A freshman Rhode Island lawmaker said he will prefile legislation to require that half of any state budget surplus go to cities and towns.

State Rep. K. Joseph Shekarchi, D-Warwick, said the state having ended fiscal 2013 with a surplus prompted his action. He said Rhode Island should distribute such funds according to the existing state-aid formula.

“This will help upgrade city and town bond ratings, savings taxpayers even more in the long run,” Shekarchi said on Sept. 4.

According to preliminary figures reported late last week, the state ended fiscal 2013, which ended June 30, with a $97 million surplus, or about $3.6 million more than was built into the current budget.

Rhode Island legislators may prefile bills for consideration when the General Assembly session begins in January. Pre-filing begins on Nov. 15 and the 2014 legislative session will begin Jan. 7.

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