacement fund budget order for the 2011 budget year.
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