C-O certificate referendum bill reaches Senate

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C-O certificate referendum bill reaches Senate

A bill attempting to dictate the election dates for referred capital outlay certificates cleared the House.


An amended version of House Bill 1263, which requires capital outlay certificate referendum votes be held in conjunction with a general election, passed the House State Affairs committee on an 11-1 vote and the full House on a 38-27 vote.


HB 1263 would require capital outlay certificate referendum be held in conjunction with “the primary election” or “on the date of the general election” and if the referendum takes place in an off-year “the special election may also be held on the first Tuesday following the first Monday in June or on the first Tuesday following the first Monday in November in odd-numbered years.”


Rep. Tim Goodwin said an “election is an event” and the bill was about “not suppressing the vote.”


ASBSD opposes the bill with Executive Director Wade Pogany testifying during the bill’s committee hearing the date requirement will hinder the bond process for schools as they “run them based on the timing” and passage would severely hamper the project’s construction and completion date.


The amended version of the bill removed a requirement that school board’s “shall” refer any capital outlay certificate decision to voters and allowed for the language to be permissive as it relates to the board’s decision. The amendment also removed referendum language.


“We’re micromanaging what they’re doing. I can’t support that,” Rep. Kent Peterson said. “We can trust (school boards) a little bit.”


HB 1263 now heads to the Senate for review and vote.


For updates on the bill and others in the 2020 legislative session, check the ASBSD Blog and Bill Tracker page.

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