Governor Bob Holden waits to find out if the courts uphold his withholding of $198-Million from elementary and secondary education. Ten school districts are in court saying Governor Holden cannot withhold money appropriated for public schools. Holden and his lawyers say the constitution lets him do it because it’s his responsibility to keep the budget in balance – and that takes precedence. He says he made the right decision – although he acknowledges schools are being hurt by a lack of funding. If the courts say he is wrong – and that he must release that money for elementary and secondary education – he’ll have to take money away from other state agencies. But he says he has not made any contingency plans. Holden says he will evaluate next month whether state income will let him release some of that money. But he says the Legislature’s budget was based on a five-percent increase in state income, and income is coming about three-percent up. He says he’ll be glad to release money for education, but it has to be there first.
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