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HJ 563 Constitutional amendment; Literary Fund.

Introduced by: J. Paul Councill, Jr. | all patrons    ...    notes | add to my profiles


Constitutional amendment; Literary Fund. Restricts the uses of the Literary Fund to support of public school construction and renovation and other public school capital projects as determined and defined by the General Assembly in general law. This amendment would prohibit transfers of Literary Fund moneys to the Virginia Retirement System for teacher retirement, but would allow the General Assembly to establish and fund interest-rate subsidies and technology initiatives or other capital construction/renovation support projects, using the Literary Fund moneys. The current practice of using Literary Fund assets as collateral for the Virginia Public School Authority's bonds is confirmed because, at present, such legal authority rests primarily on court interpretations. This constitutional amendment is a recommendation of the Select Committee Studying Alternative Methods of School Construction Funding pursuant to HJR 250/SJR 131. The select committee has recommended this amendment to restore the Literary Fund to its former viability in order to begin to meet the more than $4.4 billion five-year-estimated facilities need that has been documented by the Department of Education's School Facility Status Survey (1993 Update). In fact, over the next five years, the Commonwealth's school divisions will suffer a $898 million shortfall in maintenance and capital improvement needs--nearly one billion dollars, with more than one-quarter of school maintenance needs estimated as remaining unmet in the next five years. Unless measures can be taken to meet these capital needs, overcrowding will continue, with nearly half of Virginia's schools using temporary classrooms; and unsafe conditions will still exist, such as old, wooden stairs and dead-end halls and buildings complying with outdated fire prevention standards, will still exist.