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Hochul Vetoes Panama Fine Forgiveness Legislation

New York Gov Kathy Hochul (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

Gov. Kathy Hochul hadn’t vetoed much legislation since taking office in late August.

Her veto pen finally came out last week — and her hot-button issue was state fines to school districts. Hochul vetoed nine separate bills forgiving various state Education Department fines to school districts, including legislation that has now passed the state Legislature the past four years forgiving the remainder of Panama Central School’s original $4.9 fine for a late building project cost report.

The previous vetoes were issued by former Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

“I am deeply disappointed that Governor Hochul vetoed legislation (S.1798/A.6972) which would have released the Panama Central School District from paying the remaining $1.9 million of an unfair New York State Education Department penalty levied 16 years ago. There is zero justification for diverting critically-needed education dollars away from the classroom to pay a bureaucratic fine from almost two decades ago.,” said state Sen. George Borrello, R-Sunset Bay. “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. Therefore, there is no justification for vetoing this bill, which passed unanimously in both houses. “

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