Gov. Dannel Malloy’s state budget proposal, scheduled to be unveiled on Feb. 8, will include substantial state mandate relief for towns and cities across Connecticut. Malloy said the mandate relief package is designed to
increase local control over budgets and contracts, keep down project costs, modernize out-of-date requirements and remove unnecessary red tape.
Among other mandate relief proposals, specific provisions will:
- Eliminate spending caps for most municipalities.
- Provide for the random selection of neutral arbitrators and the use of a single neutral through an agreement of the parties in the binding arbitration process.
- Allow towns to negotiate employee contributions under the Municipal Employees Retirement System.
- Exclude 2017 state aid increases from collective bargaining ability to pay consideration.
- Increase the prevailing wage threshold for the first time since 1991 to $1 million for new construction and $500,000 for remodeling.
- Eliminate the requirement for superintendents in small school districts and communities, and remove the three-year limitation on superintendent contracts.
- Provide that every town in a regional school district, including prospective regional relationships, will receive the Education Cost Sharing aid ratio of the town with the highest ratio in the region, under certain circumstances.
- Foster flexibility for school districts on curricular instruction and professional development.
- Ease the process for temporary certificate holders to teach in local schools.
- Allow for flexible town assessment rates, with Office of Policy and Management approval.
- Increase antique car assessment cap to $1,000 for vehicles less than 30 years old.
- Increase town clerk preservation fees and remit larger portion of revenue to municipalities.
“We all know that change is hard – many of these mandates have been on the books for quite a long time,” Malloy said. “But it is our responsibility to routinely review and identify what is working and what is hindering our ability to deliver the best service to the people of our state. We can provide relief to our towns and cities – and this proposal is a significant step in that direction.”