Local school districts, including Kyrene, will now be able to pay for capital needs as bond legislation was passed in conjunction with the state’s budget early on Friday.

School bond legislation, part of House Bill 2399, has been the one piece of legislation the Kyrene School District has been waiting on to determine its own budget for the 2013-14 school year.

“We are pleased with the final budget, and most importantly we’re relieved that the state has recognized the dire need for capital funding and has passed the bond legislation,” said Kyrene Chief Financial Officer Jeremy Calles.

Gov. Jan Brewer’s $8.8 billion state budget was approved June 14 culminating the six-month-long special session that will also expand Medicaid to 300,000 low-income Arizonans.

Now with the increased bonding capacity limit from the current 10 percent to 20 percent, Kyrene can pay for building repairs to fix broken, rusted pipes, leaking roofs and stop sewer pipe smells. The district had been in limbo over its own budget deficit heading into the new school year, planning for the hit in loss of funds if the legislation had failed.

“This legislation is critical since assessed values will continue to decline this August and many districts are unable to sell voter-authorized bonds,” Calles said.

The district can now have the flexibility to move its capital outlay revenue limit over to maintenance and operations to “effectively wipe out the deficit for the upcoming year,” said Calles in a past board meeting.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or dmartinez@ahwatukee.com. Follow her on Twitter @dmartinezAFN.

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