PANAMA – A bill that would have released the Panama Central School District from paying a $1.9 million fine from the New York State Education Department was vetoed by the Governor.
New York State Senator George Borrello in a statement said there is zero justification for diverting critically-needed education dollars away from the classroom to pay a “bureaucratic fine” following Governor Hochul’s veto announcement.
“It is disappointing that our new governor has chosen to follow the same path as her predecessor, particularly since legislation that would have instituted blanket forgiveness was proposed as part of the budget process and rejected for political reasons,” said Borrello in a statement. “Therefore, there is no justification for vetoing this bill, which passed unanimously in both houses.”
The original $4.9 million fee, instituted because of an administrative error on the final cost report for a capital project, was a financial blow the small rural school district and its taxpayers.
Senator Borrello was among those who lobbied for assistance to help mitigate the cost.
“No district should be put in this position, which is why I’ve supported legislation to forgive all state school districts who have been burdened with oppressive fines for building aid administrative reporting errors,” continued Borrello. “It is incomprehensible as to why such a scheme was devised in the first place, but its elimination is long overdue. That is a goal that I will continue to fight for in the next session.”