Senate Bill 0355
DIGEST OF SB 355 (Updated January 30, 2012 3:33 pm - DI 84)
Distressed political subdivisions. Provides that a political subdivision may file a petition with the distressed unit appeal board (board) seeking designation of the political subdivision as a distressed political subdivision, based on any one of several failures by the political subdivision to meet its financial obligations. Provides that either two unsuccessful referenda or effects from the credit for excessive property taxes that are greater than 75% (excluding debt levies) can be a basis for finding a political subdivision a distressed political subdivision. Specifies that the board may consider whether a political subdivision has exercised all of its local options. Provides that if the board designates a political subdivision as a distressed political subdivision, the board shall appoint an emergency manager for the distressed political subdivision. Provides that an emergency manager of a distressed political subdivision has broad powers to effect the financial rehabilitation of the distressed political subdivision. Provides that if a school corporation is a distressed school corporation and that while in that status the school corporation's superintendent is newly employed or its school board has a newly elected or appointed member, the school corporation may petition the distressed unit board for removal as a distressed school corporation. Provides that if a distressed school corporation receives emergency financial relief, the school corporation may not do any of the following without the approval of the board: (1) Acquire real property for school building purposes. (2) Construct new school buildings or remodel or renovate existing school buildings. (3) Incur a contractual obligation (except an employment contract for a new employee whose employment replaces the employment of a former employee) that requires an expenditure of more than $10,000. (4) Purchase or enter into an agreement to purchase personal property at a cost of more than $10,000. (5) Adopt or advertise a budget, tax levy, or tax rate for an ensuing budget year. Specifies that if the authority otherwise exists a school corporation may receive a loan with interest from the counter-cyclical revenue and economic stabilization (state rainy day) fund or the common school fund or an authorization to use unobligated reserves or other balances in other funds or to make fund to fund transfers. Reduces the number of members on the board to five: (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. Repeals obsolete provisions of the distressed unit appeals board statute.
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