You Tube video of Senator Oppenheimer being questioned by Senator Flanagan matched against the transcript.

The exchange occurred on April 1, 2009. The highlighted portions are spliced out of the video and indicate jumps. Page 2248 (31): SENATOR FLANAGAN: 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 Okay. On your

comments relative to the budget. You referenced a $1.22 billion increase in this year's budget. Can you break that out in terms of where those increases come from? Roughly. SENATOR OPPENHEIMER: Would you repeat? I'm not certain I heard. SENATOR FLANAGAN: When you were

explaining the education portion of the budget, you said there's a $1.22 billion increase. Certainly some of that is allocated towards expense-driven aids. How is it broken out? SENATOR OPPENHEIMER: Through you, Mr. President, I think Senator Flanagan is going to need a pen for this. Okay, here goes some numbers. The $166,851,638, this money is going to what I discussed, the formula-based aids that I

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mentioned earlier. You know, the foundation aid, the high-tax aid. Then we have $204,400,795, and that's going to building (transportation?) aid, building reorganization. So now we're close to 300. Then we have the two that, you know, are simply passed through, IDEA and Title 1. We pass them through to the districts immediately. So we have to add that in. So IDEA is $393,964,044. And then we have Title 1-A, and that will be $423,364,927. And if you add that all together, you get to the federal aid estimate of $1,221,119,253. [splice and jump]

Page 225 (35): SENATOR FLANAGAN: What I'm asking you is a direct 21 22 23 24 1 question, inasmuch as you are chair of the Education Committee and negotiated on behalf of the Senate, why this plan that freezes base aid for two years? Why not do it one year, as we generally do, and set ourselves up for next

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year? You're already sending a message that forget next year. Who made that decision, and why was that reached? SENATOR OPPENHEIMER: We will have money for next year. As you know, we are only spending a little less than half of our stabilization funds, the federal stabilization funds. And who knows, maybe that general pot of $550 million, of which we've only spent $240 million, maybe that will be available to us also. The only things that were frozen were the operating aids, the three that I mentioned to you earlier. SENATOR FLANAGAN: Right, which

comprises the overwhelming majority of the budget. ACTING PRESIDENT VALESKY: Senator Flanagan, are you continuing to ask Senator Oppenheimer to yield? SENATOR FLANAGAN: Yes, I am.

ACTING PRESIDENT VALESKY: Senator Oppenheimer, do you yield?

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again, is why was that conclusion reached. Who negotiated that? Did you negotiate that? Did Senator Kruger negotiate it? Because when we go back, we're going to be asked the same questions. The school business officials, the superintendents, yes, are they happy about certain components? But they haven't even, I think, been truly made aware of what's been set up for next year already. So my question is, again, why was that negotiation reached in that fashion? Because we're going to be asked the question, and I want to be able to give an appropriate answer.

SENATOR OPPENHEIMER: Through 20 21 22 you, Mr. President, I can only tell you what my superintendents of schools said to me. They said: "If you can get rid of that

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horrible DRA, we can live with the rest." What we did is we froze, we did not cut. The thing that had my superintendents so upset was the DRA, not the freeze. They just didn't want to see the cuts. And I think they are relatively relieved that they didn't see cuts. And I don't know how your districts fared, but none of mine -- well, my personal one in Mamaroneck got cut, but it was the only one in my whole Senate district that got cut. You know, we're all aware that we have no clear definitive line of when this economy is going to start to pick up again. We get little glimmers and that. Last week Wall Street seemed to be a little happier. But that doesn't change the whole economy. And I think if we want our school districts to plan, and that is what they have asked us time and again: Give us some figures so we have some concept of what's going to be ahead for us. And if you have more money, I am sure that we can fill in some holes locally

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in our school districts. The idea is we want them to be able to have some parameters. And by leaving this flat and telling them we're not going to cut, this is going to be frozen at this level -- if we had more money, we'd be delighted to share it with you. All of us in this room, every one of us wants to be able to give more money to school districts, wants to be able to make libraries whole, wants to make PBS whole. You know, but we need money. And we're in a drastic spot right now. And we're not alone. I mean, we know almost every other state in the union is in the same position we're in. You think we're bad, you should look at Connecticut. So, I mean, we have to face the reality. Budget-making is a real reality task. And that's what we're trying to do. We're trying to help the school districts for next year to budget around what we're calling a frozen level of foundation aid. SENATOR FLANAGAN: Thank you,

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Mr. President. Senator Oppenheimer, I appreciate your graciousness and courtesy. Mr. President, on the bill.

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