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Legislative Update

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HAWAII

Governor: Benjamin J. Cayetano (D)

FY 1997 proposed state budget: $3.1 billion
FY 1997 proposed K-12 budget: $690 million
FY 1996 K-12 budget: $722 million
Percent change K-12 budget: -4.4 percent

Highlights:

  • Supplementary budget proposal applies to second year of two-year budget process. Reduction takes into account across-the-board spending limits called for by the governor. State education department undertook administrative reorganization and consolidation to meet its budget.
  • Request includes $2.5 million to cover electricity costs for classrooms that were mistakenly underfunded last year.
  • Education department is independently seeking an additional $2.9 million for 77 new teachers officials say are needed due to increased enrollment, as well as $3.4 million to implement new performance standards in Hawaii's unique statewide school system.

INDIANA

Governor: Evan Bayh (D)

FY 1997 proposed state budget: $7.54 billion
FY 1997 proposed K-12 budget: $3.09 billion
FY 1996 K-12 budget: $2.95 billion
Percent change K-12 budget: +4.7 percent

Highlights:

  • Governor requesting $21 million in technology grants to install computers, interactive video, and Internet connections in schools statewide.
  • He also recommends a one-time appropriation of $250 million to stabilize the unfunded liability in the state teachers' retirement fund.
  • Governor proposes that the state school board and the education department be charged with designing and implementing a benchmarking system for public schools to track the progress of student learning.

MISSOURI

Governor: Mel Carnahan (D)

FY 1997 proposed state budget: $13.7 billion
FY 1997 proposed K-12 budget: $1.84 billion
FY 1996 K-12 budget: $1.56 billion.
Percent change K-12 budget: +18 percent

Highlights:

  • Fueled by higher-than-expected state revenues of $268 million, governor's proposed budget would allow the state to fully fund its education foundation formula for the first time since the new formula was enacted three years ago.
  • Governor has proposed a quarter-cent cut in the state sales tax and a $115 million refund of excess property-tax revenues, to occur in late 1997 or early 1998.
  • Mr. Carnahan also has proposed cutting state's desegregation aid to Kansas City and St. Louis schools by $32.2 million, to $262 million.
  • Proposed budget includes $8 million for a "safe schools" program and $10 million for alternative schools.
  • Governor also hopes to increase funding for immunization in order to reach 90 percent of eligible children under age 2 by 1997. State now immunizes 64 percent of those children, making Missouri 49th in the nation.

NEBRASKA

Governor: Ben Nelson (D)

FY 1997 proposed state budget: $1.86 billion
FY 1997 proposed K-12 budget: $582 million
FY 1996 K-12 budget: $555 million
Percent change K-12 budget: +4.8 percent

Highlights:

  • Governor recommends increasing aid to local districts by approximately $24 million to meet projected cost increases.
  • He also proposes a $3 million increase in state funding for special education in FY 1997.
  • State contribution to teachers' retirement fund is slated to increase by about $350,000 to accommodate growth in salaries.

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