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NY lawmakers pass bill that would erase nearly $20M fine for N. Syracuse school district

CNYCentral file photo

A bill that would forgive the North Syracuse Central School District of a nearly $20 million fine for paperwork filing errors is one step closer to becoming law.

The bill passed the Assembly on Wednesday and was also approved in the state Senate two weeks ago. It now needs Governor Andrew Cuomo's signature for final approval.

The errors that led to the fine occurred from 1996-2010, but the district said it wasn't aware of the issue until the Department of Education hit them with the fine in 2015. The state originally alleged the district missed deadlines on 23 capital projects, however the district was able to reduce that to six. The bill in Albany seeks to forgive them and the $19.4 million penalty that came with them.

“The penalty against the North Syracuse Central School District is a major burden that could result in cuts to vital programs and extracurricular activities that help shape our children’s futures,” Assemblyman Al Stirpe said after the bill passed. “Students and their education should be the primary concern, and these penalties will set the district back. This is a huge victory for our schools and our community.”

The state didn't allege any misuse of funds by the district - just missed deadlines.

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