As the state continues to grapple with financial turmoil, some are offering solutions to issues that seek to redefine the way the state has worked for years. Conversations have arisen about implementing tolls or legalizing marijuana, all to generate revenue and attempt to close the state’s massive, and ballooning, deficit. While some of these issues are revenue-based, some are looking at the other side of the balance sheet and seeking to change the way the state funds certain areas. In the case of one new bill, the goal is to change the way the state funds special education.
Senate Bill 542, sponsored by Sen. Carlo Leone, who represents Stamford and part of Darien, and Sen. Timothy Larson, who represents East Hartford, East Windsor, South Windsor, and part of Ellington, seeks to establish what is being called a “a special education predictable cost cooperative,” or simply the co-op, to fund special education services and programs statewide. The bill was first referred to committee in late January, with public testimony coming roughly a month later.