Public School Infrastructure Fund and Public School Infrastructure Commission
198:15-y Public School Infrastructure Fund.
I. The general court recognizes that there is a need to provide funding for infrastructure projects for public elementary and secondary schools. Therefore, it is the intent of this chapter to designate certain surplus funds in the 2016-2017 biennial budget to provide grants to fund select school infrastructure projects in accordance with this chapter.
II. There is hereby established in the office of the state treasurer the public school infrastructure fund which shall be kept distinct and separate from all other funds and which shall be administered by the department of education. After transferring sufficient funds to the revenue stabilization reserve account to bring the balance of that account to $100,000,000, the state treasurer shall transfer the remainder of the general fund surplus for fiscal year 2017, as determined by the official audit performed pursuant to RSA 21-I:8, II(a), to the fund. Any earnings on fund moneys shall be added to the fund. All moneys in the fund shall be nonlapsing and continually appropriated. The department of education may retain up to 3 percent of the total annual appropriation of the public school infrastructure fund on or after July 1, 2019, to be used to administer the public school infrastructure program.
III. The governor, in consultation with the public school infrastructure commission, may authorize fund expenditures with approval of the fiscal committee of the general court and the executive council. Funds may be expended for the following purposes:
(a) A school building or infrastructure proposal in which the condition of such school building or portion thereof constitutes a clear and imminent danger to the life or safety of occupants or other persons and requires remediation as soon as practicable.
(b) A school building or infrastructure proposal in which a structural deficiency in the function or operation of a school building or portion thereof presents a substantial risk to the life or safety of the occupants or other persons and is more than a technical violation of the fire code, and requires remediation as soon as practicable.
(c) Support of fiber optic connections for schools to enhance and improve reliance on Internet technology tools, provided matching funds are available.
(d) Funding for the department of safety, division of homeland security and emergency management's school emergency readiness program to improve security in public schools, after the completion of a security assessment, and in consultation with municipal officials.
(e) A school building or infrastructure proposal which is necessary to comply with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations.
(f) Energy efficient school buses or other vehicles used for transportation of students.
(g) Other school building or infrastructure needs the governor, in consultation with the public school infrastructure commission, may identify, except for school building aid projects that are otherwise prohibited by law.
IV. In order for a school to be eligible for a grant from the public school infrastructure fund, the public school infrastructure commission in consultation with the department of education shall determine that the school has a need unmet by federal stimulus funds for the project.
Source. 2017, 156:67, eff. June 30, 2017. 2019, 27:1, eff. May 15, 2019; 346:318, 319, eff. July 1, 2019. 2021, 91:62, eff. July 1, 2021.