Deputy Comptroller: New law gives school districts and local governments more financial options

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation into law on August 25 giving municipalities and school districts the ability to access additional funds. The legislation was sponsored by Sen. Liz Krueger and Assemblyman Fred Thiele upon recommendation from the New York State Comptroller’s Office.

Because of heavy budget cuts across the state to localities and school districts, the Comptroller’s Office wanted to provide a short-term option for financial maneuverability.

The Comptroller’s Office began exploring ways to help localities and school districts shortly after the state was put on PAUSE by Cuomo to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, says Deputy Comptroller Elliott Auerbach. Similar legislation was used after the 2008 financial crisis, he says.

School districts and municipalities can use one or all three parts of the law to make cash available. Deputy Comptroller Auerbach says this gives them the flexibility to pull funds from multiple sources or from a singular source if, for example, they do not have a robust capital project fund.

A COVID-19 Financial Survival Toolkit specifically for local governments and school districts was released on the Comptroller’s website. Auerbach says a comprehensive accounting guide to help school districts and municipalities navigate the new law will be available either late Monday or Tuesday.

Deputy Comptroller Auerbach says localities and school districts are more than welcome to contact their office with inquiries regarding the new law. He says they can contact him directly by email.

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