Vetoed bill affects school capital projects
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ST. LAWRENCE COUNTY, N.Y. -- A veto by the Governor has put a handful of New York school districts in a financial bind.
Schools are no longer able to receive funding for capital projects while construction is underway. Instead, they need to wait 18 months after the project is completed.
Senator John DeFrancisco tried to pass a bill giving an exception to schools that approved their projects before the new law took effect, allowing them to proceed under the old law. But Governor Cuomo vetoed the bill.
The Ogdensburg School District is one school affected. Superintendent Timothy Vernsey says when the public approved their $52 million construction project, they were expecting state funding to cover most of it. Now they need to find other ways to pay for the project up front until they are reimbursed later on.
Vernsey said, "The problem is, once you've already gone to your voters and told them this project will cost them x amount of dollars in the local tax base and then the rules are changed after the game is started, that's not fair."
Superintendent Vernsey says the project’s planning committee will be meeting at the end of August to discuss how to move forward. He says he will do everything he can to not impact the taxpayers with the changes.