Opt-out referral bill defeated on House floor

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Opt-out referral bill defeated on House floor

A proposal to remove the permanence of specific opt-outs found its way out of committee, but floundered when it reached the floor.


House Bill 1159, which allows for referral of opt-outs approved prior to 2002, passed the House Taxation committee on a 9-3 vote, but failed on the House floor on a vote of 19-44.


ASBSD opposed the bill with Executive Director Wade Pogany testifying during HB 1159’s committee hearing that, if passed, “it could cause a major shortfall in the general funds” of the 30 school districts have this version of the allowed opt-out in place.


“Today, every penny that we have in our school district is important,” Pogany testified. “We should honor those decisions. Let the school boards be good stewards of their tax dollars.”


Rep. John Mills, the bill’s prime sponsor, called the bill a “tax fairness” issue and that it would be “an important tool for taxpayers” but noted he believes if passed “it will be used very little.”


Rep. Spencer Gosch pointed out school boards “have budget hearings every year” where taxpayers can address the use, or not, of these opt-out dollars and the state should allow local school boards to decide.


“Let’s let (school boards) make those decisions,” Rep. Gosch told his fellow Representatives, which they ultimately agreed to do.


For updates from the 2020 legislative session, check the ASBSD Blog and Bill Tracker page.

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