$400M in state money finally on its way to CT schools

After months of waiting, $400 million in state money for school construction is on its way to cities and towns across Connecticut.

The money was approved in June by the Democrat-controlled state legislature only to be vetoed by Republican Gov. Jodi Rell, who said it was too expensive. The money was frozen in a political stalemate for months. A bill devoting less money to school construction was later passed after political maneuvering.

Bridgeport Mayor John Fabrizi is one of the many mayors in southwestern Connecticut happy to see the money from Hartford finally arrive. Bridgeport was looking to sue the state because school construction projects that were already started were costing the taxpayers money while the state funds were in limbo.

The $400 million released includes $2 million to help pay cities and towns for any extra interest they incurred by taking out short-term loans to keep school projects moving along.

State Sen. Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) says the standoff between the governor and legislature was largely a power play.

?It's all in the spin. Ninety-six percent of what was in the original bond package is still in the bond package now,? Duff said.

There is still another $300 million in bond money waiting to be approved. Some of that money is designated for bridge and highway reconstruction. However, there is no timetable for when the money will be released.

Related Information: Rell veto on bond package could hurt local schools

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