Bill waiving penalties against school districts signed into law

Posted 7/10/19

Assemblymember Jonathan Jacobson’s (D-Newburgh) and Senator James Skoufis’ (D-Hudson Valley) bill to bring financial relief to the Newburgh and Chester School Districts was signed by the …

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Bill waiving penalties against school districts signed into law

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Assemblymember Jonathan Jacobson’s (D-Newburgh) and Senator James Skoufis’ (D-Hudson Valley) bill to bring financial relief to the Newburgh and Chester School Districts was signed by the Governor. This bill vindicates the two school districts from severe penalties, resulting in $12.5 million in taxpayer savings for Newburgh and $3.3 million for Chester. With payments due to the State on June 28, it was imperative that pressure be put on the Governor to quickly sign this bill.

The two school districts were penalized for an inadvertent administrative oversight and small clerical errors from many years ago, which lead to exorbitant fees and fines. This bill absolves the penalties, negating millions of dollars in unnecessary fines and preventing the school districts and taxpayers from continuing to carry this burden.

“Making sure this bill passed was my number one local priority. I am proud to have saved the City of Newburgh more than $12.5 million and Chester $1.3 million,” Jacobson said. Instead of paying a costly penalty to the State, the school district can focus on its main priority: educating our kids. Senator Skoufis and I worked very hard to push this legislation through in a timely manner. We used our status as majority members in both houses to get this done and save the taxpayers money. My thanks to Senator Skoufis and to the Governor for signing this very important bill.”

Skoufis added: “These penalties, a result of paperwork errors made years ago, are outrageously disproportionate and would have had a devastating impact on these two school districts and their taxpayers. I’m so proud that my work over the past few years, and my work with Assemblyman Jacobson has resulted in tax penalty amnesty for these school districts. I thank the Governor for signing this into law before the next payment deadline. Now, these schools won’t have to worry about staff layoffs or program cuts, and that is an incredible accomplishment.”

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